Tag Archive > Daisuke Miura

A Midsummer Night’s Blog Post

» 18 August 2012 » In mlb, nichibei, npb » 2 Comments

While my baseball consumption has not returned to it’s previous levels, my itch to write has returned, so tonight I’m taking a hiatus from my hiatus to share a few thoughts on the season so far.

  • After years of anticipation, Yu Darvish, has made his Major League debut. The results have been mixed — lots of strikeouts, lots of walks. The walks are a surprise to me; the mid-season struggles are not. I must admit that fate has conspired against me, and I haven’t seen a single Darvish start all the way through this year.
  • Nippon Ham has carried on without Darvish, currently leading the Pacific League by a game over Seibu. 24 year-old lefty Mitsuo Yoshikawa took advantage of the hole left by Darvish, and is enjoyed a breakout season. While he lacks Darvish’s eye-popping dominance, a 10-4 record with a 1.91 ERA isn’t too shabby.
  • I never thought I’d see Ichiro traded, but last month it happened. It felt more like Ichiro was on the path to retirement this season, but his bat has woken up a bit with the Yankees. Perhaps playing for a winning time will revive his career.
  • The Japanese Players Association is threatening to sit out next year’s World Baseball Classic if WBC Inc doesn’t give them a bigger share of the revenue. So far neither side is willing to budge. I hope they can work out some sort of agreement because a Japanese boycott would be bad for both sides.
  • I didn’t get to finish my predictions this spring, but every year I think that Chunichi is going to stumble and that Seibu is going to be good. And, every year I’m wrong, at least about the Chunichi side of the prediction. This year was no exception. I thought Chunichi was set for a big step backwards, but they’re comfortably in second place in the Central, and had been in the hunt for first until Yomiuri started to pull away. Seibu got off to a rough start and appeared to be headed for a disappointing season, but has righted the ship and is now in the hunt for a league title.
  • I was going to write something about Brad Penny here but I don’t think I’ll bother.
  • Softbank veteran Hiroki Kokubo announced his retirement last week. Otsukare-sama.
  • Yomiuri veteran and personal favorite Yoshinobu Takahashi slugged his 300th career home run last week. Jason Coskrey has more.
  • The two young players I’ve enjoyed watching the most this year? Hiroshima’s Yusuke Nomura and Yokohama DeNA’s Sho Aranami.
  • While it doesn’t stack up to MLB’s three perfect games this season, NPB has seen a pair of no-hitters this year: Toshiya Sugiuchi’s against Rakuten on May 30, and Kenta Maeda’s against DeNA on April 6. Although, I did not witness either of these games, I did catch a pair of near no-hitters. Another personal favorite, Daisuke Miura, took a no-no into the 9th against Hanshin on May 12, but pinch-hitter Shinjiro Hiyama put up a veteran at-bat, working a full count before finally hitting a long single. Hanshin eventually scored and Miura lost his shutout, but won the game. The other was another Sugiuchi gem, thrown on May 4 against Hanshin. The only solid contact I recall Sugiuchi surrendering happened to be the only hit Hanshin managed, a sharp single, hit mid-game by Takashi Toritani. The game lacked the drama of a late-innings no-hit bid, but was a dominant performance nonetheless.

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Merry Christmas!

» 25 December 2011 » In NPB Tracker » 7 Comments

25 years (or so) ago, an elementary school-aged me was the happy recipient of an Atari 2600. I was a lucky kid and had a lot of nice toys, but for whatever reason, playing games like Moon Patrol and Jr. Pac-Man still stands out as a particularly fun memory. Ironically Super Baseball wasn’t very good though.

Christmas Eve is about to become Christmas day in my part of the world, and wherever you are and whether your you recognize the holiday or not, I hope you’re doing something that you will look back on as fondly as I do playing those Atari games. Merry Christmas!

And Daisuke Miura, if you’re reading this, happy 38th birthday!

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Miura’s Best Pitch?

» 22 December 2009 » In npb » 6 Comments

A question for those of you who regularly watched the Yokohama BayStars in 2009: what is Daisuke Miura’s best pitch?

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Prediction: Central League

» 27 March 2009 » In npb » 4 Comments

1. Hanshin Tigers: This could be the year for Hanshin. Colonel Sanders has been exhumed from his resting place at the bottom of the Dotombori River, which should be enough to put the team over the top. Hanshin led the Central League for most of the season last year, despite a serious lack of home run power. If Takahiro Arai and Kevin Mench can combine for 45 home runs or so they should be tough to beat.
Key Players: Arai, Mench

2. Yomiuri Giants: Yomiuri slipped past Hanshin for the Central League crown at the end of the season in 2008, then took the Japan Series down to the wire before losing to Seibu. Look for a bounce-back year from Sun-Yeop Lee. The departure of Koji Uehara creates an opportunity for someone like Kentaro Nishimura, Shun Tohno, or Takahiko Nomaguchi to step up.
Key Players: Nishimura, Tohno, Nomaguchi

3. Hiroshima Carp: The Carp took a big step forward last season despite the loss of ace Hiroki Kuroda to the Dodgers. The lineup is respectable 1-5 and they have three good starters in Colby Lewis, Kan Ohtake, and Kenta Maeda. Look for a breakout year from Maeda.
Key Player: K Maeda

4. Yakult Swallows: Yakult has a number of good arms in its bullpen, some young starters that could develop, and Japan’s top hitter in Norichika Aoki. The big concern with the Swallows is a lack of team power, so their ability to compete for a playoff spot will depend on whether or not some of the non-Aoki batters can hit for average.
Key Players: Jaime D’Antona, Yoshinori, Tatsunori Masubuchi

5. Chunichi Dragons: The Dragons finished third last year despite being outscored by 21 by opponents on the season. This year they’ve subtracted Kenshin Kawakami, Norihiro Nakamura, and Tyrone Woods and have replaced them with untested players. I expect a fall in the standings.
Key Players: Tony Blanco, Kei Nomoto, Kazuki Yoshimi

6. Yokohama BayStars: Yokohama had by far the worst pitching in the Central last season, and despite moving Hayato Terahara back into the rotation, retaining Daisuke Miura, and adding Ryan Glynn, I don’t think they have enough depth to get out of the cellar. I think they’ll be more competitive than last year though.
Key Players: Terahara

Any thoughts? Pacific League is coming up next.

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Offseason Changes: Yokohama BayStars

» 13 February 2009 » In npb » 2 Comments

Coming: Dan Johnson, Les Walrond, Ryan Glynn, Tom Mastny, Toshihiro Noguchi, Kosuke Kato

Going: Ryoji Aikawa, JJ Furmaniak, Matt White, Dave Williams, Larry Bigbie, Mike Wood, Travis Hughes, Takuro Ishii, Takahiro Saeki (retirement)

Staying: Daisuke Miura

Trending: unknown

Synopsis: Held on to their most valuable free agent in Miura, swapped out an ineffective group of foreigners for a mostly unproven group. On paper, the additions of Glynn, Johnson and Mastny look good. Noguchi is somewhat of a step down from Aikawa. Overall, it doesn’t look like the ‘Stars made any acquisitions that will get them out of the cellar in ’09.

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Offseason Changes: Hanshin Tigers

» 04 February 2009 » In npb » 3 Comments

Coming: Kevin Mench, manager Akinobu Mayumi

Going: Lew Ford, Ryan Vogelsong, Toshihiro Noguchi

Staying: Jeff Williams, Aarom Baldiris, Scott Achison, Chris Resop

Trending: about the same

Synopsis: Mench should be better than Ford, but aside from that Hanshin will go into 2009 with the same team that squandered a big lead down the stretch last season. The Tigers failed to land their offseason prize in Daisuke Miura, and in their nominal efforts to sign Kenshin Kawakami, so they still lack a guy who can eat 200+ innings. Resop could be an assett if he gets over his control issues.

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Free Agency Watch: Group of 7

» 29 November 2008 » In mlb prospects, npb » Comments Off

Kenshin Kawakami: Word has it that the Rangers are interested.

Koji Uehara: Training with a Major League ball. Expected to see some movement on him at the Winter Meetings.

Ken Takahashi: Reportedly has offers from multiple MLB teams. The Cubs, Mets, Padres and Brewers are noted as interested.

Ryoji Aikawa: Worked out for a couple of MLB teams earlier in the month, still waiting to hear back. Aikawa will meet with Yakult again in December and wants to make a decision by the end of the year.

Norihiro Nakamura: Moving to Rakuten

Daisuke Miura: Staying with Yokohama.

Toshihiro Noguchi: Having a second round of negotiations with the BayStars on December 1. Looks set to replace Aikawa in Yokohama.

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Free Agency Updates

» 01 November 2008 » In mlb prospects, npb » 1 Comment

I’ve added some updates to my free agent list. Here is a summary.

International Free Agents

NPB-only Free Agents

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NPB Player Blog Round-up

» 18 August 2008 » In npb » 5 Comments

Blogging is immensely popular in Japan — as of April 2007 Japanese was the #1 most “blogged in” language according to Technorati. I haven’t found any newer data, but then again I haven’t looked too hard either. Moving along to the point, several NPB players maintain blogs and I would like to make a selected few a little more accessible to English-speaking fans.

  • Yu Darvish celebrated a birthday, and received 3000 well-wishing comments on his blog.
  • Chiba Lotte submariner Shunsuke Watanabe last updated his blog on August 13, noting that it felt good to work up a sweat in the outdoor Chiba Marine Stadium as opposed to Osaka Dome, while lamenting the struggles of Japan’s Olympic team and his Marines.
  • Speedy Hiroshima Carp centerfielder Masato Akamatsu hit his first home run in a while and was nervous in the Hero Interview that followed, the first of his career. He also included a picture of him with a weird looking stuffed animal in this post.
  • “Hama no Bancho” Daisuke Miura poses for a picture with Osaka Castle and admits to being a “castle maniac”.
  • Kazumi Saito is rehabbing a shoulder injury in Arizona, and fortunately for us has plenty of time to write in his blog. Saito’s blog definitely offers the best insight into what his life is like. A recent post describes his rehab schedule, which is pretty interesting — he has an alternating workout schedule, which requires him to get up no later than 6:15 AM. He has a methodical attitude about it: “For every result, there is a process. I think results without a process cannot be maintained.” Saito seems to be enjoying his time in Arizona. I’ll have to write an entry on his blog alone sometime.

Some of the foreign NPB players maintain blogs as well. I think that topic is worthy of it’s own post so look out for it soon.

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Impending NPB Free Agents

» 12 August 2008 » In mlb prospects, npb » 4 Comments

I’ve written a lot about the top three free agents coming out of NPB after this season, but there are several other lesser names that have been in the news as well. A thread on JapaneseBaseball.com listing a few has made the rounds to EastWindupChronicle and MLB Trade Rumors, and I’ve done some research and found a couple of other guys that have qualified since that list was published. Some of these players qualify under new rules that shorten the amount of service time required to attain free agency.

Fortunately the Japanese media doesn’t shy away from jumping the gun and speculating so let the hot-stove fun begin.

Tomohiro Nioka (INF, Yomiuri Giants): I’m not sure if Nioka will rack up the service time he needs to move internationally by the end of the season. He’s gotten some negative publicity over his extra-marital flirtation with a TV newscaster this season, so the Giants may be ready to move on from him.

Masahiro Araki (2B, Chunichi Dragons): Araki has hinted at trying the free agent market, but I would be surprised if he signed elsewhere.

Hirokazu Ibata (SS, Chunichi Dragons): Nikkei Sports reports that Ibata will remain with Chunichi and “has no interest in filing for free agency.”

Ryoji Aikawa (C, Yokohama BayStars): I don’t see him leaving Yokohama. Haven’t had much luck in finding media reports on his free agency.

Tatsuhiko Kinjoh (CF, Yokohama BayStars): According to Sponichi, Kinjoh is not planning on declaring free agency and will stay with the BayStars, at least for another year.

Naoyuki Ohmura (CF, Softbank Hawks): Ohmura has stated publicly that he wants to try his hand at MLB. “I want to go,” says Ohmura, “life is short and you only get one chance at it.” Ohmura is a contact hitter with zero power. He can probably start for an NPB team that gets power from other positions, or be possibly be a 4th outfielder type in MLB. Think So Taguchi.

Ryota Igarashi (RP, Yakult Swallows): The hard-throwing reliever will carefully think over his options in the off-season. He’s eligible for domestic free agency, and he’s in his first year back from Tommy John surgery.

Akihiro Higashide (2B, Hiroshima Carp): Higashide made some comments that you don’t typically hear from Japanese players: “I’ve worked hard to reach free agency. This is the result of year after year of fighting to be my best. I have to put good results in this kind of year.” True to his words, Higashide is in the midst of a break-out season, third in the Central League with a .334 BA (career BA: .255). It looks like he’s qualified for domestic free agency; there is speculation that he could draw interest from Hanshin, Yomiuri, and Chunichi. I would hate to see Hiroshima lose yet another star.

Norihiro Nakamura (3B, Chunichi Dragons): “Not interested in other teams were his exact words. Has had two MLB flirtations and drama at Kintetsu/Orix before finally settling into a groove with Chunichi. I can’t see him anywhere else.

Masafumi Hirai (RP, Chunichi Dragons): Qualified for free agency last year, but elected to sign a one year contract with Chunichi. Having a bad season. Kind of an MLB sleeper type.

Atsunori Inaba (OF, Nippon Ham Fighters): Inaba’s contract is up, but he’s unlikely to move.

Daisuke Miura (SP, Yokohama BayStars): Miura is finishing up a six-year contract with Yokohama. Hanshin is already gearing up to make a play for him.

Kim Dong-Ju (3B, Doosan (Korea)): Orix is looking at Kim as their third baseman for next year. EastWindup Chronicle has his numbers and some analysis.

Most of these guys will probably stay put — such is free agency in NPB. But with a the new free agency rules and an uptick in trades, there is certainly more potential for movement than there has been in the past.

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