Tag Archive > Ryohei Tanaka

Another Japanese Signing for Baltimore

» 15 January 2012 » In nichibei, npb » 15 Comments

… this time lefty reliever Yoshihiro Doi on a minor league contract (via Nikkan Sports).

Doi is an interesting case. He qualified for free agency after the 2010 season and immediately headed to the Western Hemisphere, an endeavor that was totally overlooked on this site. According to Nikkan Sports, Doi didn’t find any takers among MLB and Mexican League teams, and although he passed an Indy League tryout, he wound up spending 2011 on the shelf with knee visa problems. This year he hired agency IBC NY to represent him, and caught on with Baltimore. He’ll join former Chiba Lotte Marine Ryohei Tanaka in the O’s system.

Doi is 35 and hasn’t shown much over the last few years, but kudos to him for sticking to his guns and finding an opportunity. Taking my usual glass-half-full view, he’s lefthanded and had enough skill to hang around NPB for 12 years, so that’s something. Here are links to his stats and stuff.

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Orioles in on H. Takahashi

» 30 November 2009 » In mlb, mlb prospects » 1 Comment

Sponichi is reporting that Baltimore is looking at free agent lefty Hisanori Takahashi, where he would potentially re-join former Yomiuri teammate Koji Uehara.

There’s no indication of whether the O’s view Takahashi as a starter or reliever, but international scouting director John Stockstill said that if the team does make him an offer, it won’t be until January. Baltimore has become active in the Japanese free agent market; last year they were in on Kenshin Kawakami, were the only MLB to look at Ryoji Aikawa, and eventually signed Uehara and Ryohei Tanaka. I could see them picking up Hideki Matsui this offseason as well.

For more on Takahashi, please see my profile of him, and his velocity data.

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NPB Bullet Points (2009/08/04)

» 04 August 2009 » In npb » 2 Comments

It feels like it’s been a while since I’ve actually written about baseball. Let’s get up to speed with a few bullet points.

Japanese Stories:

English Stories:

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Tanaka Joins Orioles

» 06 May 2009 » In mlb prospects » Comments Off

I’ve come across several news sources saying that former Chiba Lotte Marine Ryohei Tanaka has signed a minor league deal with the Orioles. I find this strange as the news was widely reported during the offseason. I guess it’s official now.

The only one that offers any new information is this Mainichi report that says that Tanaka will spend May at the Orioles’ extended spring training facility in Sarasota, and then join 1A Aberdeen in June.

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Ryohei Tanaka Workout

» 17 March 2009 » In mlb prospects » Comments Off

The Orioles’ fan community has shown some interest in Ryohei Tanaka, so I thought I’d share this video of his workout in January that I stumbled across. Looks like he has a shuuto.

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Minor Leaguers Going Overseas This Offseason

» 19 February 2009 » In mlb prospects » 4 Comments

This offseason, we’ve seen a large number of released NPB players announce an intent to pursue contracts with MLB organizations. I’m not sure if this is a record, but it’s the most I can recall. I’m not including Junichi Tazawa and Ken Takahashi in this list, because Takahashi turned down NPB offers, and Tazawa would have been drafted. All of these guys were either released by their NPB teams, or in the case of Yamarin, not drafted.

  • Shigeki Noguchi -> agreed with Blue Jays, failed physical
  • Ken Kadokura -> Cubs
  • Kazuhiro Takeoka -> Unsigned (Braves?)
  • Katsuhiko Maekawa -> Cardinals
  • Takateru Iyono -> Unsigned
  • Tatsuya Ozeki -> trying out with the Rockies in March
  • Ryohei Tanaka -> Orioles
  • Michinao Yamamura -> Unsigned (Golden League?)
  • Koichi Misawa -> Unsigned (played in the Northern League in ’08)
  • Yoshinori Yamarin -> Braves
  • Itsuki Shoda -> Sinon Bulls (Taiwan)

Five Players are still unsigned, which doesn’t surprise me, but I can see Yamamura and Iyono getting a shot as they’re still in their 20’s. Takeoka has worked out twice for the Braves and played AAA ball, so he might a chance too.

Notable MLB returnees:

  • Jeremy Powell -> Pirates
  • Jason Standridge -> Marlins
  • Craig Brazell -> Orioles
  • Winston Abreu -> Rays

Without a doubt, all of the players listed above obvious face big uphill battles to making it to the majors. But the fact that they are getting a chance indicates either a heightened respect for the level of talent in Japan, or a greater need to find low-cost, low-risk players through non-traditional channels. There will be 22 Japanese players in 14 big league camps this spring.

Reasons not to write these guys off just yet: Tomo Ohka, Takashi Saito, Hector Carrasco, Buddy Carlyle, Brian Shouse and  Pedro Feliciano. Saito looked like he was on the downside of his career when he came over, and none of the other guys had lasting success at the top level in Japan. All have been at least useful MLB players.

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Found: Ryohei Tanaka’s Stats

» 15 February 2009 » In mlb prospects » Comments Off

That was easier than I expected — I only had to look as far as my rss reader, where what I was looking for on the excellent Marine Blue blog. The author published a retrospective on Tanaka after he was released by the Marines, which includes abbreviated stats and a number of photos. Highly recommended. The author published similar retrospectives on all the players that left the Marines over the last offseason. 

Here are the stats, re-purposed in English.

Year Appearances Wins Losses Saves Innings K ERA
2001 E1 0 0 0 1/3 0 54.00
2002 E25 1 5 0 68 1/3 52 5.93
2003 5 0 0 0 10 5 8.10
2003 E23 0 1 0 30 2/3 25 6.16
2004 E20 0 1 3 23 12 4.30
2005 E1 0 0 0 1 0 63.00
2006 E35 3 0 0 39 1/3 20 4.12
2007 E28 4 3 0 67 34 4.70
2008 E23 1 4 0 46 20 6.07

Note that numbers prefixed with “E” in the appearances column are Eastern (minor) League appearances. I’ve italicized his 2003, top-level appearances. You can learn a lot more about the Japanese minor leagues on Deanna’s site.

Generally speaking I don’t take minor league stats too seriously. There are too many things to discredit them — the player might be working on a curveball, might be facing guys on rehab assignments, might be playing in front of an inexperienced defense. But from a young pitcher with eight years experience, I’d like to see some signs of improvement and a decent K rate, both of which are missing from Tanaka’s resume. Maybe he’ll take to US coaching and conditioning and improve, but the numbers would seem to indicate that he has a long way to go.

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Ryohei Tanaka’s Stats

» 14 February 2009 » In mlb prospects » 1 Comment

Orioles fans, while you’re here — anyone interested in seeing recent Baltimore acquisition Ryohei Tanaka’s NPB minor league stats?

It’s a little work to get ‘em, and if no one’s interested I won’t bother.

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Update on Minor Leaguers

» 09 February 2009 » In nichibei » 1 Comment

Things are progressing slowly for the ex-NPB farmhands who are looking minor league deals in America, but there is some news:

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Yet Another Minor Leaguer to Attempt a Move to MLB

» 11 January 2009 » In mlb prospects » 1 Comment

Former SoftBank Hawks pitcher Michinao Yamamura is the latest released NPB minor leaguer to announce he’s taking a shot at signing on with an American organization. He’ll be flying to Arizona on the 25th to spend 4 days playing winter league games and trying out. “My agent is talking to a number of teams about a minor league contract. Ever since I threw in international games in college, going overseas has been a dream,” said the righthander. Yamamura, 30, has made 25 appearances at the top level in Japan, going 2-2 with a 3.58 era in 27 2/3 innings.

I can’t remember ever hearing about this many released  minor leaguers attempting to move to MLB organizations in a single offseason. Perhaps I’m paying more attention this year.

So far, I’ve come across:

All of these players have been released by their NPB organizations. With the exception of Kadokura, Noguchi, and Maekawa, none of them spent that much time at the top level in Japan. Even if they are signed, most of these guys are more likely to be organizational players rather than actual MLB prospects, but it’s still an interesting trend.

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