Tag Archive > Tom O’Malley

NPB Bullet Points: Petagine Lands, New Jobs for Scouts

» 28 May 2010 » In nichibei, npb » 3 Comments

It’s been all too long since I’ve done a bullet points round up… but here we go with another edition.

Only Japanese links today…

  • Roberto Petagine has made his NPB return, and looks set to get his first ichi-gun start with SoftBank on May 29, DHing and batting 6th. Petagine’s spot on the roster comes at the expense of Beom-Ho Lee, who was demoted the other day after hitting .218 in 34 games. Incumbent DH Nobuhiko Matsunaka has been even worse than Lee, struggling with a .197/.267/.318 slash line.
  • In other SoftBank news, Munenori Kawasaki has racked up enough service time for domestic NPB free agency. I can’t see him leaving unless it’s to go to MLB though.
  • The Yakult Swallows seemed to really want Kazuo Matsui.
  • Here I go rattling the cage again: the Yankees had two scouts watch Yu Darvish’s last start. This is the second time they’ve seen him this year.
  • Keiichi Yabu wants to play again, and is looking into playing in a US independent league. The idea of a return to the Hanshin Tigers came up, but Yabu seems to prefer the Indy leagues.
  • The Carp promoted Dominican lefty Dioni Soriano to ichi-gun, and he promptly pitched a scoreless inning of relief in his debut. Soriano took the long way to NPB — playing at the Carp’s Dominican Academy, moving to Japan as a renshusei (practice player), spending time in the Shikoku Island League, re-joining Hiroshima as an ikusei player, and finally signing a regular contract this season. If Soriano pans out, he gives the Carp a much-needed bullpen lefty.
  • Scouting news: SoftBank has hired Kent Blasingame as its US-based scout, and former Hanshin scout Tom O’Malley is working with the Wasserman Media Group with the intent of helping NPB players move to MLB. Blasingame’s father, Don, played in Japan and managed the old Nankai Hawks and later the Hanshin Tigers.

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Mench Slumping

» 06 April 2009 » In npb » 3 Comments

Kevin Mench’s NPB career isn’t off to a great start — through three games he’s 0-11 with three strikeouts and eight flyouts. This comes after a bad spring as well. The typically hyperbolic and alarmist press corps that follows Hanshin is already questioning his future with the Tigers. One article even dragged out the name Mike Greenwell the veteran MLB slugger who played seven games for the Tigers before God told him to retire. I don’t think that’s quite fair; I’d be stunned if Mench pulled that kind of stunt. And George Arias got off to a poor start with the Tigers and wound up being a good player for them. Then again, Arias had already established himself in Japan.

Despite the media, Mench will get a little more time to prove himself in Japan. The Tigers have flown in US-based scout and former Tiger Tom O’Malley to work with Mench, and will keep him around for a month. Hanshin’s owner seems to be behind him too, saying “if he hits just one big blast he’ll be hard to pitch to. He’s hit 89 home runs in the majors so I want him to start hitting soon”.

Still, this gives you an idea of the expectations and pressure on an MLB import joining a popular franchise in Japan. Foreign players tend to be on short leashes, particularly high-salaried ones.

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