Tag Archive > Toshihiro Noguchi

Offseason Changes: Yokohama BayStars

» 22 January 2011 » In npb » 16 Comments

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be publishing team-by-team summaries of this offseason’s NPB transactions. There aren’t enough hours in the day to make this a comprehensive list of all movement, so we’ll focus on the highest-impact changes. Our series starts at the bottom of the Central League, which again means the Yokohama BayStars.

Coming: Hichori Morimoto, Shogo Yamamoto, Go Kida, Naoto Watanabe, Brandon Mann, Clayton Hamilton, Brent Leach, Ikki Shimamura, Koji Ohnuma, Kuan Yu Chen

Going: Seiichi Uchikawa, Hayato Terahara, Kazuya Takamiya, Chris Bootcheck, Stephen Randolph, Jose Castillo, Atsushi Kizuka,Yataro Sakamoto, Toshihiro Noguchi, Takahiro Saeki, Shingo Nonaka, Kentaro Kuwabara

Staying: Shuichi Murata, Brett Harper, Termel Sledge, Tatsuhiko Kinjoh, Tomo Ohka

Summary: A lot of turnover for the BayStars again this year, headlined by the losses of Uchikawa and Terahara. Uchi will be missed, as he was Hama’s most consistent on-base threat, and while Morimoto is a useful player, he doesn’t match up at the plate. And trading Terahara for Yamamoto… I just can’t understand that one. Even if they were dead set on acquiring a lefty, they could have simply signed Eric Stults or kept Randolph. But ‘Stars took a different approach to their import roster this year, signing less experienced minor leaguers Mann, Hamilton and Leach rather than getting more 4A guys. Signing a number of guys and seeing if one of them works out is actually a decent strategy for a team that can’t realistically expect to content in 2011. Or perhaps ownership is keeping the payroll down in anticipation of a team sale.

Yokohama finished last in run production and run prevention last year, and didn’t acquire any veteran talent that will immediately improve the team on either side of the ball. So is there any hope by the Bay in 2011? If there is, it has to come from the team’s young talent. The BayStars’ 2010 draft focused on college and Industrial League players who can help soon, and top picks Kota Suda, Kisho Kagami, and Sho Aranami should all be in the mix for ichi-gun time as rookies. Yokohama doesn’t have great organizational pitching depth, but any steps forward taken by Takayuki Makka, Hitoshi Fujie, Atori Ohta and Yoh Sugihara will be meaningful. Overall, though, this looks like a team that is headed for another last place finish.

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Free Agency Results

» 17 February 2009 » In mlb, npb » 1 Comment

A look on the seven NPB players who qualified and elected to file for free agency after 2008, where I predicted them signing and where they actually signed.

Koji Uehara (P, Yomiuri Giants): Signed with Baltimore; I predicted St. Louis.

Kenshin Kawakami (P, Chunichi Dragons): Signed with Atlanta, which is where I predicted.

Ken Takahashi (P, HIroshima Carp): Signed a minor league deal with Toronto; I predicted a major league deal with the Mets. 

Ryoji Aikawa (C,  Yokohama BayStars):  Signed with Yakult; I suggested that he might get a minor league deal with Detroit. I thought I predicted Rakuten as an NPB destination but I can’t find that now.

Daisuki Miura (P, Yokohama BayStars): Stayed with Yokohama; I predicted he’d sign with Hanshin.

Toshihiro Noguchi (C, Hanshin Tigers): Signed with Yokohama, which is where I predicted.

Norihiro Nakamura (3B, Chunichi Dragons): Signed with Rakuten, which is where I predicted.

So I got 3/7. Not too bad. The last two were pretty poorly kept secrets though, so it’s more like 1/5.

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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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Seven File For Free Agency

» 19 November 2008 » In mlb prospects, npb » 13 Comments

NPB’s free agency filing period ended on the 19th (JST) with seven players exercising their rights to become free agents. Unlike MLB, in NPB it’s not a given that players eligible for free agency will actually file. It’s actually the exception rather than the rule. It’s worth exploring why that is, but that’s a post for another day. For now, let’s take a look at the seven guys who filed and where they’ll wind up.

Koji Uehara (P, Yomiuri Giants): Written plenty on Uehara already. I see him going to the Cardinals as a swingman.

Kenshin Kawakami (P, Chunichi Dragons): Written about him too. I think he’ll sign with the Braves and fill a mid-rotation spot. 

Ken Takahashi (P, HIroshima Carp): Veteran lefty wants to try MLB. The Mets seem like a logical fit.

Ryoji Aikawa (C,  Yokohama BayStars): Wants to play in the majors, and has hired Alan Nero as his agent. Has already worked out for a couple of MLB teams. He’ll probably only command a minor league deal, so he’ll probably get a short with someone looking for organizational depth at catcher. Maybe Detroit. 

Daisuki Miura (P, Yokohama BayStars): Decided to test the market. Will discuss a move to the majors if it comes up. Hanshin is making a play for him, and I think that’s where he’ll wind up.

Toshihiro Noguchi (C, Hanshin Tigers): Veteran backup catcher is exploring his options. Hanshin seems resigned to him leaving. I think he’ll wind up with Yokohama to replace Aikawa.

Norihiro Nakamura (3B, Chunichi Dragons): Previously said that he wanted to finish his career with Chunichi, changed his mind when they only offered him a one-year deal and decided to move him off third. Rakuten and Nippon Ham are both interested in his services, but I’ll give Rakuten the edge in signing him.

These players are free to begin negotiating with teams from the 20th.

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