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    Posts Tagged ‘pitcher’

    Uehara signs with Orioles

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 January 7日 Wednesday

    A 2 year deal with details still to be hammered out. He’ll likely be their No.2 starter since the Orioles only have Gutherie in their vacant rotation.

    Two industry sources have confirmed that the Orioles have agreed in principle on a two-year deal with Japanese right-hander Koji Uehara.

    The deal is pending specific contract language and a physical, which is expected to occur possibly later this week, though an appointment in Baltimore has not been scheduled.

    Uehara gets the starting job that he wanted, and the Orioles get their foot in the door in the Japanese market (though only superstars seem to matter in this regard, don’t see many Rays, Phillies, or Astros apparel around Tokyo.)

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    Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, MLB, NPB, opinion, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Submarine knuckleballer… and it’s a she!

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 November 17日 Monday

    This story is full of goodies for the obscure baseball lover.

    The newly formed Kansai Independent League, which will begin play in 2009, has just held its draft. This is the 3rd independent league in Japan to start operation this decade, after the pioneering Shikoku-Kyushu Island League and the Baseball Challenge League (Hoku-Shinetsu region).

    yoshida_press 

    yoshida_test

    The Kansai league features the first female owner of a pro ball club in Japan as the Kobe 9Cruise (yes, that’s the team name) is owned by Kazuyo Hirota who runs a local mineral water company. The league held an open combined tryout on 4 November, and the draft on 16 November where Kobe selected Eri Yoshida, a 16 year old high school girl who is a submarine knuckleball pitcher (got all that?), with one of its picks after they saw what they liked in the tryout. Yoshida passed the first and second tests of the tryout, then pitched an inning where she struck out the first batter on a knuckler, walked the second batter, then got the next two batters to ground out to second and pop out to short.

    She received a compliment from a former Yomiuri player and new Osaka pitching coach that her knuckler and fastball both have the same delivery. Her fastball is in the high 60s, so I assume she relies almost entirely on the knuckler. It’s reported that she’s considering transferring to a Kobe high school, and indie games tend to be played on weekends, so I guess this could somehow all work out, it’ll an interesting story to follow as Yoshida becomes the first professional female baseball player in Japan (in a men’s league, there was a women’s league for 2 brief years following the war).

    Posted in 02_English, baseball, high school, information, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

    2008.7.23 HS Baseball East Tokyo Quarterfinals

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 July 23日 Wednesday

    Went to see two games of high school baseball at Jingu Stadium today. They were quarterfinal games in the East Tokyo tournament (which started with 144 teams) to qualify for the Koshien summer tournament in August which crowns the national champion.

    Game 1 (9am): Kanto Daiichi 3 – 1 Nittai Ebara

    9am start time is actually necessary this time of the year (as you’ll see in the game 2 summary). Kanto wasn’t seeded in this tournament, but is one of the powerhouses nonetheless as it knocked off No.1 seed Teikyo in an earlier round (18 July). Ebara was simply overmatched, even though their submarine pitcher Ozawa valiantly kept them in the game, the lineup was no match against the two lefties thrown at them by Kanto, Ohki and Shirai as they almost evenly split the workload bringing in Shirai in the 5th inning and he simply overpowered the Ebara hitters. Thankfully, Chris of Box Office Japan showed up during the 9th inning of this game with some brew to beat the heat.

    Here’s the Ebara submariner:

    And one of Kanto’s cheering songs which for some reason is “Tequila!”  😛

    Game 2 (11:30am): Kokushikan 12 – 4 Tokyo Adachi Nitta

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in 02_English, baseball, culture, information, music, opinion, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

    Cloning Chad Bradford

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 June 25日 Wednesday

    One season he’s a recently converted submarine reliever for the Oakland A’s writing regular diary entries to the great A’s blog A’s Nation, giving us insight into how minor leaguers live and play, as well as how (great) baseball organizations are run from the inside.

    Next season, he’s called up to the big club, and has not allowed a single run in any of his appearances since being called up at the end of May.

    The man is unheralded Brad Ziegler. A’s have just successfully cloned Chad Bradford. Amazing. I’ve picked him up in both of the competitive fantasy leagues I’m in  🙂

    And then there’s Brad Ziegler. He’s a side-arm reliever for the A’s, and his fastball tops out at about 86 MPH. It’s basically his only real pitch – he throws it 89% of the time, mixing in a below average slider just to keep hitters occasionally off balance. Just based on velocity, his stuff could charitably described as marginal. If he was a lefty, he’d be described as crafty, which is code for can’t-break-glass-with-his-fastball.

    But what he lacks in velocity, he makes up for in movement and deception. His fastball has so much sink, in fact, that in his first 11 1/3 innings of major league pitching, he’s posting a 73.5% GB% and an 8.33 GB/FB rate. He’s faced 40 batters since the A’s brought him up from Triple-A, and a whopping three of them have managed to hit the ball in the air.

    Apparently, Billy Beane missed having Chad Bradford in the bullpen, so they decided to create another one. Until 2006, Ziegler was a traditional over the top pitcher, but given his limited chances to make the majors as a “normal” pitcher, the A’s convinced him to become a side-arming reliever. It’s worked wonders, as he hasn’t given up a home run since at any level, and he’s run a GB% of 60% or higher at every stop along the way.

    Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, MLB | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »