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NPB News and Notes from 10/26

by on Oct.25, 2008 @ 11:16 pm, under NPB

Thought I'd start a "NPB News and Notes" section for quick headlines that I'm seeing coming through the wires.

  • NikkanSports: Alex Ramirez is the Central League Climax Series MVP. His 2-run homer last night helped the Giants break a 2-2 tie in the 8th.
  • Sankei Sports: New Hanshin Tigers manager Akinobu Mayumi will be wearing the number 72 next season. The 7 comes from his playing days with the Tigers and the 2 from his Taiyo Club days. The official announcement of his appointment will take place on the 27th.
  • Sankei Sports: Hidetaka Kawasaki (Orix Buffaloes, P) will most likely be exercising his right to become a free agent this off-season.
  • Sponichi: Ryota Igarashi (Yakult Swallows, P) will try to keep his options open and focus, apparently, on being like Shinjo. The Swallows will most likely offer him a multi-year deal, but Igarashi also has his eyes on the Majors and may field offers from other teams in the NPB.
  • Sports Hochi: Yoshinori Sato (was the Ham Fighters pitching coach between 2005 and 2007) has been hired to become the Rakuten Eagles pitching coach.
  • Sponchi: The Softbank Hawks are gearing up for their Fall Camp session, set to begin on the 26th. Both Ichi-gun and Ni-gun players will be practicing together at Miyazaki. The theme will be "Growth."
  • Sponichi: The Dragons have a few FA players to consider. Kenshin Kawakami and Hitoki Iwase are two players that are linked to the Majors, but both have said they are still in the middle of deciding where they will play next season. It appears Iwase is likely to remain. Nakamura, Kawakami, Ibata, and Morino have said throughout the season that they would like to remain with the Dragons.
  • Nikkan Sports: ...and Nikkan Sports is reporting that the Dragons might be offering Iwase a 4-year deal.
  • Nikkan Sports: ...Nikkan Sports is also reporting that it is likely Kawakami will test the FA waters in the Majors. Teams that have been linked to him: Mets, Indians, and Diamondbacks. Padres, Angels, Mariners, Giants, Red Sox, Cubs, and Braves appear to be other possible destinations.
  • Sponichi: Tyrone Woods may not be returning to the Dragons next season. For him, it's all about the money. The Dragons are worried about his age (he'll be turning 40) and his diminishing fielding skill set. But with 5 home runs in 7 Climax Series games, the Dragons would still like to keep him around. But their initial offer of a base, 1 year contract at US$3M has been turned down by Woods (he made US$7M this season). Negotiations are set to re-start on the 27th. If Woods and the Dragons can't agree on a contract, it is possible that he may move over to the Pacific League where he can DH.

8 comments on “NPB News and Notes from 10/26

  1. Gwynar

    According to Sanspo (dated 10/21), he’ll probably test the domestic FA market. The article mentions that Higashide wants to see what other teams would be willing to pay him. The owner, in turn, said that if Higashide wants to test the market, then "that’s what he should do."

  2. knucklehead7

    Thanks for the information Gen. Do you think he can repeat the season he had this year? It was the first time he’s ever hit .300 and even then his OBP was largely batting average driven.

  3. Gwynar

    I’m not really sure. I didn’t really get to watch him all that much this season. But based on the numbers he’s put up, he looks like a severe slap hitter (13 extra base hits this season, 36 over his last 3 full seasons) with good bat control.

    This is just a guess, but it would seem as though luck played into his .310 batting average this season. And if you’ll remember, he was batting .340 as late as the All-Star Break (end of July) and basically saw his BA drop 30 points in just about 2 months.

  4. knucklehead7

    I did a quick calculation of his BABIP and it came out to .350.

    Depending on the replacement, it might not be a bad thing for the Carp to have him move on. Do the Carp have anyone ready to replace him that you know of?

  5. Gwynar

    I don’t really know of anyone off the top of my head. But if I hear or think of anything, I’ll be sure to post it here.

  6. knucklehead7

    From the Western League leaders that you posted, Takaaki Matsumoto was third in batting average and second in OBP. I wonder if he would be a viable option for them at second base.

  7. Gwynar

    To be entirely honest, I’m not really sure. But here’s more information on him:

    81 G, 310 PA, 260 AB, 39 R, 72 H, 10 2B, 6 3B, 0 HR, 30 RBI, 14 SH, 4 SF, 22 SB, 8 CS, 32 BB, 31 SO, 2 GIDP, .277 BA, .362 SLG, .351 OBP

    He has also played in some Ichi-gun games over the years as well (between 2005-2008):

    146 G, 353 PA, 300 AB, 37 R, 74 H, 2 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 11 RBI, 23 SH, 1 SF, 14 SB, 5 CS, 24 BB, 72 SO, 3 GIDP, .247 BA

    Looks eerily similar to Higashide (slap hitter, no power, maybe some bat control), with perhaps a little more speed. He’s 24 so he’s 4 years younger than Higashide. I suppose they wouldn’t lose too much by using him next season.

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