Welcome to Yakyubaka.com

NPB: Samurai Japan 1st Round Rotation and other notes

by on Feb.05, 2009 @ 12:48 am, under NPB, WBC

USA Today picked Kenshin Kawakami (5th) and Koji Uehara (18th) in their 100 Names You Need to Know feature. While I'm looking forward to both their seasons, I have a feeling Kawakami will end up with better numbers than Uehara in this, their first season in the Majors.

A lot will also depend on just how healthy Uehara is. If he's able to let go of his fear of re-injury, I think he could actually have a really nice season for the O's.

...Yu Darvish had his second bullpen session yesterday and tossed 88 pitches. He was apparently throwing around 145km/h (~91mph) and pitching coach Masato Yoshii said that he could probably hit 150km/h (~93mph) right now in a game situation.

...Norichika Aoki stood in the batters box for Yoshinori Sato's bullpen session yesterday. Said Aoki, "There was improvement in his fastball. Seemed like he had more control than last year. Yoshinori has a really good fastball so I thought it might be good for me to stand-in and get my eyes used to fastballs."

Aoki taking pitches during Yoshinori's bullpen session

When asked how his batting was coming along, Aoki added, "I much farther along than I was last year at this point. ... The next thing I need to do is see if my timing is on."

...The WBC rotation for the first round appears to have been decided.

Hisashi Iwakuma
Daisuke Matsuzaka
Yu Darvish

4 comments on “NPB: Samurai Japan 1st Round Rotation and other notes

  1. knucklehead7

    The Orioles’ defense has the potential to be very good with the addition of Pie and Izturis. An outfield of Pie, Jones, and Markakis might even be one of the better defensive outfields in baseball, so that should help Uehara out some.

  2. knucklehead7

    Izturis was very good last year and is a huge upgrade over what they had. Roberts isn’t as good as him, but he was still solid last year. I guess the best way to put it would be that it has the potential to be solid, but not nearly as good as the outfield.

  3. Gwynar

    If the O’s have a decent infield with above average outfielders, then I think Uehara has a chance to put up some decent numbers. I still like him better out of the pen. And I think the NL may have been better suited to him (not only for less offense, but also because he’s probably used to no-DH rules).

    All that said though, I think he can still find success in the AL provided he’s healthy. I think he’ll handle the pressure fairly well. I’m not quite sure about his conditioning — he could hit a brick wall faster than Matsuzaka did in his first season.

    I do know that when he’s on, he can be a pretty tough pitcher to hit against.

Comments are closed.