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NPB: Kazuo Fukumori’s future; Matsuka becomes 4th ToDai grad to play Ichi-gun

by on Jun.11, 2009 @ 1:05 am, under NPB

HANSHIN TIGERS

...A number of media outlets (here and here to name two) are questioning Akinobu Mayumi's move to bring Jeff Williams into last night's game against the Seibu Lions with the bases loaded. Why? Because Williams had given up 11 walks over 22.1 innings of work prior to being called on to stop the bleeding.

NIPPON HAM FIGHTERS

...Atsunori Inaba was removed in the top of the third of last night's game after injuring his right foot during his at bat in the first inning. While running out a fly ball he hit to right, Inaba appeared to tweak his left leg. He was later diagnosed with inflammation in his left biceps femoris (左大腿二頭筋および筋膜の炎症). Inaba's status for today's game will depend on whether or not he's still in pain.

RAKUTEN EAGLES

...The Eagles upgraded Jobu Morita's Ikusei contract and then added him to the active roster prior to yesterday's game against the Dragons. Morita was given the number 98 and his registered name with the NPB offices is Jobu. He was the starting third baseman in last night's game and batting 8th. Jobu went 1-for-3 with a double and a strike out.

...The 15 runs and 19 hits the Eagles surrendered last night against the Chunichi Dragons was a season high.

YOKOHAMA BAY STARS

...Takahiro Matsuka became just the fourth Tokyo University (ToDai) graduate to play in an Ichi-gun game when he made an appearance against the Nippon Ham Fighters on Wednesday afternoon. He tossed a perfect 8th, retiring Eiichi Koyano on a fly to right, Jason Botts on a fly-out to second, and Yoshio Itoi on a ground out to short.

The last Tokyo University graduate to appear in a game was Ryohei Endo of the Nippon Ham Fighters in 2001. In all, 5 players have made it to the NPB (but only 4 have actually appeared in an Ichi-gun game): Shinji Niihari (Taiyo Whales), Takashi Ide (Chunichi Dragons), Itaru Kobayashi (Chiba Lotte Marines), Ryohei Endo (Nippon Ham Fighters), and now Takahiro Matsuka.

OTHERS

...If Kazuo Fukumori returns to Japan, he'll have to bank on the Eagles taking him back. Otherwise there's little to no chance other teams will want to risk signing him based on current FA signing rules that stipulate they'll need to pay a compensation fee based on his prior contact, which in this case would be 80% of 83M yen. His other options would include sitting out the rest of the year and finding an interested NPB next season, trying out for a team in another Asia league like the KBL or CPBL, or latching onto an independent league team in the US.