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Kenshin Kawakami raves about Wei-Ying Chen

by on Jan.24, 2010 @ 5:00 pm, under MLB

Akinori Iwamura held a baseball clinic for kids in Okinawa on Saturday as part of his Aki Project.  195 kids from 14 different little league teams showed up for the clinic.

Iwamura will be training in Okinawa until the 25th.


Kenshin Kawakami took part in the baseball clinic for kids on Saturday.  He also told reporters how he thought Wei-Ying Chen was MLB material.

"I was watching some footage from Dragons' games and I was surprised at Chen's abilities.  I think he's the best in Japan right now," said Kawakami.  "Based on the footage I saw, he puts a lot of spin on the ball for good movement.  And he was throwing free and clear with a lot of pop."

Kawakami added, "He also has a plus fastball that Majors Leaguers would struggle with.  And not having a lot of secondary pitches shouldn't matter.  If Chen can't make it in the Majors, then no other Japanese pitcher can make it.  I'd like to see him go [to the Majors].  If he doesn't, it'll be a wase of talent."

Kawakami also spoke about his role this season and said that if the team uses him in relief, it'll be because they don't really need him.  Kawakami said that he would like to win, at the very least, 10 games this year.

Kawakami said that he's feeling about as good as he's ever felt over the last 12 years.


Ichiro may be working out like crazy right now, but he'll likely take it easy in February.


Hideki Matsui signed a 4-year contract extension with Mizuno on Saturday and held a press conference to announce the agreement.  He also showed off items he'll be using this season:

  • a bat - slightly thicker (1.5mm) near the barrel
  • batting gloves - red accents
  • outfielder's glove - 1.5cm narrower for a snugger fit
  • cleats - with more shock absorbing padding in the soles, also with red accents
  • under garment to provide knee support - of course, with red accents

Matsui told reporters at the conference that he hopes to play at least until he's 40 -- which also happens to be how old he'll be when the contract ends.