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CL News and Notes: Kazuhiro Wada (CHU) taken off active roster because of offensive struggles

by on Sep.18, 2011 @ 3:02 pm, under NPB

Chunichi Dragons

Kazuhiro Wada was taken off the active roster today because of his struggles at the plate (112 G, 85-for-382, .223/.333/.372).  This would be the first time time he's been taken off the active roster during the regular season since 4/19/2003 (due to a lower back sprain).

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Motonobu Tanishige became the first catcher in his 40s in the CL (and 2nd behind Katsuya Nomura in the NPB) to hit 2 homers in one game.  It was also Tanishige's first 2-homer game since 7/7/2009.

Hanshin Tigers

Takumi Akiyama joined the Ichi-gun players for practice today at Mazda Stadium.

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Yasutomo Kubo started working out at the Naruohama training facilities today.

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Akinobu Mayumi met team president Nobuo Minami after Saturday's game to talk about the team's current situation, under the premise that Mayumi will be back next season.  It appears as though the front office wants to see changes in the coaching staff -- if Mayumi isn't going, then some coaches will need to take responsibility.

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It seems Masataka Nashida may be on the Tigers' radar -- there are also some rumors that the team has already offered him a head coaching job for next season.  And if Nashida has no interest in moving backwards, the Tigers may also be willing to give him a job in the front office.

3 comments on “CL News and Notes: Kazuhiro Wada (CHU) taken off active roster because of offensive struggles

  1. Isaac

    Any more details on Wada’s removal? Are they trying to rest him for the potential playoff run? Obviously, he is getting older, takes a huge hack at the plate, and is well off of his career numbers. But most everyone else in the lineup has struggled this year as well and I don’t see anyone else who would step in and contribute much more than he has.

    1. Gen Post author

      My guess is that they decided to give Wada a breather now that Blanco is back.

      But at 39, it really wouldn’t be a huge shock to see a drop-off in performance, even though he managed to avoid it in 2009 and 2010. The new baseball may also be a factor (trying too hard to compensate).

      A couple of other interesting numbers:

      His walk rate has dropped a bit from last year: 6.5 PA/BB to 7.1 PA/BB

      His strikeout rate has increased a bit from last year: 7.8 PA/K to 8.3 PA/K

      None of these are really big changes, but here’s one that may be of interest: his BABIP last season was .338; that has dropped to .234.

      To put that into perspective, the league BABIPs/BA for 2010 and 2011, respectively: .296/.267 and .277/.243.

      So there has been a league-wide drop in BABIP from last year to this year, so a drop shouldn’t be a huge surprise for Wada as well. But his drop is fairly significant — that could be an indicator that he hasn’t had much luck this year, although it is in line with his batting average (.223).

      Oh, and his BABIP in 2009 and the league BABIP/BA in 2009, just for kicks: .291 and .285/.256, respectively.

      It’ll be interesting to see how he fairs when he returns.

    2. Isaac

      I’m not shocked at all by the drop-off, with the way he swings, if his bat speed slows at all he won’t make solid contact. He definently ran out of gas at the end of last season. Was just a little surprised they took him off the roster, though Chunichi seems to do business like that sometimes (Blanco, last year). But they haven’t locked up a playoff spot yet. Thanks for the stats, maybe there is hope he can turn it around with some rest and little more luck.

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