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3/16/2012: Kosuke Fukudome, Norichika Aoki, Munenori Kawasaki

by on Mar.16, 2012 @ 11:46 am, under MLB

Exhibition games from March 15:

Cleveland Indians 12 - Chicago White Sox 3
Kosuke Fukudome (CWS) started in right and batted fourth.  He went 1-for-2: ground out to first, single to left (run scored), walk (caught trying to steal second), walk.  Fukudome was replaced by a pinch-runner after his walk in the 8th. [Sanspo]

LA Angels 3 - Cincinnati Reds 1
Hisanori Takahashi (LAA) entered the game in the 5th inning, with the Angels up 2-1, and tossed a shutout inning in relief.  Final line: 1 IP, 4 BF, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 0 HR. [Sanspo]

Milwaukee Brewers 6 - San Deigo Padres 4
Norichika Aoki (MIL) entered the game in the 6th on defensive in left.  He went 0-for-2: strikeout swinging, fly out to left. [Sanspo]

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Practice game: Chicago White Sox - Seattle Mariners
Munenori Kawasaki started at third and batted second.  He went 2-for-5 with a homer, two RBI, and two strikeouts (in back-to-back at bats after the homer).  He also handled four chances at third without a problem while also committing a fielding error in the 6th. [Nikkan Sports, Nikkan Sports, Sponichi]

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Hiroki Kuroda has been pushing himself pretty hard during Spring Training this year and told reporters on Thursday that it felt close to being like spring camp in Japan.

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Koji Uehara threw over forty pitches during batting practice on Thursday.

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Ryota Igarashi worked on his change during a bullpen session on Thursday.

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Tsuyoshi Nishioka took part in pre-game practices on Thursday but did not play.  He instead watched the game from the dugout until the 5th inning.  Nishioka is expected to play on Friday.

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Norichika Aoki's strikeout on Wednesday was his first in twenty-eight trips to the plate.

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Tsuyoshi Wada tossed thirty-three pitches to three batters during batting practice on Wednesday.  On Thursday, he was given the green light to start Sunday's exhibition game against the Atlanta Braves.

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Yu Darvish caught a few innings of Wednesday's game against the Colorado Rockies from the dugout before moving out into the bullpen area.

Darvish will not be traveling with the team on their next road trip that begins on Saturday.  He will instead remain in Surprise, AZ in order to prepare for his next start on March 19 (vs Milwaukee).

On Thursday, Darvish did not do any pitching for the second day in a row and spent over ten minutes speaking to pitching coach Mike Maddux.  He also picked up baseballs hit to the outfield during batting practice.

11 comments on “3/16/2012: Kosuke Fukudome, Norichika Aoki, Munenori Kawasaki

  1. muratafam

    Any news of Hideki Matsui?

    It’s getting LATE and I haven’t read anything. Can’t believe he would be unsigned this late in the season.

  2. Carter

    Kawasaki, not a major league player according to most, is having a hell of a spring training even hitting a homer (!!) and Aoki is not getting a hit. Haha.
    What I didn’t like was Roenicke making generalizations about the NPB just because his players was struggling. Kawasaki is the best hitter of the Mariners right now, I guess the NPB is way better than the majors :irony: .

    1. Steve

      It was a practice game, not even an exhibition… Kawasaki isn’t a major leaguer. I would be shocked, shocked if he can make the majors and have an above average season. I don’t see how his game translates to MLB at all.

    2. Carter

      There are mediocre major leaguers who start on the MLB, can’t see why Kawasaki couldn’t do as well. He’s had his great seasons in Japan and he’s impressing so far. I don’t understand why you’re putting a strict limit to his talent, does he gets allergies if he appears on a MLB game or something like that ? I’m just noting that the supposed major leaguer is in trouble and the guy who has no chance to make it is having an electric spring training.

    3. Steve

      Well, you said it right – an electric Spring Training. Lots of people have impressive Spring Trainings. Kawasaki has OPS’ed over .800 once in NPB (despite having a ton of protection around him), doesn’t walk much (2-1 K/BB), doesn’t hit for power. Infielders have had a tough time adjusting to MLB (K Matsui, T Nishioka for example, and both of them were much better players than Kawasaki).

      He could be OK, and he could see MLB playing time because the Mariners are just awful, but I think it’s delusional to think he’ll be above average. That’s not putting a “strict limit on his talent”, that’s having watched him for many years, for many games in his prime.

    4. IM

      I don’t really think Kawasaki is that comparable to Matsui or Nishioka. He is more of a slap/speed guy than those guys. I think that his game could definitely translate to being solid bench guy on any team. He can play either middle infield position capably, steal a base late in the game, maybe get you an infield hit in spot where you need a baserunner. That said, for him to be a MLB everyday player with his skillset he would need to either be about a .350 hitter/high OBP guy, or be a defensive wiz, and I don’t think that is what he is. As a M’s fan I know he wasn’t brought to camp to compete for an everyday position.

    5. Steve

      Funny, that he is a slap/speed guy is the reason I think he won’t be a success. He won’t be beating out as many infield hits or having as many balls squeeze through the gaps – MLB fielders are too good for that. He’ll be good on the basepaths if he can get on, and his defense should be fine.

    6. IM

      Basically agreeing with you on the hitting, not expecting much of that from him, though their are infield hits to be had in MLB for guys that poke it to the left side. I’ve watched enough of Ichiro. Just saying every team needs a guy that can do the other things he can do and that could make him valuable enough to stick for a bit as a bench player. For him, staying on a MLB roster would be considered success. Sounds like he basicly came to the Mariners asking for shot on a minor league contract, those other guys actually got paid real money.

  3. muratafam

    If Taguchi can be a solid MLBer, I don’t see any reason why Kawasaki can’t. Granted, Kawasaki’s swing needs some work and I don’t think that Kawasaki has a MLB-ss type of throwing arm…BUT all he has to do is be better than Chone Figgins…and THAT is NOT too much to ask for!

    1. IM

      Kawasaki will be a backup at best, they won’t put him at 3B. He will have to be better than Brendan Ryan, one of the best defensive SS in the majors, or Dustin Ackley at 2B, probably the best player on the team. Ryan gets hurt fairly often, that would be Kawasaki’s best chance at significant playing time.

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