Sanfo Lassina made his debut with the Kochi Fighting Dogs on September 2. He made an appearance as a pinch-hitter in the 8th inning against the Ehime Mandarin Pirates at Kochi Stadium and struck out on three pitches. He then got the start at third against Ehime at Botchan Stadium on September 4 and grounded out to short in his only trip to the plate in the top of the 3rd and was replaced in the bottom of the inning.
The Route Inn BC League willbe holding tryouts in the United States in Temecula, California on November 7 and 8. The league has been holding tryouts in the US since 2012. They will be working with the Washington Nationals this year. About 100 players are expected to attend.
The Fukushima Hopes announced on August 21 that they reached an agreement with thirty-nine-year-old Tomokazu Oka. He was assigned the uniform number 44. The Hopes released the following statement from Oka:
I am grateful at the opportunity after almost giving up. There's only about a month left to the season, but I will do my best to do what I can to make the Fukushima [fans] happy.
Oka started the year with the Toyama GRN Thunderbirds, but was released in August with a 3-5 record an a 8.22 ERA in twelve games.
Tuffy Rhodes blasted his first home run for the Toyama GRN Thunderbirds earlier today (sixth trip to the plate). He got the start at designated hitter and batted clean-up. He went 2-for-4: BB, HR9 one RBI, F5, DP, 1B9 two RBI.
Tuffy Rhodes played in his first game with the Toyama GRN Thunderbirds on June 6. It was a game against the San-gun Softbank Hawks at Takaoka Seibu Sogo Koen Stadium. Rhodes was the starting designated hitter and batted clean-up. He went 1-for-3 with a walk and a double (Ks, 2B9, BB, Ks). There were 1,936 fans on hand to watch Rhodes' debut game.
I found a couple Youtube clips that might be of some interest:
And for those wondering about Julio Franco, the Ishikawa Million Stars are currently in last place in the ADVANCE-West with a record of 7-18-1. As a player, Franco is 18-for-57 with four doubles, nine runs, fifteen RBI, ten strikeouts, and thirteen walks in eighteen games. (Through June 6)
Franco's Million Stars and Rhodes' Thunderbirds are in the same division. The two teams are next scheduled to play each other on June 12 at Takaoka.
The BC League's Toyama GRN Thunderbirds announced today that they signed forty-six-year-old Tuffy Rhodes to player/coach contract. Rhodes' registered number will be Rhodes and he was assigned the uniform number 16. A press conference is scheduled for June 3. Additional details will be released at a later date.
Toyama posted the following comment from Rhodes (translation take from the official site):
I’m happy to be back with Japan with [Yuji] Yoshioka and the Toyama team. It’s been 6 long year. Nippon yukuzo!! Yosha!!
Niigata Albirex BC vs Fukushima Hopes at Kaiseizan Stadium - 13:00
Musashi Heat Bears vs Gunma Diamond Pegasus at Jomo Shimbun Shikishima Stadium - 13:00
Nippon Ham Ni-gun vs Shinano Granderows at Matsumoto Stadium - 13:00
Hanshin Ni-gun vs Toyama Thunderbirds at Alpen Stadium - 13:00
Fukui Miracle Elephants vs Ishikawa Million Stars at Kanazawa Stadium - 13:00
April 12 (Sunday)
Fukushima Hopes vs Niigata Albirex BC at Hard Off Eco Stadium - 13:00
Hanshin Ni-gun vs Fukui Miracle Elephants at Fukui Phoenix Stadium - 12:00
April 18 (Saturday)
Fukushima Hopes vs Musashi Heat Bears at Kumagaya Sakura Sports Park Stadium - 13:00
Note: the eight teams in the Route Inn BC League will play some games against NPB Ni-gun teams during the 2015 season. These games will be considered official, as such, wins, losses, and team and individual player stats will be included in the season totals.
The Ishikawa Million Stars announced today that they added fifty-six-year-old Julio Franco to their team as a player/manager for the 2015 season. They also announced that they added Masato Kobayashi as a head coach. A press conference will be held on the 10th. Franco will not be in attendance.