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[1/31/2014] Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hiroyuki Nakajima, Masahiro Tanaka, Brandon Duckworth

by on Jan.31, 2014 @ 11:58 pm, under MLB
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Former Rakuten Eagle Brandon Duckworth has joined the New York Yankees' scouting department.  From MLB.com' Bryan Hoch:

The Yankees on Thursday announced five additions to their Major League and professional scouting department, a group that includes former big league pitchers Brandon Duckworth and Dan Giese.

... Duckworth, 38, concluded a 16-year playing career last season. His playing career spanned eight big league seasons with the Phillies (2001-03), Astros (2004-05) and Royals (2006-08). Duckworth pitched the last two seasons for Japan's Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles as a teammate of right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, completing his career by celebrating the 2013 Japan Series title.

Source: MLB.com 1/30/2014 via Sponichi 1/31/2014

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Former Yakult Swallow Chris Leroux has reportedly agreed to a minor league deal with the New York Yankees.  From Sportsnet 590's Alex Seixeiro:

Canadian Chris Leroux (went to my high school in Mississauga) has accepted an offer to join Yankees spring training. Go get 'em Chris.

Source: Tweet 1/28/2014 via Sponichi 1/31/2014

And from MLB.com's Joey Nowak:

The nine players signed to Minor League deals are: right-hander Bruce Billings, infielder Russ Canzler, right-hander Robert Coello, right-hander Brian Gordon, right-hander Chris Leroux, outfielder Antoan Richardson, infielder Scott Sizemore, infielder Yangervis Solarte and infielder Zelous Wheeler.

Source: MLB.com 1/29/2014 via Sponichi 1/31/2014

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So Taguchi believes Ichiro Suzuki will have a good season this year.  Taguchi watched Ichiro work out for about three hours in Kobe on Thursday and felt the veteran appeared determined and focused.

Source: Tokyo Sports 1/31/2014

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Daisuke Matsuzaka can opt-out in his contract if he does not get promoted by June 1.  From ESPN's Adam Rubin:

Dice-K, because he has six-plus years of MLB service and re-signed with the Mets as what is known as a XX(B) free agent, automatically receives certain rights: The Mets must inform him five days before Opening Day that he has made the team; otherwise, the Mets must release him, or pay him a $100,000 retention bonus to send him to the minors. Dice-K also automatically gets a June 1 "out" in his contract as part of the CBA if he is not promoted to the majors by then and wants free agency.

Source: ESPN 1/30/2014 via Daily Sports 1/31/2014

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Mizuno announced that they signed a brand ambassador contract with Hiroyuki Nakajima.  Under the terms of the agreement, Nakajima will use Mizuno gloves, provide advice and opinion on future glove designs, and help with public relations.

Source: official announcement via Sponichi 1/31/2014

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Updates on Masahiro Tanaka from Friday, January 31, 2014:

  • Tanaka worked out alone at Kobo Stadium today with all of his former teammates out in Okinawa for the start of spring camp. [Nikkan Sports 1/31/2014]
  • Tanaka threw thirty-one pitches in the bullpen on Thursday.  Senichi Hoshino dropped by the facilities to see his former ace one last time.  The two met for the first time since Tanaka's contract with the Yankees became official. [Sanspo 1/31/2014]
  • A number of former Rakuten teammates, including Motohiro Shima, Shinichiro Koyama, Koji Aoyama, and Manabu Mima, held a small farewell gathering  for Tanaka in Sendai on Wednesday night.  The group presented Tanaka with a Hermes necktie and a tie pin in the shape of a clover.  He plans to wear both during his press conference in New York. [Nikkan Sports 1/31/2014]
  • About ten former teammates were at the gathering.  Tanaka was also given a card case. [Sponichi 1/31/2014]
  • Tanaka will most likely head to New York some time early next week for a press conference at Yankee Stadium. [Sanspo 1/31/2014]
  • Tanaka's travel schedule to New York will be finalized once his visa clears.  [Sponichi 1/31/2014]

[5/16/2013] Injury Updates: Yamamoto (CHU), Tanaka (YAK), Sekimoto (HAN), Duckworth (RAK)

by on May.16, 2013 @ 10:42 pm, under NPB
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Chunichi Dragons

Masahiro Yamamoto was taken off the active roster today with a bruise on his left shin -- he took a batted ball off his left leg during his start against Nippon Ham on Wednesday.  The injury is not considered serious.  There were already plans to give him an extended rest.

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/16/2013, Sports Hochi 5/16/2013

Yakult Swallows

Masahiko Tanaka has decided not to go under the knife after suffering a fracture in his left collarbone during a game against Hanshin on the 12th.  He will likely require two to three months for a full recovery.

Source: Sanspo 5/16/2013

Hanshin Tigers

Kentaro Sekimoto was taken off the active roster today with pain in his left calf.  He reportedly suffered the injury during a game on the 12th.

Source: Sports Hochi 5/16/2013

Rakuten Eagles

Brandon Duckworth hurt his left hamstring during his start against Yokohama on Wednesday and was taken off the active roster today.  The injury does not appear to be severe.

Source: Sponichi 5/16/2013

Rakuten Eagles News and Notes: March 27, 2013

by on Mar.27, 2013 @ 11:48 pm, under NPB
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2nd round draft pick Takahiro NorimotoBrandon Duckworth, and Manabu Mima, will likely start the opening series (vs Softbank at YafuOku Dome, March 29-31).  They will probably be followed by Masahiro TanakaKenji Tomura, and Yoshinao Kamata in the second series (vs Orix at Kleenex Stadium, April 2-4).

Source: Sponichi 3/27/2013

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Tanaka is slated to start the home opener on April 2 against Orix.

Source: Sanspo 3/27/2013

Tanaka signed a spokesmodel agreement with bedding company Tokyo Nishikawa.

Source: Sports Hochi 3/27/2013

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Mima threw about eighty pitches in the bullpen today.  His first regular season start will likely come on the 31st against Softbank at YafuOku Dome.

Source: Sanspo 3/27/2013

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Ichi-gun pitching coach Ryoji Moriyama was diagnosed with the flu.  Ni-gun chief pitching coach Tsutomu Sakai will take over as Ichi-gun pitching coach until Moriyama is ready to return.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/27/2013

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The Eagles will be teaching a course on Practical Theory in Sports Management at Tohoku University, beginning in April.

Source: Sanspo 3/27/2013

Rakuten Eagles looking at about twenty foreign players candidates for 2013 season

by on Oct.31, 2012 @ 10:47 am, under NPB
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According to Sponichi, there is a very good chance Jose FernandezLuis GarciaBrett HarperLuis Terrero, and Kelvin Jimenez will not return to the Rakuten Eagles next season.  Further, it seems the Eagles have put together a list of about twenty foreign players they are interested in.

The only foreign players from this year that will probably return next year are Jim Heuser and Brandon Duckworth.

Source: Sponichi 10/31/2012

Rakuten Eagles may only bring one of their current foreign players back in 2013

by on Oct.01, 2012 @ 12:52 pm, under NPB
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According to Sponichi, the Rakuten Eagles may only bring back Jim Heuser back next season.  They do have some concerns about his slide-step and his off-speed pitches, but feel that he will be able to help the team out in 2013.

Darrell Rasner, Kelvin Jimenez, and Brandon Duckworth have had respectable seasons and may still return, but the team will most likely wait until after the season to decide on their fates.

Luis Terrero and Brett Harper most likely will not return.  Jose Fernandez and Luis Garcia are also questionable.  An unnamed team source told reporters that some in the organization felt that if the foreign position players had done better this year, the team would have gone much farther.

Source: Sponichi 10/1/2012

Rakuten Eagles sign RHP Brandon Duckworth

by on Jul.30, 2012 @ 4:40 pm, under NPB
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The Eagles announced today that they signed RHP Brandon Duckworth (36).  He has been assigned the number thirty-six and his contract will be worth an estimated 15M yen.

Duckworth also reported to the Ni-gun facilities on Sunday for his first day of workouts.  The Eagles held a press conference for him at Kleenex Stadium earlier today.

If things go well, Duckworth could make it to the active roster some time in mid-August.

Source: Sports Hochi 7/30/2012Official team announcement, Sponichi 7/30/2012

Rakuten Eagles closing in on contract with Brandon Duckworth

by on Jul.26, 2012 @ 4:58 pm, under NPB
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Nikkan Sports reports that the Rakuten Eagles will finalize a contract with thirty-six-year-old RHP Brandon Duckworth if his he clears his physical exam.

The Eagles see Duckworth as a starter.  The fact that he was teammates with Junichi Tazawa and Daisuke Matsuzaka may have gone into the team's decision to sign him.

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MLB Stats

Year Age Tm Lg W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP BK WP BF WHIP
2001 25 PHI NL 3 2 .600 3.52 11 11 0 0 0 0 69.0 57 29 27 2 29 5 40 6 0 2 289 1.246
2002 26 PHI NL 8 9 .471 5.41 30 29 0 0 0 0 163.0 167 103 98 26 69 5 167 7 0 10 725 1.448
2003 27 PHI NL 4 7 .364 4.94 24 18 2 0 0 0 93.0 98 58 51 12 44 3 68 10 0 5 424 1.527
2004 28 HOU NL 1 2 .333 6.86 19 6 6 0 0 0 39.1 55 30 30 11 13 3 23 0 0 3 180 1.729
2005 29 HOU NL 0 1 .000 11.02 7 2 1 0 0 0 16.1 24 20 20 4 7 1 10 5 0 0 82 1.898
2006 30 KCR AL 1 5 .167 6.11 10 8 0 0 0 0 45.2 62 36 31 3 24 4 27 2 0 4 216 1.883
2007 31 KCR AL 3 5 .375 4.63 26 3 6 0 0 1 46.2 51 30 24 3 23 2 21 1 0 7 211 1.586
2008 32 KCR AL 3 3 .500 4.50 7 7 0 0 0 0 38.0 38 20 19 2 19 0 20 3 0 0 167 1.500
  23 34 .404 5.28 134 84 15 0 0 1 511.0 552 326 300 63 228 23 376 34 0 31 2294 1.526

MiLB Stats

Year Age Lg Lev Aff W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP BK WP BF WHIP
1998 22 SALL A PHI 9 8 .529 2.80 21 21 0 5 3 0 147.2 116 58 46 10 24 0 119 7 2 8 577 0.948
1998 22 FLOR A+ PHI 6 2 .750 3.74 9 9 0 1 1 0 53.0 64 25 22 2 22 0 46 1 0 4 235 1.623
1999 23 FLOR A+ PHI 11 5 .688 4.84 27 17 1 0 0 1 132.0 164 84 71 13 40 0 101 5 1 10 602 1.545
2000 24 EL AA PHI 13 7 .650 3.16 27 27 0 1 0 0 165.0 145 70 58 17 52 0 178 7 3 6 688 1.194
2001 25 IL AAA PHI 13 2 .867 2.63 22 20 1 2 1 0 147.0 122 46 43 14 36 2 150 7 0 5 584 1.075
2003 27 FLOR A+ PHI 0 0   1.00 2 2 0 0 0 0 9.0 3 1 1 1 2 0 11 0 0 0 32 0.556
2003 27 EL AA PHI 0 0   4.50 1 1 0 0 0 0 2.0 1 1 1 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 7 0.500
2003 27 IL AAA PHI 2 1 .667 3.38 3 3 0 0 0 0 18.2 21 11 7 3 4 0 14 2 0 0 82 1.339
2004 28 PCL AAA HOU 5 5 .500 5.53 14 13 0 0 0 0 70.0 81 44 43 10 28 1 63 4 0 3 314 1.557
2005 29 PCL AAA HOU 8 6 .571 4.62 20 19 1 0 0 0 115.0 138 68 59 17 37 2 89 3 0 4 504 1.522
2006 30 IL AAA PIT 8 3 .727 2.42 12 12 0 0 0 0 74.1 67 23 20 4 23 1 57 3 0 4 306 1.211
2007 31 CARL A+ KCR 0 1 .000 9.00 2 2 0 0 0 0 4.0 6 4 4 0 2 0 5 0 0 0 20 2.000
2007 31 PCL AAA KCR 0 1 .000 3.60 3 3 0 0 0 0 15.0 12 6 6 2 1 0 15 0 0 2 57 0.867
2008 32 PCL AAA KCR 5 11 .313 4.75 27 17 3 1 0 1 134.2 132 78 71 23 49 1 103 2 0 8 574 1.344
2009 33 PCL AAA KCR 3 6 .333 5.31 20 19 0 0 0 0 105.0 105 63 62 12 37 1 67 6 0 7 454 1.352
2010 34 IL AAA PHI 5 4 .556 3.32 25 16 1 0 0 0 105.2 94 44 39 5 45 0 102 3 1 2 446 1.315
2011 35 IL AAA BOS 8 6 .571 3.97 22 21 0 0 0 0 118.0 113 53 52 11 42 0 88 9 0 9 498 1.314
2012 36 IL AAA BOS 9 2 .818 3.17 21 18 1 0 0 0 110.2 110 43 39 12 35 1 93 2 0 6 462 1.310
  105 70 .600 3.80 278 240 8 10 5 2 1526.2 1494 722 644 157 479 9 1303 61 7 78 6442 1.292