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[11/17/2013] Rumors: Seibu Lions, Rakuten Eagles, Yakult Swallows, Hanshin Tigers, Yokohama Bay Stars

by on Nov.18, 2013 @ 3:45 am, under NPB
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Seibu Lions

The Lions are planning to give Tsuyoshi Takashima a tryout during fall camp.

Takashima was selected by Orix in the 4th round of the 2008 draft.  He was senryokugai'ed in October 2011.  He signed with the Lancaster Barnstormers in April this year (21 G, 6-for-41, .146/.222/.244).

Source: Sponichi 11/17/2013

Rakuten Eagles

The Eagles are interested in Jason Standridge, regardless of what happens with Masahiro Tanaka.  The organization wants more dependable starting pitchers since they only had two this season (Tanaka and Takahiro Norimoto).  There are other pitchers in the organization that could step up next season, but the Eagles are uncomfortable with having so many questions marks in the starting rotation, especially since Tanaka is also an unknown at this point.

Source: Sponichi 11/17/2013

Yakult Swallows

The Swallows are reportedly close to finalizing a deal with Hiroki Sanada.  He is expected to undergo a physical within the next few days.  An announcement will likely follow, assuming no problems are found.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/17/2013

Hanshin Tigers

Samsung contacted the Tigers on Saturday to inform them that they were too pre-occupied with the Asia Series and would not be able to make decision on Seung Hwan Oh until the Series was over.  Hanshin is prepared to wait at least until then.

Source: Daily Sports 11/17/2013

GM Katsuhiro Nakamura told reporters negotiations on Friday were at fifty-fifty.  He felt a little better on Saturday and upgraded his outlook to sixty-forty.  He apparently felt a more positive vibe from Oh's agent.

Source: Sanspo 11/17/2013

Yokohama Bay Stars

The Bay Stars have an interest in Brian WolfeJason Standridge, and Dennis Houlton and could attempt to sign one of the three.

Source: Sponichi 11/17/2013


Sportsnet.ca's Ben Nicholson-Smith tweeted that Wily Mo Pena will likely sign with a team in Japan.  NESN's Ricky Doyle followed it up with this report:

... Pena has spent the last two years in Japan playing for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of Nippon Professional Baseball. He hit .233 (35-for-150) with one home run and 16 RBIs in just 55 games in 2013, but hit .280 with 21 homers and 76 RBIs in 130 games in 2012.

The best fit for Pena seemingly is in Japan, as the outfielder struggled to stick at the major league level despite tremendous raw power. Pena hit 26 home runs in 110 games with the Reds in 2004 and 19 in 99 games in 2005 before being dealt to the Red Sox in exchange for Bronson Arroyo prior to the 2006 season. He hit .301 with 11 homers and 42 RBIs in 84 games with Boston in 2006, but was later shipped to the Nationals in August of 2007, at which point his big league career really began to fizzle out.

Source: NESN.com 11/12/2013

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Yomiuri Giants News and Notes: February 9, 2013

by on Feb.09, 2013 @ 11:14 pm, under NPB
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Batting Practice Bullpen Sessions / Batting Practice


  • Shinnosuke Abe: twenty-five pitches, did not swing at ten pitches (mostly on the outside corners)
  • Michihiro Ogasawara: sixty-nine swings, thirty-seven could-be hits, only eight baseballs were hit toward left

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/9/2013, Sponichi 2/9/2013


  • Toshiya Sugiuchi: bullpen, seventy-seven pitches
  • Dennis Houlton: bullpen, thirty-five pitches, squatting catcher, second session in as many days

Source: Sanspo 2/9/2013, Sanspo 2/9/2013


  • Kentaro Nishimura: batting practice, faced Kenji Yano and Yoshihito Ishii, fifty-two pitches, all fastballs

Source: Sanspo 2/9/2013


Shuichi Murata hurt his right middle finger during fielding practice today and was taken to the hospital.  There were no problems with his bones, but he did have a broken fingernail.

Source: Sanspo 2/9/2013, Nikkan Sports 2/9/2013


Dennis Houlton complained of back tightness on the 2nd but is now feeling much better.  He told reporters he was at about seventy-five percent.

Source: Sanspo 2/9/2013


Hayato Sakamoto joined the main group for workouts today.

Source: Sanspo 2/9/2013


Taishi Ota went to the hospital on Thursday night because of a fever.  His test for the flu virus came back negative.  He visited the hospital again on Friday and worked out separately from the main group.

Source: Sanspo 2/9/2013


Michihiro Ogasawara is using a training bat weighs 1.1 kilograms and is ninety-seven centimeters long.

Source: Sponichi 2/9/2013


1st round draft pick Tomoyuki Sugano's parents have been visiting spring camp every year, mostly to show their support for Tatsunori Hara.  They were at camp on Friday for their son.

Source: Sanspo 2/9/2013


Owner Kojiro Shiraishi and Sansankai chairman Fujio Mitarai (Canon chairman and president) visited Miyazaki camp on Friday.

Source: Sanspo 2/9/2013, Sponichi 2/9/2013


Samurai Japan manager Koji Yamamoto was at Giants' camp today.  He watched Tetsuya Utsumi, Tetsuya Yamaguchi, and Hirokazu Sawamura toss batting practice and Toshiya Sugiuchi throw in the bullpen.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/9/2013Sanspo 2/9/2013

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Softbank Hawks News and Notes: December 2, 2010

by on Dec.02, 2010 @ 10:25 pm, under NPB
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Hiroki Kokubo was asked about what he thought of Seiichi Uchikawa joining the Softbank Hawks on Wednesday and apparently had this to say:

He's a player that has shown stability on offense over the last few years.  He'll be good for motivation. ... But we sort of do overlap on positions. ... He's obviously an upgrade.  And improving the team is a good thing, but if Cabrera also comes, where does that leave me and Matsunaka?  What about Ortiz?  I plan on bringing those things up, in addition to other things, when I speak to them about my salary."


Kenta Imamiya plans on picking Uchikawa's mind when he has the chance.

Said Imamiya, "I'm normally not the type to seek help / advice from others.  But he's a right-handed batter that has put up impressive numbers.  He's my ideal type of batter.  I'd like to ask him some questions and absorb as much as I can."


Hiroyuki Kawahara is planning on learning how to throw a change from Toshiya Sugiuchi during the off-season.  Seems the two might be working out together in January.


Dennis Houlton was left off the Hawks' Holdover List and effectively became a free agent today.  It seems the Hawks are still on the fence with Houlton and may end up bringing him back next year, but it seems the club is also worried about their foreign player limit.  Regarding Alex Cabrera, chief of player development Itaru Kobayashi said that he never said the club was interested in him and that he had no comments to make about him.

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Softbank Hawks: contract talks with Dennis Houlton breaking down?

by on Nov.29, 2010 @ 12:02 pm, under NPB
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According to Sport Hochi, contract talks between the Softbank Hawks and Dennis Houlton aren't going well and it now seems there's a chance he may walk away.

Even though Houlton struggled with injuries this season and ended with an ERA north of 5.00, the Hawks still wanted him back next season.  And since Houlton also enjoyed pitching for the club, the two sides began discussions.  Unfortunately, it seems there was a fairly wide gap between the salary amount the Hawks were offering and the amount Houlton wanted.

The Hawks do have until the 30th to negotiate with Houlton exclusively.  But after that, he becomes a free agent and can go anywhere he likes.

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Softbank Hawks: Houlton to start game 3 of Final Stage?

by on Oct.04, 2010 @ 11:32 pm, under NPB
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It seems Dennis Houlton may end up starting game 3 of the Final Stage.  During full squad practice on Sunday at Yahoo Dome, Houlton tossed 54 pitches in the bullpen in an effort to show that his right adductor muscle was fine.  Assuming no setbacks, Houlton will probably start a Phoenix League game on the 9th against Seibu.  If he does fine there, Houlton will likely start game 3 of the Final Stage, behind Toshiya Sugiuchi and Tsuyoshi Wada.

Houlton was taken off the active roster on 9/1 with discomfort in his right adductor muscle.  He did manage to make another Ichi-gun start on 9/20 against Seibu, but lasted only 2 innings and gave up 3 runs on 3 hits (including 2 homers).


Kazumi Saito started playing catch again earlier today (10/4).  It was his first game of catch since January this year.  Saito spent about 10 minutes throwing the ball 80 times at distance of about 15 meters.  Saito is hoping to be ready to pitch again next year.


Hitoshi Tamura started working with weights again on Sunday.  He also took BP and told reporters that he wasn't feeling quite right at the plate, but also wasn't worried because he didn't want to peak too soon before the start of the Climax Series.

Dennis Houlton to be taken off active roster

by on Sep.20, 2010 @ 10:20 pm, under NPB
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Dennis Houlton (SOF) was added to the active roster today and started today's game against the Seibu Lions but didn't have a very good start, giving up 3 runs in 2 innings of work.  Seems Houlton's right adductor muscle still isn't quite right yet either.

In any case, both Houlton and Hiroki Yamada (SOF) will likely be taken off the active roster tomorrow since the Hawks don't have any plans to use either pitcher over the team's remaining 3 games.  The Hawks will likely fill the two open roster spots with Yoshiaki Fujioka and a position player.