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[3/31/2014] Masahiro Tanaka, Hisashi Iwakuma, Yu Darvish

by on Mar.31, 2014 @ 5:36 pm, under MLB
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Chicago Cubs

New York Yankees

Masahiro Tanaka was given the 2014 James P. Dawson Award. From MLB.com's Bryan Hoch:

... The Yankees announced Saturday that Tanaka was the recipient of the 2014 James P. Dawson Award, given annually to the outstanding Yankees rookie in Spring Training. Tanaka received the award in a ceremony before Saturday's game against the Marlins was cancelled due to rain.

Tanaka, 25, went 2-0 with a 2.14 ERA in five appearances (three starts) this spring, allowing five earned runs in 21 innings. He led the team with 26 strikeouts while walking only three batters, permitting 15 hits.

Source: MLB.com 3/29/2014

Seattle Mariners

The latest on Hisashi Iwakuma, from MLB.com's Greg Johns:

Iwakuma playing long toss for now, will start throwing bullpens in about 10 days as returns from sprained finger tendon.

Source: Twitter 3/31/2014

Texas Rangers

The latest on Yu Darvish, from The Dallas Morning News' Gerry Fraley:

... With pitching coach Mike Maddux monitoring him, Darvish had a 32-pitch bullpen session at Globe Life Park and reported no issues with the strained neck that has limited him. Darvish will rest on Monday and throw again on Tuesday.

Darvish was officially placed on the disabled list, with the move back-dated to March 21. He is eligible to return on Saturday. Darvish last pitched in a game on March 16. He had been named to start the opener on Monday against Philadelphia.

Source: Dallas Morning News 3/30/2014

[3/8/2014] Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hiroki Kuroda, Tsuyoshi Wada

by on Mar.08, 2014 @ 4:16 pm, under MLB
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Player Tm Date Game Pos AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Ichiro Suzuki NYY 3/7 DET 2
LF 2 0 0 0 1 1 1 .167
Batted seventh. Kl, BB, G3. Replaced on defense in the top of the 7th. Sponichi 3/8/2014, Nikkan Sports 3/8/2014
Norichika Aoki KCR 3/7 SFG 5
CF 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 .250
Batted lead-off. 2B7 (CS), G6. Replaced by a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the 5th. Sponichi 3/8/2014, Nikkan Sports 3/8/2014
Munenori Kawasaki TOR 3/7 TBR 6
SS 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 .222
Entered the game on defense at short in the top of the 7th. G3, G3. Sponichi 3/8/2014, Nikkan Sports 3/8/2014
Kensuke Tanaka TEX 3/7 TEX 1
PH-2B 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .143
Entered the game as a pinch-hitter for Andy Parrino in the top of the 7th. Remained in the game at second. SH3. Replaced by a pinch-hitter in the top of the 9th. Sponichi 3/8/2014, Nikkan Sports 3/8/2014


Player Tm Date Game NP-S BF IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Daisuke Matsuzaka NYM 3/7 STL 5
  13 2.0 6 2 1 0 3 0 4.50
Started the game. Sponichi 3/8/2014, Nikkan Sports 3/8/2014, ZakZak 3/8/2014
Hiroki Kuroda NYY 3/7 DET 2
  10 2.2 1 0 0 1 5 0 0.00
Started the game. Sponichi 3/8/2014, Nikkan Sports 3/8/2014
Koji Uehara BOS 3/7 ATL 1
  4 1.0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0.00
Entered the game in the 5th with no score. Sponichi 3/8/2014, Sponichi 3/8/2014, Nikkan Sports 3/8/2014
Junichi Tazawa BOS 3/7 ATL 1
  4 1.0 1 1 1 0 0 1 4.50
Entered the game in the 6th with no score. Sponichi 3/8/2014, Sponichi 3/8/2014
Tsuyoshi Wada CHC 3/7 CHC 3
  11 2.0 3 0 0 1 3 0 0.00
Entered the game in the 6th with Chicago down 1-0. Sponichi 3/8/2014, Nikkan Sports 3/8/2014


Name Type Date NP Notes
Kyuji Fujikawa Bullpen 3/7 28 Sponichi 3/8/2014
Yu Darvish Bullpen 3/6 22 Sanspo 3/8/2014


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[3/4/2014] Tsuyoshi Wada, Masahiro Tanaka, Kyuji Fujikawa

by on Mar.04, 2014 @ 4:28 pm, under MLB
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Player Tm Date Game Pos AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Ichiro Suzuki NYY 3/3 WSN 2
RF 2 1 0 1 1 0 0 .143
Batted seventh. E6 RBI (R), F7, BB. Replaced on defense in the 7th. May have taken an HBP during his third at bat, but the home plate umpire did not make the call. The catcher was apparently laughing, according to Ichiro. Nikkan Sports 3/4/2014, Daily Sports 3/4/2014, Sponichi 3/4/2014
Norichika Aoki KCR 3/3 KCR 7
RF 3 0 0 0 0 0 4 .182
Batted lead-off. G5, G3, F8. Replaced on defense in the bottom of the 5th. Daily Sports 3/4/2014, Nikkan Sports 3/4/2014
Munenori Kawasaki TOR 3/3 TOR 2
MIN 12
SS-LF 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Entered the game on defense at short in the bottom of the 5th. Moved from short to left in the bottom of the 7th. F8. Committed a throwing error in the bottom of the 6th (the expanded replay system was used on the play, original call was Kawasaki's throw pulled the first baseman off the bag, play stood after review). Played the outfield for the first time in his MLB career. Daily Sports 3/4/2014, Nikkan Sports 3/4/2014, Nikkan Sports 3/4/2014, Sponichi 3/4/2014


Player Tm Date Game NP-S BF IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Yoshinori Tateyama NYY 3/3 WSN 2
  5 1.0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0.00
Entered the game in the 8th with New York up 4-2. Nikkan Sports 3/4/2014, Daily Sports 3/4/2014
Koji Uehara BOS 3/3 BOS 6
  3 1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.00
Entered the game in the bottom of the 4th with Boston down 6-1. Sponichi 3/4/2014, Nikkan Sports 3/4/2014
Junichi Tazawa BOS 3/3 BOS 6
  4 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.00
Entered the game in the bottom of the 5th with Boston down 6-1. Sponichi 3/4/2014, Nikkan Sports 3/4/2014
Tsuyoshi Wada CHC 3/3       2.0 2 2 2   2 1  
Practice game against Giants. Entered the game in the 7th with Chicago up by four runs. Gave up a two out, two-run home run to Roger Kieschnick in the 7th. He retired the side in order in the 8th. Topped out at 92mph. Nikkan Sports 3/4/2014


Name Type Date NP Notes
Masahiro Tanaka Bullpen 3/3 31 Sponichi 3/4/2014, Nikkan Sports 3/4/2014
Kyuji Fujikawa Bullpen 3/3 29 All fastballs, third session. Sponichi 3/4/2014


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[2/16/2014] Yoshinori Tateyama, Koji Uehara, Masahiro Tanaka

by on Feb.17, 2014 @ 1:36 am, under MLB
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Name Type Date NP Notes
Masahiro Tanaka Bullpen 2/15 32 Sanspo 2/16/2014
Hiroki Kuroda Bullpen 2/15 36 Sanspo 2/16/2014


Kyuji Fujikawa and Tsuyoshi Wada did some light workouts on the 15th that included fielding practice and running.  Wada is scheduled to toss another bullpen session on the 16th.

Source: Sponichi 2/16/2014


Yoshinori Tateyama is scheduled to arrive in Florida on the 16th and will join workouts on the 17th due to visa delays.

Source: Sponichi 2/16/2014


Koji Uehara arrived in Florida in the middle of the night on the 14th because of flight delays caused by snow and cold weather.  He missed pitcher workouts on the 15th, but still did some stretching, played some catch, threw the ball a max distance of about seventy meters, and tossed some pitches off a mound to a standing catcher for about two minutes.

Source: Tokyo Sports 2/16/2014


About 100 members of the media (United States and Japan) covered Masahiro Tanaka on the 15th.

Sanspo has posted portions of Tanaka's interaction with the media from the 14th and 15th.

From the 14th

Anything you will be careful of during camp?

Camp has not started yet, so I can't really say, but I do believe I will have to adjust to everything.  Not what in particular, but I think everything in general.

Did you bullpen session from the day before go as planned?

It was the first time I really threw the ball, so I think I did okay.  But it was more about getting a feel for things.

How is your communication in English going?

I can't really speak English.  But I will try to do my best to communicate with people.  Obviously, this is something I am working on.

Do you feel any jet lag?

A little.  I still get a little tired when it is early in the morning [in Japan].

Any memorable event take place in the United States yet?

The paparazzi showing up all of a sudden a number of times while I was in Manhattan.

What about in Tampa?

They were chasing my car in Tampa too.  It has been difficult.

Source: Sanspo 2/16/2014

From the 15th:

Things began with you getting a lot of attention.

I did not overdo things.  Being in this kind of situation is great for a player, but I have not proven anything on the mound yet.  I want to make sure I prepare myself for that.

What are the differences between spring training here and spring camp in Japan?

Practice times are shorter.  The one-mile run was pretty tough.

You went through the same routines as Hiroki Kuroda.

He has been doing this for a number of years in the Majors and he has managed to keep his spot in the Yankee rotation.  I am grateful for the opportunity to work out with him.  This is really a great environment.

Do you feel pressure to get out there as fast as possible and do well?

Winning will be the most important thing once I get on the mound.  Hopefully that kind of thinking will allow me to do well early on.

Source: Sanspo 2/16/2014

Tokyo Sports has also posted portions of Tanaka's interaction with the media on the 15th.

How was your bullpen session?

It was just the second time I really threw the ball, but it was better than my first session and I think it was okay, I do not think it went badly.

It didn't upset your stomach?

No, nothing like that.

What did it feel like throwing in between Hiroki Kuroda and C.C. Sabathia?

I didn't really have much time to think about that.  I knew Sabathia was behind me, but I felt like I had to hurry up and pitch.

What about differences with the ball and mound?

There are obviously differences, but I don't think I'd be able to compete if I kept thinking about those things.  There are differences, but each stadium in Japan had different mounds and the ball isn't really given me too much stress at this point.

Do you think you will be able to adjust?

This isn't really about whether I will be able to, but rather something I have to do.

The tempo seemed a bit fast, how is the pacing for you?

I was still able to carefully throw each pitch and it was an okay session, I do not think it went poorly.

How was the meeting?  Did you say anything?

I do not think it was all that different from Japan.  I did not have a chance to speak.

How are you relaxing?

I think I can relax when I have time to spend in my own room.  That was the case when I was in Japan.  I also like golf so I'd like to do some of that if I have the time.

What are you looking forward to most?

I think the thing I look forward to most is baseball.  That is why I came over here.  Everything is connected.  Hopefully I can work everything out in my head during the season.

Source: Tokyo Sports 2/16/2014

Tanaka's day on the 15th:

  • Players were scheduled to gather at the facilities at 9:15am for a 9:30am meeting.  Tanaka was told he could arrive at any time, so long as he made the meeting in time.  He arrived at 9:04am.
  • Tanaka showed up on the practice field wearing his training clothes at 10:47am.
  • He started off by playing catch with Hiroki Kuroda.  About five minutes later, the two began throwing in the bullpen.  GM Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi were present.  That was followed by four laps around the field.  Tanaka headed to the clubhouse to continue his workouts in the training room at around 11:30am.

Source: Tokyo Sports 2/16/2014

Four Japanese companies have taken out ads at the Yankee Florida facilities: Sunstar, THK, Toshimaya, Sato Seiyaku.  Three agreed to deals after Tanaka signed.  Each company is probably paying about twenty million yen.

Source: Sponichi 2/16/2014

[2/15/2014] Yu Darvish, Kyuji Fujikawa, Shunsuke Watanabe, Masahiro Tanaka

by on Feb.16, 2014 @ 3:07 am, under MLB
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Name Type Date NP Notes
Tsuyoshi Wada Bullpen 2/14 35 Sanspo 2/15/2014, Nikkan Sports 2/15/2014
Yu Darvish Bullpen 2/14 22 Sanspo 2/15/2014Nikkan Sports 2/15/2014


Kyuji Fujikawa played some catch on the 14th.  He did some long toss at a distance of about forty meters.  He also threw ten baseballs at a distance of about eighteen meters with his catch partner squatting.

Source: Sanspo 2/15/2014, Nikkan Sports 2/15/2014


On Shunsuke Watanabe's bullpen session on the 13th, from the Boston Globe's Peter Abraham:

... Manager John Farrell, bullpen coach Dana Levangie, assistant general manager Mike Hazen and about a dozen players gathered to watch Watanabe throw to Ryan Lavarnway.

"He'll be tough to hit the first time somebody sees him," Lavarnway said. "It wasn't tough to catch because I knew what he was throwing. But the angle is completely different."

... Watanabe was guaranteed at least four appearances in spring training games, so he'll get a chance to see what that unusual delivery can do against major league hitters.

Source: Boston.com 2/13/2014


Masahiro Tanaka was assigned Mariano Rivera's old locker at Steinbrenner Field.  That and a few other notes from the New York Posts' Dan Martin:

As if the hype surrounding Masahiro Tanaka weren’t cranked high enough, now the Japanese pitcher has been given Mariano Rivera’s old locker at Steinbrenner Field.

When a staff member informed him of the move, Tanaka said he wasn’t sure he belonged there.

... “I’m very honored to get all the attention, but I need to go out and perform,” Tanaka said through a translator.

... “I want to learn the way to do it over here,” Tanaka said. “And not go about it the Japanese way of doing it.”

Source: New York Post 2/14/2014

Tanaka played catch with Hiroki Kuroda on the 15th before tossing a bullpen session in between Kuroda and C.C. Sabathia.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/16/2014

Toshimaya took out an outfield wall ad for Hato Sabure at Field 2.

Source: Daily Sports 2/16/2014, Sponichi 2/15/2014

[2/13/2014] Hisashi Iwakuma, Kyuji Fujikawa, Masahiro Tanaka

by on Feb.13, 2014 @ 12:02 pm, under MLB
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Hisashi Iwakuma has a strained tendon in his right middle finger.  From the Seattle Times' Ryan Divish:

... On Monday, Iwakuma met with hand specialist Dr. Don Sheridan in Arizona and was diagnosed with strained tendon in the middle finger of his right throwing hand.

"Lucikly, this does not appear to be a serious injury," general manager Jack Zduriencik said. "It is a setback for Kuma, but we are confident that he will quickly overcome the missed time and be able to rejoin our rotation early in the regular season."

Iwakuma said through his translator Antony Suzuki that he injured the finger during a workout on January 20 in California with some ex-teammates.  He was playing catch and  jumped up to catch a ball that was thrown high. As he was coming down, he reached back with his free hand and got his finger trapped in the netting of a protective screen behind him.

Source: Seattle Times 2/12/2014


Kyuji Fujikawa will report to spring training on the 14th.  He will be doing the same kind of workouts as the others, with the main exception being his throwing program.  He hopes to toss a bullpen session before the end of the month.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/13/2014


Koji Uehara left for the United States out of Narita Airport on Wednesday.

Source: Sponichi 2/13/2014


Masahiro Tanaka worked out in Tampa on Wednesday.  Source: AP 2/12/2014

The tie Tanaka wore during his press conference at Yankee Stadium was the one his former teammates gave him during a farewell dinner in January.  Source: Sponichi 2/12/2014

Trey Hillman told Sponichi that he believes that pitching alongside Hiroki Kuroda will be great for Tanaka.  In Kuroda, he gets one of the best examples of a Japanese starting pitcher that successfully adjusted to a change in culture and leagues.  Hillman also said he was asked to join team officials for their meeting with Tanaka in Los Angeles at the last minute.  During the meeting, he gave the righty an overview of the organization, GM Brian Cashman provided details about the history of the franchise, Pitching Coach Larry Rothschild went over the scouting report they compiled on him, and Manager Joe Girardi spoke about his potential role.  Source: Sponichi 2/12/2014

Travel agencies in Japan are beginning to offer baseball tour packages.  H.I.S. has a five-day New York baseball package that includes up to two tickets for Yankee games between April 7 and June 29 (one ticket is optional and requires an extra fee).  BATNAT has also put together an American Baseball Opening Series tour package that begins in Texas on March 31 (Philadelphia vs Texas) and ends in Houston on April 3 (New York vs Houston).  Source: Nikkan Sports 2/13/2014

The New York Post's Kevin Fasick recounts Tanaka's movements from his hotel to Teterboro Airport on Tuesday evening.

... The 25-year-old athlete had been whisked from the swanky Mandarin Oriental hotel in Midtown after 4 p.m. — with his wife, Japanese pop star Mai Satoda, brown toy poodle Haru and a small entourage in tow — to head to the airport.

The group made the short road trip in a chaufeurred black Lincoln Navigator, while another Mercedes van transported their suitcases and boxes of belongings.

They arrived at the airport’s Atlantic Aviation terminal just after 5 p.m.

Source: New York Post 2/11/2014 via Sanspo 2/13/2014

[1/20/2014] Munenori Kawasaki, Tomo Ohka, Kyuji Fujikawa

by on Jan.20, 2014 @ 5:59 pm, under MLB
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The Toronto Blue Jays handed out uniform numbers for their spring training non-roster invitees.  Munenori Kawasaki (32) was assigned the number sixty-six and Tomo Ohka (38) the number fifty-five.

Source: Nikkan Sports 1/20/2014


Kawasaki wants to learn Spanish and French to help him expand his horizons.

"I will spend time playing with players that speak Spanish and I would like to have more in-depth conversations with them.  I want to study French to make more friends," Munenori said.  "It is important to study to learn things you do not know.  Working hard to play baseball is a given.  Learning languages is also very important."

Source: Sponichi 1/20/2014


Kyuji Fujikawa is currently able to play catch at a distance of about thirty meters.  He might be able to toss a bullpen session some time in late-February.  He could pitch in a minor league rehab game in April.

Source: Sponichi 1/20/2014


Jose Contreras might be open to pitching in Japan.  An unnamed source told Tokyo Sports that Contreras' agent contacted teams in Japan to gauge interest.

Source: Tokyo Sports 1/20/2014

[1/19/2014] Kyuji Fujikawa, Ichiro Suzuki, Masahiro Tanaka

by on Jan.19, 2014 @ 2:45 pm, under MLB
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Kyuji Fujikawa was a guest at the Cubs Convention in Chicago on January 17.

Fujikawa was in Japan for about three weeks this off-season.  He is currently rehabbing in Arizona.

Source: Nikkan Sports 1/19/2014


Ichiro Suzuki has been training in Kobe.  Sadaharu Oh was in the neighborhood on Saturday and dropped by to see his workouts.

Source: Sponichi 1/19/2014


The latest on Masahiro Tanaka, from Sunday, January 18, 2014.

  • From MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez, via Twitter: "Source tells me clubs have not heard back from Tanaka & nobody knows where they stand. Most had about 60 mins to make a case. No visits." [Tweet 1/18/2014]
  • Bullpen Catcher Kenji Nagasaka caught Tanaka bullpen session on Saturday.  On Tanaka's two-seamer: "It probably does not make much sense to talk about this until he starts throwing at full strength, but it felt like there was some sinking movement on his two-seamer.  The same thing happened last year with the WBC baseball.  With the Japanese baseball, there is horizontal movement." ... When reporters tried to approach Tanaka after his workouts on Saturday, he made made a letter "X" with his arms to indicated that he was not going to answer questions. ... The 2013 draft class had a chance to briefly talk to Tanaka on Saturday. [Nikkan Sports 1/18/2014]

[11/3/2013] Tsuyoshi Wada, Kyuji Fujikawa

by on Nov.03, 2013 @ 5:25 pm, under MLB
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The latest on Tsuyoshi Wada.

From the Baltimore Sun's Eduardo A. Encina:

As expected, the Orioles have declined left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada's $5-million option for next season, the club announced on Saturday evening.

... Wada, 32, returned from the surgery in June and was then optioned to Triple-A Norfolk, where he struggled to find consistency until the Orioles decided to give him an extra day of rest between starts. It was then when Wada began showing some of the promise the Orioles saw when they signed him out of the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of the Japanese Pacific League.

... Still, the Orioles saw enough from Wada that they would be interested in signing him to a minor league deal to keep him in the system.

[Baltimore Sun 11/2/2013]

From NBC Sports' Drew Silva:

... Wada posted a 1.51 ERA and 168/40 K/BB ratio across 184 2/3 innings in 2011 for Japan's Softbank Hawks and a 1.43 ERA over his final six starts this year at Norfolk. He's not going to get much guaranteed money, but the 32-year-old southpaw should generate interest this winter from multiple major league clubs.

[NBC Sports 11/2/2013]


Kyuji Fujikawa is rehabbing his right elbow in Mesa, Arizona.  He threw fifty baseballs at a distance of about twenty-five meters on the 1st (US time).  He spoke to reporters and said, "I want to start ramping up my workouts, but it is going to take some time. ... There are a lot of downsides, but in thinking about my future, I think it was good that I can to America."

[Daily Sports 11/3/2013]

[10/8/2013] Junichi Tazawa, Koji Uehara, Kyuji Fujikawa

by on Oct.08, 2013 @ 2:16 pm, under MLB
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From October 7:


Player Tm Last Gm Game NP-S BF IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Junichi Tazawa BOS 10/7 BOS 4
11-7 2 0.2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00
Entered the game in the bottom of the 7th with a runner on first, one out, and the game tied at three. (WP 1).
Koji Uehara BOS 10/7 BOS 4
5-4 3 0.2 1 1 1 0 0 1 5.40
Entered the game in the bottom of the 9th with the score tied at four. (L, 0-1).


Kyuji Fujikawa (CHC) resumed playing catch on Monday (it was the first time he threw a baseball since his surgery). He threw the ball twenty times at a distance of about fourteen meters. He will work his way to long distance throwing in November by playing catch about three times a week.

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/8/2013