Daisuke Matsuzaka wants to play winter ball in Puerto Rico this off-season. The Softbank Hawks are expected to give him permission to play.
Ryota Igarashi is thinking about playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic.
[UPDATE 10/30 @ 9:55pm]
Softbank announced on October 30 that Igarashi will play winter ball in Mexico. He will leave on October 31 and return in mid-December.
Source: Sanspo 10/30/2016
[UPDATE 11/10 @ 11:14pm]
The Hawks are expected to allow Matsuzaka to play winter ball in Puerto Rico. His agent is currently finalizing the paperwork with the Gigantes de Carolina.
[UPDATE 11/19 @ 3:00am]
Igarashi’s last two appearances for the Tomateros de Culiacan have been as a starting pitcher. In his last outing on November 16, he pitched eight shutout innings and struck out twelve.
Source: Nikkan Sports 11/18/2016
[UPDATE 11/20 @ 6:11pm]
Matsuzaka will be working with the Gigantes de Carolina. He is scheduled to arrive in Puerto Rico on November 29 and suit up on November 30. His contract is for one month, December. He could also stick around a bit longer.
Source: Sponichi 11/20/2016
[UPDATE 12/2 @ 9:21pm]
Matsuzaka is scheduled to make his first start on December 3 (Japan time December 4) and throw about fifty pitches.
Source: Sports Hochi 12/2/2016
[UPDATE 12/4 @ 10:48pm]
Matsuzaka’s start on December 4: 4.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 HR, 6 BB, 2 SO. He threw 75 pitches even though he was slated to throw 50. He topped out at about 143km/h.
Nikkan Sports posted the following breakdown by inning:
[UPDATE 12/7 @ 12:34pm]
Matsuzaka is slated to throw eighty to eighty-five pitches during his next start on December 13 (Japan time December 14). He will be making the start on nine days of rest.
Source: Daily Sports 12/7/2016
[UPDATE 12/14 @ 5:39pm]
Results from Matsuzaka’s second start: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 SO. He gave up a lead-off double to start the game, but did not allow any runs in the first inning. He retired the side in order in the second (K, F3, Fo5) and third (G6, G6, F7) innings. He allowed a run on a hit, walk, a wild pitch, and a sac fly in the fourth inning. He walked a batter in the fifth inning, but did not allow any runs. He threw seventy-seven pitches. There was a rain delay of about ten minutes during the fifth inning.
Nikkan Sports‘ inning breakdown:
[UPDATE 12/15 @ 11:33am]
Of the seventy-seven pitches Matsuzaka threw during his last start, thirty-nine were two-seamers. His fastball topped out at 90 miles an hour and his two-seamer averaged about 86 miles per hour. He also moved to a no-wind delivery and improved his control: he walked six in four innings in his first start with a 47 percent strike rate and two in five innings in his second start with a 58 percent strike rate.
Source: Sponichi 12/15/2016
[UPDATE 12/16 @ 10:34pm]
Matsuzaka will probably get two more starts. His next start could come on December 22 (Japan time December 23).
Source: Nikkan Sports 12/16/2016
[UPDATE 12/21 @ 9:51pm]
Matsuzaka got a start on December 20. He gave up two runs on six hits over four innings. He walked one and struck out three. He allowed a run on three hits in the second inning and a second run on a sac fly in the third.
[UPDATE 12/27 @ 10:29pm]
Matsuzaka is slated to make his last start on December 28 (Japan time December 29). He threw fifty-two pitches during a bullpen session on December 26.
[UPDATE 12/29 @ 7:12pm]
Matsuzaka made his last start on December 28. He pitched seven innings and gave up a run on three hits and two walks. He three eighty-eight pitches and struck out three.
Nikkan Sports’ inning breakdown: