The Hanshin Tigers announced on December 19 that twenty-year-old Atsushi Mochizuki was discharged from a hospital in Wakayama after he had surgery to treat a hernia in the lumbar region. Mochizuki struggled with lower back pain during fall camp in November and decided to have the surgery because he did not want to worry about it next year.
[UPDATE 12/21 @ 3:52pm]
Mochizuki played some light and easy catch at Naruohama on December 20. He played catch at a distance of about thirty meters.
Source: Nikkan Sports 12/21/20170 Comments
According to Tokyo Sports, Daisuke Matsuzaka approached the Hanshin Tigers to see if they might be interested in signing him for a low salary, but was turned down. Team official Osamu Tanimoto told reporters the story was over and that he hoped to see Matsuzaka pitch at Koshien Stadium, but with another team.
Matsuzaka may have also approached the Chunichi Dragons, Seibu Lions, and Yokohama Bay Stars.
[UPDATE 12/18 @ 3:41pm]
The Liberty Times is reporting that Matsuzaka’s agent reached out to all four pro teams in Taiwan during the Asia Pro Yakyu Championships in November. One of the four teams did not show any interest. Additional, the Apple Daily is reporting that the Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions are interested and open to giving the veteran a tryout. However, Matsuzaka’s first option is remaining in the NPB.
[UPDATE 12/18 @ 4:06pm]
The SET News Channel is apparently reporting that teams in Taiwan will probably find it difficult to pull in enough revenue to justify spending twenty million yen on salary, especially on a pitcher coming off an injury.
Source: Sports Hochi 12/18/2017
[UPDATE 12/19 @ 1:04am]
There is apparently no truth to the reports about Matsuzaka approaching other teams about interest. According to Tokyo Sports, a person close to Matsuzaka said he currently has no agent and has not personally reached out to other teams, especially teams in Taiwan. With regards to the reports about Hanshin, they apparently contacted Matsuzaka to see if he was still able to pitch and he was the one that turned them down.
Source: Tokyo Sports 12/18/2017
The Chunichi Dragons are reportedly interested in Matsuzaka. Health is an issue, as is roster slot availability.
[UPDATE 12/19 @ 3:31pm]
If Matsuzaka is healthy, the Dragons are interested in giving him a chance. They also think he might help improve fan attendance. If they decide to give him a chance, they will most likely start with a tryout during spring camp next year.
The Dragons would be an interesting option for Matsuzaka because of some old Seibu ties, like Manager Shigekazu Mori (former Ni-gun pitching coach), International Relations Yui Tomori (former teammate), and Scout Yoshio Koyama (former Yokohama HS teammate).
[UPDATE 12/21 @ 2:16am]
The Dragons might give Matsuzaka a tryout before the end of the year and could have a decision before the start of spring camp.
Source: Tokyo Sports 12/20/20170 Comments
The Hanshin Tigers announced today that they reached an agreement with twenty-eight-year-old Wilin Rosario. He was assigned the uniform number 20. The Tigers released the following statement from Rosario:
I am proud to become one of the Tigers. I asked Japanese coaches and staff about Japan because I was interested and I am excited about being able to play in Japan next season. My performance in the KBO gave me the chance to emark on a new opportunity in Japan. I will use my experiences in the KBO to help me play.
According to media reports, the two sides either agreed on a one-year contract worth an estimated three million US dollars, or a two-year deal worth an estimated 7.5 million US dollars (second year a team option).
Added additional notes about contract on 12/14 @ 4:45pm.
[UPDATE 12/16 @ 11:16pm]
The Tigers asked Rosario to sit out the rest of winter ball in the Dominican Republic, but he pushed hard to play in at least two more games. The Tigers accepted his request and will be okay with him playing until the end of the week.
Source: Daily Sports 12/16/2017
[UPDATE 12/18 @ 1:36am]
Rosario’s most likely played in his last winter league game on December 15. In six games, he went 7-for-20 with a home run and five RBI. Three hits, including a home run, and two RBI, came in the last game on December 15.
[UPDATE 12/18 @ 3:21pm]
Rosario’s last game may have been December 16 (December 17 in Japan). He went 0-for-4 with a walk.
[UPDATE 1/6/2018 @ 10:18pm]
Rosario is currently scheduled to arrive in Japan on January 28. His family will join him a little later.
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Thirty-seven-year-old Kyuji Fujikawa finished the second year of a two-year deal this season. Earlier today, he agreed to a new one-year contract worth an estimated 200 million yen* (no change from this season).
Fujikawa pitched in fifty-two games this season and compiled a 2.22 ERA and 1.15 WHIP over 56.2 innings of work.
* or 150 million yen (no change) depending on the source.0 Comments
Saiki was 188 centimeters tall when he first joined the Hanshin Tigers before the 2017 season (he was drafted in 2016). He grew a centimeter in a year and is close to becoming the fourth player on the team to stand at least 190 centimeters tall (behind Randy Messenger’s 198, Shintaro Fujinami’s 197, and Kosuke Fujitani’s 194).
Source: Nikkan Sports 12/11/2017
One of Saiki’s favorite foods is omurice (omelette with rice inside).
Source: Sponichi 12/22/20170 Comments
The Hanshin Tigers signed twenty-nine-year-old Rafael Dolis and thirty-three-year-old Marcos Mateo to contracts for the 2018 season. Dolis agreed to a deal worth 125 million yen (up seventy-five million yen from this year; 1,100,000 US dollars) and Mateo 190 million yen (up eighty million yen from this year; 1,700,000 US dollars).
Added dollar amounts on 12/12 @ 11:30am.
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The Hanshin Tigers announced today that they reached an agreement with thirty-year-old pitcher Diego Moreno. He was assigned the uniform number 48. The Tigers see Moreno as insurance for Marcos Mateo and Rafael Dolis.
Source: Hanshin 12/11/2017
[UPDATE 12/12 @ 1:33am]
According to media reports, the two sides agreed to a one-year deal worth an estimated fifty-seven million yen (500,000 US dollars).
Added dollar amount on 12/12 @ 11:29am.0 Comments
The Hanshin Tigers told the media on December 9 that they received a list of unprotected players from the Yokohama Bay Stars. The two teams announced today that the Tigers selected twenty-two-year-old Yuya Onaka as part of their compensation package for losing Yamato to the Bay Stars via free agency.
Yokohama selected Onaka in the sixth round of the 2016 draft out of Hiroshima Keizai University. He pitched in eleven Ichi-gun games this season, all in relief, and allowed sixteen runs (fourteen earned) over 19.1 innings of work. He went 1-1 with a 6.52 ERA and 1.91 WHIP.
[UPDATE 12/18 @ 9:55pm]
The Tigers held a press conference for Onaka today. He was assigned the uniform number 27.
Source: Hanshin 12/18/2017
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The Hanshin Tigers are planning to hold winter practices at their Naruohama facilities in December. The practices will be for players that were drafted last year, as well as for players twenty-four and under. Practices will be held between December 1 and 20 with scheduled off-days.
Source: Nikkan Sports 11/27/20170 Comments