Category: NPB

2018 Spring Camp Quick Links

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[1/23/2018] Automatic Intentional Walks coming to the NPB in 2018

The joint regulation committee for professional and amateur baseball met on January 11 to discuss changes to the rule book. Among changes that will be made to the official rule book:

  • pitchers will no longer be penalized for two-stage deliveries. Pitchers can still be warned. Balks can still be called at the amateur level, but will not be called at the professional level. For amateur, will be used at College and Industrial League levels. Still under review at High School level.
  • automatic intentional walks can be used at any time during an at bat. Will be used at College and Industrial League levels. Still under review at High School level.
  • no playing catch in front of the dugout

The changes are being made based on what is used in the international rule book.

The NPB met in Tokyo on January 22 and went over the rules for the two-stage delivery and automatic intentional walk and accepted the changes. The new rules will be used this season. Additional details will be released during the NPB Manager Meetings on January 25.

Other issues:

  • The maximum number of innings for a Nippon Series game seven will drop from fifteen to twelve innings, in line with regular season games. Games beyond game seven will continue to have no inning limits.
  • The Central League is considering changes to the scheduling for the Climax Series after what happened last year (a First Stage Yokohama-Hanshin game was played despite horrible field conditions due to rain).
  • Memorial ceremonies for victims of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake will be held during six exhibition games on March 11.
  • Chia-Hao Sung will be eligible for the Rookie of the Year Award.

Source: Nikkan Sports 1/11/2018, Sponichi 1/11/2018, Sponichi 1/12/2018, Sponichi 1/12/2018, Sponichi 1/12/2018, Sponichi 1/13/2018, Sponichi 1/23/2018, Sponichi 1/23/2018, Sanspo 1/11/2018, Sanspo 1/12/2018, Sanspo 1/23/2018, Nikkan Sports 1/11/2018, Nikkan Sports 1/12/2018, Nikkan Sports 1/12/2018, Nikkan Sports 1/12/2018, Daily Sports 1/12/2018, Daily Sports 1/13/2018, Daily Sports 1/23/2018, Tokyo Sports 1/12/2018, Sports Hochi 1/13/2018


[1/23/2018] Matsuzaka heading to spring camp with Chunichi Dragons

Daisuke Matsuzka attended a tryout with the Chunichi Dragons at Nagoya Stadium earlier today. He arrived at the facilities at 1:14pm and was seen walking to the indoor facilities at 1:30pm. He tossed a bullpen session (twenty-two playing catch, twelve to a standing catcher, including sliders, curveballs, and change-ups) in front of Chunichi staff. The tryout took place behind closed doors.

Matsuzaka is now set to attend Ichi-gun spring camp with the Dragons. He will be assigned the uniform number 99.

Source: Daliy Sports 1/23/2018, Sports Hochi 1/23/2018, Sports Hochi 1/23/2018, Sponichi 1/23/2018, Sponichi 1/23/2018, Nikkan Sports 1/23/2018, Nikkan Sports 1/23/2018, Nikkan Sports 1/23/2018, Sanspo 1/23/2018

[UPDATE 1/23 @ 9:36pm]

Matsuzaka also could have selected the uniform number 20, but went with 99 because he felt he did not yet deserve a lower number and felt a connection to 99 because 9 + 9 equaled his old number. His salary will be an estimated fifteen million yen.

Source: Tokyo Sports 1/23/2018, Tokyo Sports 1/23/2018, Nikkan Sports 1/28/2018, Nikkan Sports 1/23/2018

See also:


Yuto Kanakubo: Did You Know


Kanakubo weight seventy-four kilograms in October 2017. He told reporters on January 22, 2018 that he managed to push his weight up to eighty-two kilograms by eating a lot of soba and through weights.

Source: Sanspo 1/23/2018, Sponichi 1/23/2018


Takahiro Kumagai: Did You Know


Kumagai unofficially (timed by the media) ran to first in 3.70 seconds during rookie workouts on January 22. When he was in college, his best time around all the bases was 13.8 seconds.

Source: Sanspo 1/23/2018, Sponichi 1/23/2018, Daily Sports 1/23/2018


2018 NPB Eastern League Schedule

The 2018 Eastern League schedule and 2018 Eastern League Spring Kyoiku League schedule was released on January 23.



2018 NPB Western League Schedule

The 2018 Western League schedule and 2018 Western League Spring Kyoiku League schedule was released on January 22.



Shunta Nakatsuka: Did You Know


  • Nakatsuka weighed 103 kilograms last December (he weighed 105 kilograms when he was drafted in 2016). He told reporters on January 20, 2018 that he dropped his weight down to around ninety-six or ninety-seven kilograms. Source: Daily Sports 1/21/2018, Sponichi 1/21/2018

[1/19/2018] Orix Buffaloes, Chunichi Dragons interested in Ichiro

If forty-four-year-old Ichiro Suzuki decides to return to the NPB this year, at least two teams will be interested: the Orix Buffaloes and Chunichi Dragons. And according to Sports Hochi, the Dragons may have already submitted an offer to the outfielder.

For those wondering, Ichiro has connections to both Orix and Chunichi. The veteran was born in Aichi and was a fan of the Dragons as a child. When he turned pro, he played for the Orix Blue Wave.

Source: Sponichi 1/19/2018, Nikkan Sports 1/19/2018, Daily Sports 1/19/2018, Sports Hochi 1/19/2018, Sports Hochi 1/19/2018


[1/19/2018] Yokohama Bay Stars: player name changes

The Yokohama Bay Stars announced the following name changes today:

  • 松尾 大河 → 大河 (Matsuo, Taiga → Taiga)
  • G. 後藤 武敏 → G 後藤 武敏 (G. Goto, Taketoshi → G Goto, Taketoshi) *no dot after G
  • 山本 武白志 → 武白志 (Yamamoto, Musashi → Musashi)

Source: Yokohama 1/19/2018

NPB Standings [Full]
Hiroshima 143 88 51 4
Hanshin 143 78 61 4
Yokohama 143 73 65 5
Yomiuri 143 72 68 3
Chunichi 143 59 79 5
Yakult 143 45 96 2
Softbank 143 94 49 0
Seibu 143 79 61 3
Rakuten 143 77 63 3
Orix 143 63 79 1
Nippon Ham 143 60 83 0
Lotte 143 54 87 2
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