Archive for the 'Taiwan' Category

Brothers Win First Half

Wednesday, July 15th, 2020

In the China Professional Baseball League (CPBL) the Rakuten Monkeys appeared as if they were going to run away with the first half. They are the defending champions and have won three straight Taiwan series and five out of the last six. Despite the fast start the China Trust Brothers caught up to them and won the first half.

The Brothers and Monkeys were the two best hitting teams in the CPBL, with the Brothers averaging 6.93 runs per game while the Monkeys averaged 6.77. It was the pitching that won the first half for the Brothers with a league leading 4.36 ERA while the Monkeys were second but far behind at 5.80. In the win/loss department the Brothers were 36-23 while the Monkeys were three games behind at 33-25.

The Uni-President Lions were far behind in third (26-34) while the Fubon Guardians filled last place (22-34). The Brothers have punched their ticket to the playoffs. The second half will be played and the winner of the second half will qualify for the playoffs. If the Brothers win the second half then the two teams with the second and third best record will play a best of five series, with the winner playing the Brothers in a best of seven. If a team other than the Brothers wins the second half, then the team with the best record gets a bye and the other team plays the team with the best record that did not make the playoffs in a best of five.

Lions Power Evident Against Monkeys

Saturday, June 27th, 2020

Even though the Uni-President Lions are third in the CPBL, they are first in power. That was evident when they ripped the Rakuten Monkeys 21-5. Lin An-Ko was the big bat driving in seven runs with his two homeruns. He now has 16 homeruns on the season, second to teammate Su Chih-Chieh who has 18. Lin though is the RBI leader in the CPBL with 58.

The loss knocked the Monkeys into second place with the China Trust Brothers 6-3 win over the Fubon Guardians. The Monkeys and the Brothers have been leapfrogging each other over the last couple weeks. With only a half game separating the two, when one wins and the other loses the first place lead is exchanged.

There were 6,500 fans who saw their home team Monkeys lose to the Lions. The Brothers won in front of 9,100. S big crowds are coming out to watch baseball.

The Lions lead the CPBL in homeruns with 72. The Monkeys are second with 65. Li Lin surpassed his slumping teammate Zhu Yu-Xian, who has been stuck on 12. Zhu has also seen his batting average drop to .358. The Monkeys have had trouble winning since the bat of Zhu has gone quiet.

Guardians Sign Manny Banuelos

Friday, June 19th, 2020

Myworld can remember watching Banuelos pitch in a spring training game and determined he was a can’t miss for the major leagues. Injuries led to ineffectiveness and he did make the major leagues, but he was a miss. The Fubon Guardians of the China Professional Baseball League (CPBL) signed him and hope he can help them run past .500. They won yesterday over the last place Uni Lions 6-5 to put their record at 17-22.

Banuelos signed with the Yankees in 2018. At one point he was rated as one of the Yankees top ten prospects and MLB.com put him in their top 50 prospect rankings. Tommy John surgery in 2012 hurt his prospect status. At that time the lefty could throw in the mid-90s pretty consistently. Now it is more in the high 80s to low 90s. He did get opportunities to pitch in the major leagues in 2015 and 2019 but with little success, stringing together a 6.31 ERA in 23 appearances and 14 starts with the Atlanta Braves (2015) and Chicago White Sox (2019).

The Uni Lions released Donn Roach, the first foreign player released by a CPBL team. They have signed another pitcher, but he has not been named yet as he undergoes his 14 day quarantine. It will be interesting who that is. The Lions already have three foreign pitchers in Josh Roenicke, Ryan Feierabend and Logan Darnell, but Darnell could also be on the outs with an ERA at 9.00 in five appearances and four starts. You can go to CPBLstats.com to learn all the releases and signings in the CPBL.

The Rakuten Monkeys struggles continue as they lost to the Chinatrust Brother 7-4. The loss now puts them a game and a half behind the Brothers. The Brothers are on a three game winning streak while the Monkeys have played under .500 since they won their first seven games of the season.

Asian Dream Team

Wednesday, June 17th, 2020

Because one of the requirements is you have to have played in the major leagues it limits the talent level of the Japanese players. Some of the all time greats from Japan are not eligible. Limiting it to Japanese players who played in the major leagues would not create a full roster of quality players. In some cases, like with catcher you only have one player born in Japan that played catcher in the major leagues. This is a team filled with Asian players from Australia, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, thought Australia and Taiwan only had one player each.

Starting Lineup

Ichiro Suzuki RF (Japan)
Kosuke Fukudome CF (Japan)
Shohei Ohtani DH (Japan)
Hideki Matsui LF (Japan)
Ji-Man Choi 1B (Korea)
Kang Jung-Ho 3B (Korea)
Tadahito Iguchi 2B (Japan)
Kenji Johjima C (Japan)
Kazuo Matsui SS (Japan)

Bench

Dave Nilsson (C) (Australia), Rob Refsnyder (UTL) (Korea), Nori Aoki (OF) (Japan), Shin-Soo Choo (OF) (Korea), Dave Roberts (OF) (Japan), Tsuyoshi Shinjo (OF) (Japan)

Starting Pitching

Hideo Nomo (Japan), Masahiro Tanaka (Japan), Daisuke Matsuzaka (Japan), Yu Darvish (Japan), Park Chan-Ho (Korea)

Bullpen

Koji Uehara (Japan), Kazuhiro Sasaki (Japan), Hideki Okajima (Japan), Shohei Ohtani (Japan), Seung-Hwan Oh (Korea), Chien-Ming Wang (Taiwan)

This team lacks a true shortstop. Matsui and Kang played a lot of shortstop in Japan and Korea but were not considered major league shortstops. This is a big hole. Behind the plate you can rotate Nilsson and Johjima. Choi was even considered a catcher when he played in Korea and briefly in the minor leagues. So Taguchi was left off the roster but he and Shinjo are interchangeable. Refsnyder was included because of his ability to play infield. There are a number of quality starting pitchers to choose from. Kenta Maeda was left off this roster in favor of Park. The bullpen can have seven relievers because of the dual ability of Ohtani. Wang is the one player from Taiwan who I could not squeeze in the rotation but I did put him in the bullpen. He could make an occasional emergency start. That knocked off Australian lefty Graeme Lloyd.

Brothers and Monkeys Battle for First

Saturday, June 13th, 2020

The Rakuten Monkeys appeared to be running away with the CPBL. That was until the Chinatrust Brothers started winning and the Monkeys fell into a slump. The Brothers surpassed the Monkeys by a half game on Thursday with a three game series starting Friday.

The Monkeys recaptured the lead on Friday with a 4-0 win. Lisalverto Bonilla pitched eight shutout innings to get the win, his CPBL leading fifth win of the season. Chen Chun-Hsui got Bonilla the only runs he needed with a two run homer in the fourth. The Monkeys scored two more runs in the inning. Wang Yao-Lin closed out the ninth to get the win.

The first place lead did not last long for the Monkeys with the Brothers coming back on Saturday for an 8-5 win. The Brothers jumped out to an early 5-1 lead but the Monkeys battled back to tie the score in the top of the sixth at 5-5. The Brothers scored one in the bottom of the sixth to take a one run lead and then scored two in the ninth to put the game away and reclaim the first place lead by half a game.

They play again Sunday to see if the Monkeys will reclaim first or the Brothers can extend their lead.

Brothers Gaining on Monkeys

Monday, June 8th, 2020

It appeared the Rakuten Monkeys would run away with the CPBL, starting off with a seven game winning streak, led by the homerun barrage of Yu-Xian Zhu. Those homerun numbers have slowed and so have the wins by the Monkeys.

The China Trust Brothers have now racked up five straight wins. The Rakuten Monkeys are no longer the only team with a record over .500. With the five game winning streak the Brothers have shot their record up to 18-15 and now only find themselves two games behind the Monkeys who are 19-12.

The Brothers have the best pitching staff in the offensive oriented CPBL with a 5.70 ERA. They have been getting excellent outings from Ariel Miranda (3-3, 2.86) and a 24 year old local pitcher in his sophomore season, En-Shih Huang (3-0, 4.33). Last year in his rookie year Huang finished with an ERA of 7.47 in 14 starts.

On offense the Brothers are led by veteran Zhi-Hao Zhang (.352, 9, 37), who leads the team and the CPBL in RBIs and Wei-Chen Wang (.359, 2, 14) who leads the team in runs scored (33) and stolen bases (8) and is third in the CPBL in those categories. Zhu now no longer leads the CPBL in homeruns (12) and is second to the Uni President Lions Zhi-Jie Su, who has 13.

The CPBL will now allow their stadiums to fill up to 50% capacity, with masks no longer a requirement to sit in their seat at games. They will be required to put on their masks when leaving their seats to visit the concessions or go to the bathroom. The feeling was that the hot weather made the masks uncomfortable to wear when watching the games.

The Taiwan CDC has eliminated any restrictions in attendance by sports organizations. The CPBL is playing it cautious by moving to the half stadium capacity before they start allowing full attendance at the games. To continue with contact tracing the fans are required to leave their names and contact numbers before entering the stadium.

Taiwan to Open Things Up in Stadiums

Friday, June 5th, 2020

Starting June 7 Taiwan will open things up. There will be minimum restrictions on seating, no masks required and they will open the stadium up for food and beverage service. The one restriction they have on seating is fans must sit in even numbered seats in one row and the row in front and behind them fans must sit in odd numbered seats. Previously fans had to sit two to three seats apart while the rows in front and behind them had to remain empty.

It is hard to believe that at one time Taiwan had more corona virus cases than the United States. They recognized the problem early, established social distancing requirements and contact tracing immediately. They have now gone 56 straight days with no domestic corona virus cases.

Under 15 World Cup Scheduled for Tijuana in October

Friday, June 5th, 2020

Tijuana, Mexico is becoming a hot spot for baseball. First it was announced that the Women’s World Cup of Baseball would be played there November 12-21. Now the WBSC has made it a double header by announcing that the Under 15 World Cup will be played in Tijuana on October 30 to November 8. That is back to back World Cup events held in one city.

In the last World Cup held in 2018 the United States defeated Panama, while Taiwan finished third. The teams that will be competing in this 15 and under World Cup are:

Africa: South Africa
Americas: Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama, United States and Venezuela
Asia: Taiwan and Japan
Europe: Germany and Italy
Oceania: Guam

Women’s Baseball World Cup Scheduled for November

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020

It was originally scheduled for September 11-20 but had to be cancelled because of the corona virus. It has now been scheduled for November 12-21 in Tijuana, Mexico. Twelve teams will be competing in this event. They are:

Americas: United States, Canada, Mexico and Venezuela
Asia: Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines
Europe: France
Oceania: Australia
Wild Card: Cuba, Dominican Republic and Netherlands

Japan is the defending champion and has won the last six events. They have not lost a game in their last 30 contests. Taiwan lost in the finals to Japan. Canada defeated the United States for the bronze medal. The 2018 games were played in Vierra, Florida.

More Basebrawl in Taiwan

Thursday, May 28th, 2020

The main instigator again seems to be Henry Sosa, who started the first baseball brawl, but Ariel Miranda appears to have ended it. Two fans were also given permanent prohibitions to attend games for some expletives they hurled at a player heading back to the dugout. Ah. Baseball and the fans are back in Taiwan.

It all started after Chang Chih-Hao took Henry Sosa deep. The next time Sosa faced Chang he hit him in the leg. After the inning he did a “so sorry” hat tip to the bench. The first brawl in Taiwan baseball started in April after Henry Sosa hit a Rakuten Monkey player. This time it was a China Trust Brothers player. Next in line could be a Uni Lions player.

Ariel Miranda did not take too kindly to that hit by pitch. Especially after Lin Yi-Chaun hit his solo shot off him, the second homerun Miranda had given up in the inning. The next time Lin came to the plate a pitch went flying past his head. The umpire issued warnings to both benches. Miranda was not deterrred. His next pitch drilled Lin in the knee. The umpire ejected Miranda and benches cleared.

It did not seem as bad as the first benches clearing brawl between the Fubon Guardians and the Rakuten Monkeys. That stadium was empty when the April brawl occurred. This benches clearing incident had 2,000 fans in attendance. Two fans had some unsavory comments about the mother of Chen Hung-Wen as he was walking back to the dugout. Chen was not involved in the incident, but he was wearing a Fubon Guardians uniform. Teammates had to hold him back as he tried going after the fans.

The two fans comments forced the Brothers to prohibit them from attending any future games, the first time in the 31 year history that fans have been permanently prohibited from attending anymore CPBL games. It will be interesting to see how it is enforced, but when only 2,000 fans are in attendance it becomes much easier for their comments to be heard.

The Guardians won the game 7-3. If anyone was interested.