Archive for November, 2014

Myworld in San Diego

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

Myworld has been in San Diego these past couple days. Posts will be a bit sporadic while we are here. This is vacation time for myworld while we connect with relatives here.

On our drive to San Diego from the East Coast some of our observations. The speed limit on portions of Interstate 10 in Texas in 80 miles per hour. We don’t know if that speed was the reason we had to wait for three and a half hours stalled on the freeway near Odessa while they cleared the road of a fatality.

We also stayed at a Marriott next to the stadium for the Tennessee Smokies. This will force us to visit the stadium in 2015 when we travel to New Orleans for volleyball junior nationals in July.

Matsuzaka to Return to Japan

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

It appears Daisuke Matsuzaka will return to Japan to finish out his career. The Softbank Hawks will be holding a press conference on December 5 to announce his arrival with the team. He will join a number of Japanese players like Kaz Matsui, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Tadahito Iguchi and Kosuke Fukudome who have returned to Japan after some success in the major leagues.

Matsuzaka could have had greater success in the major leagues, but he hurt his arm pitching for Japan in the 2009 World Baseball Classic and eventually had to undergo surgery. The previous season in 2008 he finished 18-3 with a 2.90 ERA paving the way for the success of Yu Darvish, Hisashi Iwakuma and Masahiro Tanaka. Hideo Nomo had paved the way for Matsuzaka to achieve success in the United States.

In 2007 Matsuzaka first arrived in the United States finishing 15-12, with a 4.40 ERA in 32 starts. Though his numbers were not that good he was instrumental in leading the Boston Red Sox to their second World Series victory in his rookie season.

Another player expecting to return to Japan is Hiroyuki Nakajima, who is expected to sign with the Hanshin Tigers. Nakajima signed as a free agent with the Oakland Athletics back in 2013. He was expected to be their starting shortstop but a hamstring injury before the end of spring training but him on the disabled list to start the season. Jed Lowrie was put at shortstop and won the position, relegating Nakajima to the minor leagues.

A number of Japanese teams would love to sign Ichiro Suzuki to finish out his career in Japan, but he is still set on finding a major league team. While he could fill a starting role with a Japanese team he will be no better than a fourth outfielder in the major leagues.

Premiere 12 Decided

Friday, November 28th, 2014

The 12 teams will play for one million dollars in the first ever baseball tournament in which the top 12 teams will compete for the number one spot in the standings. Japan recently was voted the top team, vaulting over the United States after their second place finish in the Under 21 tournament. The dates for the tournament have not been established, but to get the best of the best it will more than likely be played in November, after the Asian professional seasons and the major league season has ended.

The top 12 teams in order of their ranking are 1) Japan, 2) United States, 3) Cuba, 4)Taiwan, 5) Netherlands, 6) Dominican Republic, 7) Canada, 8) Korea 9) Puerto Rico 10) Venezuela, 11) Italy and 12) Mexico.

After this first tournament, the Premier 12 will be played every four years, with the next tournament being 2019. That is a year before the qualifying rounds for the World Baseball Classic and two years before the World Baseball Classic. It will be interesting to see what the attendance for these games will be like. The attendance will be influenced by the participants who choose to play for each team.

Yang Posting Bid Rejected

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

It was the Texas Rangers who won the winning bid for Korean lefthander Hyeon-Jong Yang, not the Minnesota Twins. It doesn’t really matter now since the Kia Tigers rejected the offering because it lacked one too many zeros at the end. Yang can not be posted again until November 1, 2015.

The Padres won a posting bid for the SK Wyverns Kwang-Hyun Kim. The Wyverns accepted the $2 million posting and they will begin to negotiate a contract in December. The Padres have until 30 days after an agreement to the posting to agree on a salary.

It was rumored the Rangers posting for Yang was $500,000 less than Kim. The Tigers had informed Yang they would accept any posting unless it was unacceptably low. Whatever bid the Rangers made, it met the definition of unacceptable.

Yasmany Thomas Signs with Diamondbacks

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

Major league baseball seems to do a pretty good job of distributing the Cuban and Japanese players to the various major league clubs. It is probably not by design but by the nature of the player and teams not wanting to flood their roster with too many players of one type. It seems there is always one new team to step up and sign this foreign free agent. The Arizona Diamondbacks now have a Cuban reject on their team, stepping up to shell out $68.5 million for six years. Don’t know what attracted Yasmany to the Arizona area. If Yasmany is not happy with the direction the Diamondbacks are heading or the value of the contract he can opt out after four years.

Thomas has big time power but may swing and miss a lot. His defense is probably better geared for left field, though reports seem to indicate he has the arm for right. The Diamondbacks will probably have him play in AAA for a month or so to allow him to get his timing back after being inactive for over a year. It should not take him long to arrive with the major league team.

As a five year veteran of the National Series, the professional league in Cuba, Thomas is exempt from any international slot penalty. He played for the Industriales Leones, hitting 20 homeruns a couple years ago. Those figures dropped to 15 and finally to 6 last year. He has a .289 career average in the Cuban League and probably has too much swing and miss with his bat.

Pitchers Sweep Japan Awards - Kaneko Wins MVP of Pacific

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

Chihiro Kaneko won the MVP award of the Pacific League. There was some thought he would be going to the major leagues as a free agent or be posted, but after having minor elbow surgery and probably receiving very little interest from major league teams it appears he has decided to stay in Japan. Kaneko finished 16-5, 1.90 ERA to lead the Orix Buffaloes to the playoffs. He is still sorting through offers from Japan teams before making a decision where to play, having given up for this year a major league try. One of the conditions he is considering including in his contract is a provision that the Japanese team who signs him would have to agree to post him next season for the 2016 major league season.

Ayumu Ishikawa of the Chibba Lotte Marines was voted the rookie of the year in the Pacific League. Ishikawa finished 10-8, 3.43 ERA in his first year of NPB action. Ayumu was a first round pick last year by both the Giants and Marines. The Marines won the lottery for his services.

The MVP of the Central League was given to Tomoyuki Sugano, a right handed pitcher for the Yomiuri Giants. Tomoyuki finished 12-6 with a 2.33 ERA. That was good enough to be tops in the Central League in the ERA race.

The Hiroshima Carp had righthanded pitcher Daichi Osera win the rookie of the year awards. Daichi finished 10-8 with a 4.05 ERA. Daichi was also a first round pick last year, selected by three teams, with the Hiroshima Carp winning the drawing for his services.

See below link for complete list of all the award winners in Japan:

awards

Top Hitters in Cuban League

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

The National Series took a break while their players participated in the Central American championship. They won the gold medal beating Nicaragua 9-3. With the many defections of Cuban players to the major leagues it gives others the opportunity for other players to fill the void. Below are the top hitters for each team. We will go into the top pitchers perhaps tomorrow.

Matanzas (22-11)

Yadiel Hernandez - .354, 2, 20 with a team leading 9 doubles. 30/16 walk to whiff ratio with a 1.001 OPS
Dainer Moreira - .365, 0, 20 with 24 runs scored, tied for team lead with Yadiel

They lost their offensive second baseman Jose Fernandez (.315, 1, 12)

Granma (18-11)

Alfredo Despaigne - .440, 2, 11. Only has played nine games since his return from Japan.
Lazaro Cedeno - .343, 7, 21. A 1.036 OPS should return a dynamic two sluggers to Stallions offense
Urmani Guerra - .248, 5, 21
Roel Santos - .370, 0, 7. 24 runs scored and a 28/4 walk to whiff ratio

Artemisa (20-13)

Dariel Crespo - .340, 1, 14
Victor Munoz - .293, 4, 15. A team leading .908 OPS

A team noted more for its pitching.

Ciego de Avila (18-14)

Humberto Morales - .278, 5, 18
Yorelvis Charles - .383, 2, 18 - a team leading .956 OPS
Jose Garcia - .381, 1, 18. 5 for 10 in stolen base attempts
Yoelvis Fiss - .283, 4, 19. Team leading 8 doubles.

Isla de la Juventud (17-14)

Rigobert Gomez - .317, 0, 17. 6 for 6 in stolen bases and a 17/3 walk to whiff ratio.
Luis Rivera - .333, 0, 19

Team only has three homeruns shared among three players in 31 games played.

Industriales (18-15)

Lourdes Gourriel - .339, 6, 26 (younger brother of Yulieski having a breakout season). 24 runs scored tops on team.
Yulieski Gouriel - .167 (just returned from playing in Japan)
Alexander Malleta - .276, 5, 23

Villa Clara (17-15)

Yeniet Perez - .318, 4, 23 with a .911 OPS
Yuniet Flores - .347, 0, 7. 12 doubles, two ahead of Perez.
Yordanis Linares - .356, 1, 16. 6 for 9 in stolen bases.
Ariel Borrero - .282, 0, 11

Guantanamo (16 - 17)

Giorbis Duvergel - .409, 5, 20 with a 1.164 OPS and 23/10 walk to whiff ratio.
Luis Sanchez - .353, 0, 20
Julio Martinez - .357, 1, 15

Santiago de Cuba (16 - 17)

Reutilio Hurtado - .250, 4, 17. 21 runs scored leads team.
Alexei Bell - .357, 5, 13. 5 for 7 in stolen bases and 20 runs scored. 28/11 walk to whiff ratio. 1.123 OPS
Luis La O Camacho - .331, 0, 20. Only 2 whiffs in 146 plate appearances.

Pinar del Rio (14-15)

Luis Valdes - .419, 3, 24 with a 1.045 OPS
Lazaro Alonso - .417, 3, 18 with a 1.233 OPS.
Osniel Madera - .315, 4, 15

Las Tunas (14-17)

Yosvani Alarcon - .359, 8, 27 with a 1.030 OPS. 26 runs scored leads team.
Yordanis Alarcon - .368, 5, 18 with a 1.112 OPS.
Yordan Batiste - .324, 1, 16 with 9 doubles.
Yordan Alvarez - .377, 0, 8 but with no extra base hits and 29 singles.

Holquin (14-17)

Yeison Pacheco - .318, 4, 17
Maikel Caceres - .318, 6, 16
Yordan Manduley - .318, 1, 16 with 7 doubles

Sancti Spiritus (14-18)

Frederich Cepeda - still has not played a game since his return from Japan but participated in the Central American championship.
Livan Monteagudo - .252, 7, 21
Yunier Mendoza - .367, 0, 17
Jorge Aloma - .300, 2, 14. Leads team in runs scored with 21

Cienfuegos (14-19)

Juan Vazquez - .297, 0, 22 with 9 doubles
Juan Soriano - .292, 2, 21
Yusniel Ibanez - .336, 1, 14 with 9 doubles

Lost to the major leagues Jose Abreu and Yasiel Puig.

Camaguey (12 - 21)

Dary Bartolome - .243, 5, 11
Alexander Ayala - .308, 3, 17

Mayabeque (11-21)

Jorge Barcelan - .360, 3, 15. 1.104 OPS and a 20/6 walk to whiff ratio. 20 runs scored leads team.
Dennis Laza - .305, 2, 16 with 12 doubles.

Korean Foreign Hitters Given Boot

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

In a league strong on offense, many of the Korean teams gave their foreign hitters the boot. Five of the nine teams said goodbye to their foreign bats. The list of those players are below:

Doosan Bears - Jorge Cantu
LG Twins - Brad Snyder (a late season pick up but the Twins did not like what they saw)
Nexen Heroes - Vinny Rottino (played the bench for most of the season)
Lotte Giants - Luis Jimenez (Brett Pill type numbers - .315, 14, 61, but injuries limited him to 12 less games)
SK Wyverns - Luke Scott (troubled by injuries - no surprise there)

The teams who were happy with their foreign players:

Samsung Lions _ Yamaico Navarro (set the offense from the leadoff spot providing Ricky Henderson type power numbers)
NC Dinos - Eric Thames (One of the top sluggers in the league)
Kia Tigers - Brett Pill (didn’t seem to provide top level offense - 309- 19-65)
Hanwha Eagles - Felix Pie (despite his outbursts of anger with the manager)

Lucas Harrell signed with the LG Twins. Myworld attends all the Houston Astros spring training games and there were a couple Asian guys who were always around with their video when Lucas pitched. We assumed they were Japanese. They may have wanted to sign him last year.

Puerto Rico Winter League Update

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

San Juan has returned to the Puerto Rican Winter League. Their performance has been absent early in the season.

Indios de Mayguez (11-6)

Kennys Vargas (.291, 4, 13) hopes to have his power numbers for the Indios show for the Twins. He leads the team in RBIs and his 16/10 walk to whiff ratio is impressive for a power hitter. Andrew Velasquez (.314, 2, 6) is top on the team in stolen bases, stealing five of six and tied for first in runs scored with 11. Luis Figueroa (.338, 1, 8) has also scored 11 runs.

Andrew Barbosa (0-1, 2.08) and Jorge Lopez (0-1, 1.65) have each started four games but have yet to be credited for a win, despite impressive ERAs. Bradin Hagins (2-0, 3.66) has started five games and won two despite a less than impressive ERA. He also leads the team in whiffs with 26. Fernando Cabrera (1.00, 6 saves) is the closer with a 0.56 WHIP in nine appearances covering 9 innings. Jonathan Albaladejo (1-0, 0.00) has been impressive in a setup role, striking out 15 in 11 innings and keeping the opponents scoreless in his appearances.

Criollos de Caguas (10-7)

The top hitters have been Trevor Adams (.333, 3, 10) and Angel Sanchez (.313, 1, 10). The two are tied for the team lead in RBIs and Adams leads the team in runs scored with 13. Ramon Castro (.361, 0, 4) has five doubles as part of his 13 hits.

Jose de Leon (2-1, 1.13) has been unhittable in four starts. The opposition is hitting him at a .183 clip. The second start for Jose he did not give up a hit in five innings of work. He has not given up a run in three of his four starts. Logan Williamson (1-1, 3.80) threw a complete game shutout in his last start.

Gigantes de Carolina (9-7)

Tsukada Masayoshi (.393, 0, 4) has come over from Japan and gotten a hit in each of his 9 games. Anthony Garcia (.291, 3, 16) has been providing all the run production. Jesus Feliciano (.377, 1, 15) and Ozzie Martinez (.362, 2, 7) have been providing Garcia with many opportunities to drive in runs. Carlos Corporan (.277, 0, 7) only has 13 hits, but seven of them have been doubles.

Nine different pitchers have gotten the opportunity to start for Carolina. Giancarlo Alvarado (2-2, 4.94) leads the team in starts with five. J.C. Romero (1-0, 0.93, 3 saves) fills the closer role.

Cangrejeros de Santurce (8-9)

A.J. Jimenez (.367, 0, 8) is trying to make himself relevant for the Blue Jays catching job, or make himself attractive for a trade. Jordan Lennerton (.305, 1, 10) is second to Yadiel Rivera (.182, 2, 12) in RBIs. Delino Deshields (.234, 0, 3) has stolen five bases in seven attempts. Reymond Fuentes (.217, 1, 2) is now a Royal and is tied with Yadiel for the team lead in runs scored.

Joel Pineiro (1-2, 4.76) is still hanging on. Opponents are hitting .283 off him and he has only struck out 12 in 26 innings of work. Ivan Maldanado (1-1, 0.00) has given up five unearned runs in three starts. Jon Velasquez (0-1, 2.08, 5 saves) has been filling the closer role.

Senadores de San Juan (4-13)

No player on the Senadores is hitting over .300. Ruben Gotay (.288, 4, 10) leads the team in home runs and batting average. Jon Garcia (.259, 3, 11) is tops in RBIs. Marlins prospect Nolan Fontana (.138) has found the league to be a struggle.

Adalberto Flores (2-2, 2.40) has half of the teams wins. Ryan Kelly (1-0, 2.89, 2 saves) has been involved in three of the team’s four wins.

Playoff Shares Determined for Major League Players

Monday, November 24th, 2014

Many players in Japan play a full season before they earn what San Francisco Giants players earned for their World Series triumph, which amounted to about 13 games. Below are the full shares for each of the players on major league playoff teams:

San Francisco Giants - $388,605
Kansas City Royals - $230,699
Baltimore Orioles - $125,288
St. Louis Cardinals - $115, 480
Detroit Tigers - $31,543
Anaheim Angels - $29,844
Los Angeles Dodgers - $31,542
Washington Nationals - $29,418
Oakland Athletics - $15,266
Pittsburgh Pirates - $16,555

The player’s share of the gate comes from 50 percent of the gate receipts for the Wild Card game, 60 percent of the gate receipts of the first three games of the Division Series, 60 percent of the gate receipts of the first three games of the League championship series and 60 percent of the gate receipts of the first four games of the World Series.