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Comings and goings in Japan
2007-02-15 17:48
by Bob Timmermann

Hideki Matsui leaves Japan to head to Tampa and spring training with the Yankees.

Lefty reliever Hideki Okajima has arrived in Fort Myers for Red Sox spring training. Today Daisuke Matsuzaka, the "other" Japanese pitcher on the Red Sox said in a press conference today that he's not going to change his pitching style.

Erstwhile Dodger Norihiro Nakamura is going to give it a go with the defending Central League champion Chunichi Dragons.

And 38-year old former home run king of Japan Tuffy Rhodes is going to try out with the Orix Buffaloes at their camp in Okinawa. Rhodes played for the Buffaloes when they were called the Kintetsu Buffaloes and hit 55 home runs for the Buffaloes in 2001 to tie Sadaharu Oh's single season record for Japan. Alex Cabrera of Seibu subsequently tied the mark in 2002.

2007-02-15 19:18:38
1.   Gen3Blue
I have a feeling Matsuzaka is going to be very successful in America--from my experience, more Japanese pitchers than not get a bump from facing major league batters-- I sight Nomo and our Dodger closer for two. They seem to bring something beyond velocity. Matsuzaka should have both.
I was pulling for Nakamura but he didn't make it. But I recall he drove in many RBI's as I kept track of him at Las Vegas. If the stat RBI per AB existed, I bet he would have been a leader at AAA, and his fielding was far from shabby. I will try to see how he does with the Dragons.

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