Camp fires: Feb. 25, 2024

Ideally, the preseason is about good news, baseball being played, players fine-tuning their games for the regular season, guys coming back from injury setback. But the flip side is players getting hurt before the start of the season.

The Chunichi Dragons looking to have left-handed ace Yudai Ono, the 2019 Sawamura Award winner, back after his 2023 season ended in surgery after one game, but went into camp without their top draft pick from 2023, Asia University pitcher Sho Kusaka, who felt discomfort in January and is now having or has already had Tommy John surgery.

Continue reading Camp fires: Feb. 25, 2024

Camp fires: Feb. 18, 2024

I’m back after a short break to take care of some other work that needed to be taken care of. It’s not like I’ve gone anywhere but when the most interesting thing I saw in the first 10 days of camp was a pitcher discovering a cat had taken a dump on the bullpen mound he was using, well, it was not that compelling.

On Sunday, Livan Moinelo threw his first bullpen of the spring, the Chunichi Dragons media was particularly revved up about Sho Nakata, which is not a good sign, and batters getting hit with pitches seems to be a thing.

Moinelo throws 87 pitches

Livan Moinelo, who had an unspecified procedure in July that was expected to keep him out of action for three months, threw his first bullpen of the spring Sunday, heaving 87 pitches under the supervision of new manager Hiroki Kokubo and pitching coach Shinji Kurano in Miyazaki.

Continue reading Camp fires: Feb. 18, 2024

writing & research on Japanese baseball