エンゼルス監督「大谷は開幕には間に合わないだろう」

ロサンゼルス・エンゼルスのオースマス新監督は12日(水)に、ラスベガスで開催されていいたウィンターミーティングで、大谷翔平選手について「大谷は開幕には間に合わないだろう」と話し、彼が野球界に与える影響についても語った。

「僕たちにも(二刀流を)できるのではないか」と思う若手のアスリート、野球選手は増えてくるだろう。その点で大谷選手が野球界に与える影響はとても大きなものになるだろう。」

ロサンゼルス・エンゼルスのオースマス新監督

膝の状態に懸念が残るプホルス選手がDHで出場することが予想されるため、大谷の打者としての出場は制限されるのではないか、という問いに対し、オースマス監督は「大谷は開幕には間に合わないだろう。よって、シーズン序盤ではプホルス選手をDHとして起用することができる。彼(プホルス)の一塁手としての起用頻度は、膝の状態を見ながら慎重にバランスを取る。」と語った。「大谷の肘を守り、2020年以降に投げられるようにしたい。彼は圧倒的な投手であり、万全な状態で復帰させたい。メディカルチームには今まで以上に注意してもらわなければならない。彼の復帰を望んでいるし、彼の打力を打線に加えたい。しかし、彼を打者として復帰させることにより投手としての復帰に悪影響がでないことが重要だ。現段階では彼をいつ打線に復帰させるかは未定だ。」

オースマス監督はエンゼルスの春季キャンプで大谷選手の打撃練習をみた時の印象を次のように語った。

「印象的なのは彼の打球の質だ。説明するのは難しいが、ミゲル・カブレラ選手の打球の質に似ている。両者とも凄まじいパワーがあり、逆方向にも打球を飛ばせる。彼らのような打者は少ない。もう一つ、大谷は守備につかないため見逃されがちなのは彼の走力だ。彼の足はとても速い。マイク・トラウトも速いが、大谷も同じくらい速い。両者ともリーグ屈指の走者だ。」とメジャーリッグトップレベルの選手と比較して大谷選手を絶賛した。ここ二年間大谷選手が怪我に苦しんでいることもあり、メジャーリーグにおける二刀流選手の是非については盛んに議論が続いている。オースマス監督は、大谷選手の成功が若手に与える影響について「大谷は誰も長い間誰も実現できなかったことをやろうとしている。彼の影響で二刀流を志す選手は今後増えてくるだろう。若手の中に『大谷ができるなら自分にもできるのではないか』と思う選手が出てくるだろう。その点で大谷選手が野球界に与える影響はとても大きなものになるだろう。」と語った。

英語の記事はここです。

翻訳:佐藤ケンタ

Kikuchi leaves for U.S.

Seibu Lions left Yusei Kikuchi left Narita Airport outside Tokyo on Sunday, boarding a flight bound for the United States, where he hopes to conclude a contract with a major league team.

“I’m looking forward to this,” the 27-year-old told reporters. “After playing nine seasons for the Lions, I have this sensation that my time has finally come.”

“I want to enjoy every part of the process.”

Kikuchi has said he’s open to playing for any club, and this past week at baseball’s winter meetings, his agent, Scott Boras, described the interest in Kikuchi as “intense.”

“I want to prioritize those things that will enable me to perform my best,” he said.

According to Boras, Kikuchi has already undergone his physical and now will be working out and meeting with interested teams. He has until 5 pm Eastern Time on Jan. 2 to conclude a contract. If he fails to do that, Kikuchi will rejoin Seibu for the 2019 season.

Boras: Kikuchi interest “intense”

Agent Scott Boras tells a throng of reporters at the winter meetings in Las Vegas about his clients.

 

LAS VEGAS – Agent Scott Boras called the interest in Seibu Lions left-hander Yusei Kikuchi “intense” on Wednesday, when he held court at baseball’s winter meetings.

Kikuchi has been on the market since Dec. 5, has already had his physical, and is expected to arrive in Los Angeles in the coming days, Boras said.




“He’s the only 27-year-old left-handed starting pitcher on the market,” Boras said “He’s viewed very differently, because of the acquistion cost. You have to pay a posting fee. Clubs feel he has a very fresh arm, unlike a lot of Japanese pitchers. He did not throw in NPB at 18 or 19, so he has very limited innings compared to some of the other Japanese pitchers that have come over.”

“We think the teams are very aware of his value. Remember, too, that a Japanese pitcher of reputation may offer major league teams an economic incentive. Because there’s a lot about the partnership with Japanese companies that bring value. They’re very pleased about having in their market place a star Japanese player.”

Kikuchi has been deactivated three times when the Seibu Lions attributed the reason as shoulder issues:

When he was left off the Opening Day roster in his first year (2010) and was not activated until the end of September.
When he missed one start in the middle of the 2013 season.
When he missed five weeks at the start of this past season with shoulder stiffness.

“People write that he’s had a history of shoulder trouble, but that is not accurate,” a member of Boras’ staff said.




When he was Daisuke Matsuzaka’s agent in 2006, Boras reportedly encouraged Matsuzaka to turn down a last-minute offer from the Boston Red Sox and return to his Japanese club, the same Seibu Lions. But at that time, posted players were limited to speaking with the lone team that bid the highest for his negotiating rights in a closed bid.

“If we strike a deal we could have it done in a short period of time,” Boras said. “We’re still negotiating,” Boras said. “Normally, you get things done in advance of a deadline, because that makes it a little more difficult. I’m sure he’ll have a deal before Jan. 2.”

“We’ve had many meetings. We have all of his physicals in order for the team. And all that’s final. He’s ready to sign at any time.”

More posts on Yusei Kikuchi:




Ausmus not expecting Ohtani for Opening day

LAS VEGAS – New Los Angeles Angels manager Brad Ausmus said Wednesday at baseball’s winter meetings that he doesn’t anticipate Shohei Ohtani will be ready for Opening Day next spring. He also said he expects Ohtani’s success to have ripple effects through the game.

I think young athletes, young baseball players are going to say, ‘Hey, why can’t I do that?’ In that respect, I think he’s going to have a huge impact on the youth in baseball.”

Asked whether Albert Pujols’ knee trouble will cause a logjam at designated hitter with Ohtani limited to batting following Tommy John surgery, Ausmus said it wouldn’t be an issue early on.

“We don’t expect Ohtani to be ready when the team breaks, so there’ll be more DH at-bats open to him (Pujols) early in the season,” Ausmus said. “For me, the bigger and more delicate balance is how often he can go to first based on the heath of his knees.”



“We want to protect that elbow so he can pitch in 2020 and beyond. He’s such a dominant pitcher and you want to make sure you preserve that. We’re probably going to rely on the medical team a little more and be a little more cautious. We want him back, because we want his bat in the lineup. But the priority is to make sure that when he comes back we’re not risking him as a pitcher. We’re not sure on the exact date now.”

Ausmus, who was with the Angels early in spring training, took in Ohtani’s first batting practice and said he couldn’t help but be impressed.

“The one thing that stood out was how the ball came off his bat,” Ausmus said. “The only way I can describe it is to say that it’s very similar to Miguel Cabrera. Both guys have tremendous power, and most noticeable they have tremendous power to the opposite field. You just don’t see guys like that. The other thing that is impressive is his speed. That doesn’t get showcased as much because he’s not playing a position as often. He’s one of the faster guys. I don’t know who’s faster, he or Trouty, there both two of the faster guys in the league.”



Because of the various injuries Ohtani has suffered the past two years, the question of whether a two-way player is viable in the majors remains hotly debated. But Ausmus believes the youngster’s success will open minds to alternatives.

“We want to protect that elbow so he can pitch in 2020 and beyond. He’s such a dominant pitcher and you want to make sure you preserve that. “He’s doing things that no one’s done in a long time,” Ausmus said. “…Because of what he’s doing, you’re going to see more two-way players going forward. I think young athletes, young baseball players are going to say, ‘Hey, why can’t I do that?’ In that respect, I think he’s going to have a huge impact on the youth in baseball.”

Yusei Kikuchi vs SoftBank Hawks, Sept. 28, 2018

This is the game of September 28 at MetLife Dome outside Tokyo with scouts from seven big league clubs out to watch not only Yusei Kikuchi, but Hawks right-hander Kodai Senga — another of NPB’s top arms. I’ve cut the game into Kikuchi’s innings for this one.

Top of the 1st against:

  1. Seiji Uebayash
  2. Keizo Kawashima
  3. Yurisbel Gracial

    Top of the 2nd:
  1. Yuki Yanagita
  2. Alfredo Despaigne
  3. Akira Nakamura
  4. Nobuhiro Matsuda
  5. Tomoki Takata

Top of the 3rd:

    1. Takuya Kai
    2. Seiji Uebayashi
    3. Keizo Kawashima
    4. Yurisbel Gracial
    5. Yuki Yanagita
    6. Alfredo Despaigne
    7. Akira Nakamura
    8. Nobuhiro Matsuda

Top of the 4th:

    1. Tomoki Takata
    2. Takuya Kai
    3. Seiji Uebayashi

Top of the 5th:

  1. Keizo Kawashima
  2. Yurisbel Gracial
  3. Yuki Yanagita
  4. Alfredo Despaigne
  5. Akira Nakamura

Top of the 6th

  1. Nobuhiro Matsuda
  2. Tomoki Takata
  3. Takuya Kai
  4. Seiji Uebayashi

Top of the 7th

  1. Keizo Kawashima
  2. Yurisbel Gracial
  3. Yuki Yanagita

Here are some other links to Yusei Kikuchi content on jballallen.com:

The Hall of Fame case for Tuffy Rhodes

Outfielder Tuffy Rhodes, who in 2001 tied Sadaharu Oh’s single-season home run record with 55–and unlike Oh hit his while his team was fighting for a championship, saw his vote percentage drop last year from 39.6 percent to 22.8.

In the vote for this year’s class, Rhodes’ total rebounded slightly, improving to 29.6 percent of the votes, but four players shot ahead of him in the voting leaderboard, two ballot newcomers, Shinya Miyamoto and Alex Ramirez, and two guys who had trailed him a year ago, Hiroki Kokubo and Masumi Kuwata. One newcomer, Tomonori Maeda, pulled even with Rhodes.

Below are the position players who were named on at least 25 percent of the ballots cast for 2019. The categories are: Votes, Career Win Shares, MVPs, Best Nine awards, Golden Gloves, Hits, Home Runs and Stolen Bases.

2019 Hall of Fame Ballot: position players on 25 percent of ballots

NameVotesWSMVPsBest 9GGOff titlesHitsHRsSBs
Tuffy Rhodes110298170181,79246487
Hiroki Kokubo11929603262,04141358
Tomonori Maeda11024304422,11929568
Alex Ramirez150230240122,01738020
Kenjiro Nomura138227031102,020169250
Shinya Miyamoto153187011002,13362111
Masahiro Kawai18813701601,1994347

Rhodes is–by the standards of Hall of Famers enshrined for their playing–a decent candidate for the Hall. His career was long when compared to most foreign players, but short in comparison with many Japanese Hall of Famers, who became regulars a few years younger. His case poses an interesting comparison with Masahiro Doi, the best outfielder not in the Hall of Fame.

I am uncertain why Doi is not in the Hall. I’ve been told he slipped through the cracks created by the old rules that required a candidate to have been out of uniform for five years before being eligible. Since his retirement in 1981, Doi has been a perpetual and ubiquitous coach. He recently said he has finished coaching for good. Whether that means he will be eligible for selection through the expert’s division or not.

Rhodes is often held up as an example of NPB’s inferiority. How could a player whose only MLB credentials are three home runs against Dwight Gooden on Opening Day in 1994 and a .224 batting average in 590 at-bats spread over six seasons before moving to the Pacific League’s Kintetsu Buffaloes in 1996.

Rhodes had a .996 OPS on April 30, but went 0-for-10 in the first three games of May with three walks, came off the bench the next. On May 6, he was back in the lineup but went 1-for-5 with three strikeouts and the struggles got worse and worse. He failed to hit the next year, but in a half season at pitcher-friendly Triple-A Pawtucket, Rhodes hit about what he had over his 1,761 AAA at-bats.

Given regular playing time with the Buffaloes, Rhodes made adjustments he was unable to make in his lone extended time in the majors. NPB is not MLB. It is not Triple-A. It’s a combination of players who could star in MLB, players who would be borderline MLB regulars, guys who would struggle to succeed in AAA or get out of AA. But the NPB adjustments are made complex by the cultural differences and style of play.



In NPB the only outfielder who has been eligible for induction, and isn’t in the Hall with more career win shares than Rhodes is Doi with 355. Rhodes with 298, is 12th all time. Below him are two similar players, Shoichi Busujima and Tsutomu Wakamatsu. Busujima (285 win shares) is out, while Wakamatsu (281) is in.

Below is a pdf file of the win shares leaders among NPB’s outfielders who have been eligible for selection to the Hall of Fame:

Top NPB OF ranked by win shares

That being said, Wakamatsu won nine Best Nine Awards, and no player with more than seven has been excluded from the Hall of Fame. Five players have seven, including Rhodes, and two of them are in the Hall.



Every outfielder who has 16 times led his league in an offensive category is in–with the exception of Rhodes.

Every outfielder with 390 or more home runs is in, except for Rhodes (464) and the aformentioned Doi (465).