Category Archives: Baseball

The kotatsu league: Marines discharge four

Lotte drops Bolsinger, Mann, Ravin, Vargas

The Lotte Marines announced Saturday that pitchers Mike Bolsinger, Brandon Mann and Josh Ravin, and infielder Kennys Vargas would all be released in December.

Bolsinger, who was sent down to the minors six times, went 13-2 in 2018, when it seemed like the Marines scored 10 runs every time he pitched.

He is definitely planning to be in NPB in 2020, and it would be a huge surprise if a team doesn’t take a chance on him. His debut season was a case of everything going right. His sophomore season was the opposite. He got softer contact but had terrible luck with his balls in play.

The Kyodo News story in Japanese is HERE.

There is reason to suspect the new mound and turf in Chiba were an issue for Bolsinger as well, and the run support wasn’t there. Put him on a decent defensive team with run support and Bolsinger would look A LOT better.

Ravin and Vargas were both in their first NPB season. Ravin suffered some injury setbacks early on and appeared in just two games.

Vargas stopped hitting early in April and the Marines gave up on him after about 70 plate appearances. The 29-year-old batted 249 times between the Pacific League club and Lotte’s Western League farm team, where, he batted .267 with some power, while striking out 42 times in 147 PAs.

If I’m a team I’d be willing to give him some kind of chance to see if he can sort through his problems on the farm. That also goes for Mann, who was extremely successful in his return to NPB after spending two seasons with the BayStars in 2011 and 2012. With the exception of one bad game in April and two in June.

Here are their NPB English pages:

High school body sets limits, kind of

For the first time in its history, Japan’s national high school baseball federation set pitch limits for its games and those organized by prefectural federations.

Kyodo News’ English language story is HERE.

The move is for three years starting from next spring’s national invitational. During the time the rule is in effect pitchers will ONLY be allowed to throw 500 pitches over any seven-day period, but will be able to pitch on back-to-back days, although not on three straight days.

The move comes 11 months after Niigata Prefecture’s high school body implemented its own measures and was shouted down by the national federation. But without Niigata going out on a limb and without some strong words of support from the head of Japan’s Sports Agency, Daichi Suzuki, it is an open question whether the national body — which had resisted considering pitch counts for so long — would have acted.

Still, it’s a positive step, and the mere fact that is coming from a body that has in the past seemed so intransigent, could have an oversized impact on the amateur baseball landscape.