NPB news: April 25, 2022

As some of you know, I was on CNN World Sport Sunday pretty much being a blithering moron while trying to sound intelligent about Roki Sasaki and utterly failing.

Well at least I didn’t get angry about it…

Sunday, of course, Sasaki gave up his first hits and runs in three weeks, annoyed the heck out of an umpire, but left after five innings. As has become the case, Marines manager Tadahito Iguchi said Sunday that his next start had not been decided, and on Monday, Sasaki was deactivated.

We also had Yu Darvish chiming on umpire Kazuyuki Shirai’s brief spat with Sasaki, which was not exactly as I expected.

So shall we get started?

I also had to add this screen grab from yesterday’s Marines Buffaloes game. After he was done, Roki Sasaki got the attention of one of the Marines’ interpreters, and then began chatting with Leonys Martin without any language assistance.

Can’t say what they talked about, but Martin seemed content to take a nap on his teammate’s shoulder.

Sasaki deactivated

The Lotte Marines on Monday deactivated pitcher Roki Sasaki, making him ineligible to pitch in a major league game for the next 10 days, bringing an end to his routine of pitching every Sunday since the start of the season.

According to Chunichi Sports, manager Iguchi said, “He also appears to be dealing with some fatigue, so after a discussion with the player himself and the coaches, we have deactivated him.”

“We anticipate him coming back at full strength and in best condition for his next start.”

For the past few weeks, it has been customary for Iguchi to say Sasaki’s next start had yet to be determined, and that it would depend on consulting between, him, Sasaka and the trainnig staff and analytics team. So this is not a huge surprise for a pitcher who did not pitch his first season due to his difficulty in recovering quickly after his bullpens and simulated games.

Darvish has umps’ backs

Well maybe not Angel Hernandez’s, but in general, he had a word for ump haters after Roki Sasaki annoyed umpire Kazuyuki Shirai enough to make the plate ump go to the mound for a word. Daily Sports wrote Monday about Darvish’s Twitter take on the incident.

“The umpire’s job is exceedingly difficult and they are the object of abuse but seldom receive praise. Players repeatedly vent furiously at the umps, so umpires, please let your feelings show,” Darvish wrote.

“Umpires make mistakes, but knowing the proper call while watching on TV is easy. But on the field in real time, the scarcity of missed calls is quite amazing.”

A lot of Japanese umpires are in fact former pro ballplayers, although Shirai is not among their number.

“Even those former pro players who are umpires will occassionally blow a string of calls, so from my point of view, they are monsters (laughing emoji). Players themselves decide whether a call is right or right or wrong and without thinking of the impact that has on the umpire, abuse them and are not expected to explain or apologize. But shouldn’t we also think about the umpires?”

Meanwhile, Tokyo Sports Web consulted an anger management training specialist, who recommended the umpire learn the “six second rule” to stop and think before acting. Perhaps Angel Hernandez can get this guy’s number.

Tuesday’s starting pitchers

Fighters vs Buffaloes: Tokyo Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Takayuki Kato (2-1, 2.17) vs Yoshinobu Yamamoto (3-1, 0.90)

Marines vs Eagles: Chiba Marine Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Kazuya Ojima (0-2, 3.32) vs Masahiro Tanaka (2-1, 2.05)

Hawks vs Lions: Fukuoka Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Shuta Ishikawa (1-0, 1.20) vs Shunsuke Sato (1-2, 4.15)

BayStars vs Giants: Yokohama Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Fernando Romero (1-2, 6.35) vs Shosei Togo (3-1, 2.89)

Tigers vs Dragons: Koshien Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Yuki Nishi (1-1, 2.00) vs Yudai Ono (1-2, 3.60)

Carp vs Swallows: Hiroshima Citizen’s Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Allen Kuri (1-1, 2.10) vs Cy Sneed (1-0, 5.87)

Active roster moves 4/25/2022

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 5/5

Central League


TigersP66Ippei Ogawa
DragonsP24Koji Fukutani
BayStarsIF38Shunta Tanaka
BayStarsOF61Tatsuo Ebina

Pacific League


BuffaloesP63Soichiro Yamazaki
BuffaloesIF53Sho Gibo
MarinesP17Roki Sasaki
EaglesP49Masaya Nishigaki
EaglesC65Kengo Horiuchi
FightersP28Ryusei Kawano
LionsP15Tetsu Miyagawa
LionsP69Yoshinobu Mizukami

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