Spring Wrap 3-18-21

Mishima likely to stay ‘Stars closer

DeNA BayStars manager Daisuke Miura appears ready for Kazuki Mishima to continue to serve as the team’s closer after taking over last season from Yasuaki Yamasaki, Hochi Shimbun reported Thursday.

“We’ll see how things go. I’ve been getting reports. If his form suddenly improves, things may change,” Miura said of Yamasaki, who has been pitching in instructional league games this month.

Takinaka snags’ Eagles 6th rotation spot

Right-hander Ryota Takinaka has been named the Rakuten Eagles’ sixth starter, according to Nikkan Sports.

“I think he’ll pitch in the order we’ve used in the preseason,” manager Kazuhisa Ishii said.

That would set up the 26-year-old, a sixth-round pick in 2019, to start against the Lotte Marines on April 1. The Eagles are set to open the season on March 26 with Hideaki Wakui, followed by Masahiro Tanaka and rookie Takahisa Hayakawa. Takayuki Kishi and Takahiro Norimoto will then go against the Marines on the last two days of March.

On Thursday, Takinaka allowed two runs over six innings in a 7-2 win over the Orix Buffaloes. Sung Chia-hao, Alan Busenitz and closer Yuki Matsui wrapped up with a scoreless inning each, while the Eagles touched right-hander Chang Yi for four runs over five innings.

Cron makes good impression

Nobody really cares what players do in practice, unless there’s a worm involved and Rex Hudler is there to eat it at the urging of former White Sox reliever Shingo Takatsu I suppose.

Still, Kevin Cron earned his share of Brownie points with the Hiroshima Carp coaching staff by turning up at an optional practice on Thursday in Hiroshima. On a slow news day with only one preseason game, this was perhaps the biggest news of the day.

Cron, has hit .091 in 22 preseason at-bats, and Sponichi Annex reported head coach Yusuke Kawada’s response to the new import’s effort.

“We told him it was OK to take the day off, but he came on his own,” Kawada said. “He could have gone home after taking BP, but he took fielding practice.”

“He’s just giving his all, but you really never about imports until Opening Day comes.”

“He is working so hard that you feel like he’s shouting, ‘Look at me God.'”

Should Cron succeed, the papers will repeat this story of his being a “serious imported player” until we’re all sick of it. If he fails, it will be forgotten.

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