Rain washed out two of Friday’s five scheduled games, when the Nippon Ham Fighters took their red-and-black-attack duds on the road, and the Hanshin Tigers put their win streak on the line.
Two teams that didn’t play, DeNA and Lotte, about their big name starting pitchers’ next starts, while one of Samurai Japan’s regulars is back in action for the first time since March’s final in Miami, as is Carter Stewart Jr. Reportedly a hit in winter ball, Stewart had not pitched on the farm this season.
I missed some big news Thursday, when it was learned that Hall of Famer Futoshi Nakanishi had died. I had the good fortune of talking with Nakanishi a lot over the years, and wrote a bit about him.
Yoshii: Sasaki to return on May 28
Lotte’s Roki Sasaki‘s next start has been set, Marines manager Masato Yoshii said. Sasaki, who raised a blister on his right middle finger while pitching against the SoftBank Hawks on May 5, had been penciled in to start Sunday.
Yoshii said he threw in the bullpen Friday in Sendai, but has been pushed back a week after rain washed out the game, although the blister, the skipper said is no longer a problem.
Let’s see if I get this. The Marines’ best pitcher is fit and ready to go, but you want to push him back seven days because of a single rainout.
This is extremely reminiscent of when Yoshii was the Fighters’ pitching coach in 2016, and Shohei Ohtani was out of the rotation for six weeks “because of a blister.” Ohtani would throw bullpens and Yoshii would report he was fine but not ready.
Out of the rotation, Ohtani was able to bat everyday, and really got the hang of that, but the official stories behind his absence from the mound all sounded fishy, and all summer Yoshii just smiled and reported everything was fine.
Let’s just say, I’ll believe Sasaki’s fine and back when he actually pitches, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s another issue Yoshii doesn’t want to talk about.
Meanwhile, in Yokohama, DeNA manager Daisuke Miura announced that his newest graduate of MLB’s domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse suspension program will not pitch again until next Tuesday in case anybody cares.Continue reading NPB news: May 19, 2023