Tag Archives: Xavier Batista

Carp cast off Batista after doping ban

The Hiroshima Carp voided their contract with Xavier Batista on Monday, the day the slugger’s six-month suspension for doping ended, the Central League club announced.

His English language NPB is HERE.

Batista tested positive for clomiphene, a non-steroidal fertility medicine for women that is classified by the World Anti-Doping Agency as an “S4” violation, involving hormone or metabolic modulators. Clomiphene can be used to suppress the side effects of anabolic steroids.

According to the Nikkan Sports, Hiroshima’s director of baseball operations, Kiyoaki Suzuki, said, “I’ve decided to terminate the contract. We’ve been investigating this since the start, but in the end we were unable to determine the cause (for the test result).”

For five seasons, Batista toiled in the low minors for the Chicago Cubs. After he was released a friend suggested he look into the Carp’s Dominican Academy. Batista was the first product of the club’s successful new program of giving guys second chances after they failed in the U.S. minors.

After he and Alejandro Mejia tore up Western League pitching in the spring of 2017 on developmental contracts, they were signed to standard NPB contracts and signed six-year deals with Hiroshima.

Although the Carp reserved him, Batista was conspicuously absent from Hiroshima’s spring training camp and did not appear when on the club’s 2020 roster that appeared on NPB’s website.

The kotatsu league: Axe and Jackson

March 15 in Japan may be tax day, but Dec. 2 was this year’s NPB axe day.

Few surprises on cut day

NPB teams published their offseason reserve lists on Monday when the only real surprise was that Yurisbel Gracial and Alfredo Despaigne were both released by the SoftBank Hawks, ostensibly because the team had yet to conclude its negotiations with the Cuban government’s sports authorities.

The bigger they are the softer they fall

The big local news was that Xavier Batista, who is under suspension for banned substances, was reserved by the Hiroshima Carp. This wasn’t really news since the Carp could have voided his contract for cause during the summer, and most certainly would have if he didn’t have value.

The severity of punishment in Japanese sports tends to decrease as the player’s value increases. Kento Momota, the world No. 2 men’s singles badminton player missed a year and the Rio Olympics after participating in illegal gambling. Kyosuke Takagi one of four Yomiuri Giants pitchers who admitted to betting on baseball, and the only one of the four who had any value, was fired and then re-hired a year after receiving a fairly lenient suspension. So Batista’s remaining with the Carp shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.

Big Jay to join Marines

Jay Jackson said Tuesday he has completed his agreement to play for the Lotte Marines, while Lotte said their talks were moving in a good direction. I’m going to attribute that disparity to Japanese teams’ history of trying to control the timing of news about their team, and having other business to attend to — the introduction of free agent pitcher Manabu Mima.

The Kyodo News story is HERE.

Jackson, who has a child with his Japanese partner, had hoped to stay in NPB last season and was disappointed in the lack of offers. When nothing materialized he signed a minor league deal with the Brewers and pitched in 28 games with them and spoke about that situation in March and about his adjustments to Japanese ball.

His NPB page (Japanese language only) is HERE.

In the U.S. he struck out about 1.5 batters per inning this year — a vast improvement over his norm before he came to Japan in 2016, suggesting he learned how to get more strikeouts in Japan. It will be interesting to see how his re-acquaintance with American-style ball will affect his play here the second time around.

Yamaguchi, Kikuchi posting applications complete

The Hiroshima Carp have completed the posting application for second base glove wizard Ryosuke Kikuchi, while the Yomiuri Giants said they also completed the necessary paperwork on pitcher Shun Yamaguchi, meaning their 30-day posting period will commence on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 8 a.m. Eastern time.

Here are Kyodo News’ English stories on Kikuchi and Yamaguchi.

Here’s my page for analysis and backstory on all the guys heading to the majors this winter and in winters to come.

Giants sign Brazilian flame thrower Vieiera

The Yomiuri Giants announced Tuesday they have signed 26-year-old Brazilian and White Sox farm hand Thyago Vieira, who has saved 14 Triple-A games over the past two seasons and pitched in 23 major league games.

Here’s Vieira’s MLB debut:

Batista receives 6-month doping ban

Hiroshima Carp slugger Xavier Batista received a six-month suspension on Tuesday from Nippon Professional Baseball after testing positive for clomiphene, a non-steroidal fertility medicine, that is classified by the World Anti-Doping Agency as an “S4” violation, involving hormone or metabolic modulators. Clomiphene can be used to suppress the side effects of anabolic steroids.

During that span, from Sept. 2 to March 2, Batista cannot use team facilities or play in Carp practice or other games, suggesting he may be headed home to the Dominican Republic and a prolonged stay at the Carp academy.

Batista did not dispute the result of the tests but said he had not intentionally taken the drug.

This season, Orix Buffaloes first baseman Joey Meneses was suspended one year for using the steroid stanozolol. The shortened ban handed to Batista reflects the difference of the drugs they tested positive for. Clomiphene had not previously been detected in NPB.

Batista is the seventh player found to have violated doping rules in NPB.

NPB games, news of Aug. 2, 2019

The top two teams in each league as of Aug. 1, met for the start of three-game series on Friday at the home park of the second-place team. With Kodai Senga pitching for the Hawks in Sapporo and Tomoyuki Sugano going for the Giants in Yokohama, it made for an entertaining start to the weekend.

Central League

BayStars 4, Giants 2

At Yokohama Stadium, DeNA’s Kentaro Taira took his 138 kph (85.7 mph) side-arm fastball, a screwball a slider and kept the ball in or below the bottom of the strike zone to outpitch Yomiuri ace Tomoyuki Sugano (8-5).

Taira said teammates Neftali Soto and Jose “El Chamo” Lopez both promised to get hits for him, and in a sixth inning set up by a series of fat pitches from Sugano, Soto tied it with a line double before Lopez had to work for a hit, going down to get a decent slider and lofting it into right center for a two-run double.

Carp 7, Tigers 0

At Mazda Stadium, Xavier Batista hit a grand slam with his 25th home run of the season, and Daichi Osera (8-6) threw a five-hitter as third-place Hiroshima beat Hanshin to move within three games of the Giants.

Dragons 5, Swallows 4

At Jingu Stadium, Yota Kyoda drove in the winning run with a squeeze as Chunichi beat Yakult’s current closer, Scott McGough (4-2) in a game that saw five home runs.

Wladimir Balentien hit his 22nd of the season for the Swallows, giving Japan’s single-season record holder 277 home runs in NPB, tying him for fifth all-time among foreign hitters alongside former Minnesota Twins farmhand Greg “Boomer” Wells.

Pacific League

Hawks 2, Fighters 0

At Sapporo Dome, Kodai Senga (10-4) walked five but allowed just two hits, while striking out eight to post his first shutout of the season as SoftBank held off Nippon Ham.

Fighters right-hander Toshihiro Sugiura, who has been bouncing back and forth between the minors and the big club, making starts every two weeks or so and looking bad doing so, had his best game of the year, striking out five over five scoreless innings.

Alfredo Despaigne broke the scoreless deadlock in the sixth off Mizuki Hori, who had been dropped out of his short starter role after surrendering 13 runs over his last two starts.

Senga improved to 7-0 in his career at Sapporo Dome.

Game highlights are HERE.

Eagles 5, Marines 2

At Rakuten Seimei Park, 1.69-meter right-hander Manabu Mima (7-3) allowed one unearned run over six innings, and Rakuten skipper Yosuke Hiraishi got a chance to use his closer for a save in the ninth against Lotte.

A Shogo Nakamura leadoff homer in the top of the ninth made it a three-run game, and Takashi Ogino’s two-out single created a save situation. Hiraishi trotted out Japan’s save leader just to prove he could, and lefty Yuki Matsui struck out Leonys Martin on seven pitches to earn his Japan-best 29th save.

Game highlights are HERE.

Buffaloes 9, Lions 8

At Kyocera Dome, Steven Moya drove in three runs as Orix beat Seibu–the second-straight night the Lions lost by a run after scoring eight-plus.

Lions manager Hatsuhiko Tsuji juggled his lineup, dropping No. 2 hitter Sosuke Genda to the No. 9 spot, and batting catcher Tomoya Mori third, from where he homered twice and drove in five runs.

Game highlights are HERE.

News

Former Tigers, Buffaloes infielder Kamada dies

Minoru Kamada, who played 1,482 games, mostly at second base for the Tigers and Kintetsu Buffaloes and is best known for introducing the infielder’s backward toss to Japan, has died at the age of 80.

Kamada first saw major leaguers flipping the ball to their double play partners when he visited major league spring camps in Florida with the Tigers in the early 1960s, but said it took him four years of practice to get the hang of it.

A story goes that he rarely tried it in games because he disliked the media so much and said that if he were to make one mistake doing it the Tigers beat writers would never let him forget it.

When he moved to the Buffaloes in 1967, legendary manager Osamu Mihara instructed him not to do it. One story goes that Mihara, a former infielder said it would cause problems with the team’s other infielders, who were not that skilled. In response to that, Kamada famously said, “That’s the other infielder’s problem, and has nothing to do with me.”