The kotatsu league: Marines’ Ishikawa looks to go postal

Lotte Marines right-hander Ayumu Ishikawa on Wednesday joined the line of players desiring to move to the majors via the posting system. On Thursday, Katsumi Kawai, the Marines’ owner’s proxy, gave a diplomatic response.

“As a team, our No. 1 desire is that our players aspire toward ambitious targets. It’s natural for us to encourage him,” Kawai said as the club’s office closed up shop for the year according to multiple media sources.

“For a player to do that, he must show effort and results.”

The 31-year-old Ishikawa expressed his desire to play abroad at a press conference announcing his 2020 contract. Ishikawa posted a 3.64 ERA and went 8-5 in 27 games last season, and received a 10 million yen ($80,000) pay cut.

“I told them I want to play in America, but before that, I want to get good results in Japan,” he said.

My profile of Ishikawa is HERE.

Buffaloes make former Olympian NPB’s 1st female scout

The Orix Buffaloes have moved former Olympic softball champion Emi Inui from the club’s “community group” into the team’s amateur scouting department.

The 36-year-old, who won a gold medal at the 2008 Bejing Olympics and a bronze medal in 2004, had been coaching youngsters at the Buffaloes’ youth academy. She becomes the first woman to be officially hired as a scout in NPB.

Moore concludes SoftBank connection

The SoftBank Hawks on Thursday announced the acquisition of lefty Matt Moore. My story on Moore is HERE. Although they have finished runner-up in Japan’s Pacific League the last two seasons, the SoftBank Hawks have been unstoppable in the postseason, winning the last three Japan Series and five of the last six.

MLB Network’s Jon Heyman has reported Moore’s deal is worth $3.5 million with escalators.

Jim Allen

sports editor for a wire service in Tokyo

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