Yamaguchi free to go

The Toronto Blue Jays released Shun Yamaguchi on Friday, opening the door for the right-hander to return to Japan after only year of his two-year contract.

The Yomiuri Giants were reportedly preparing a contract offer for Yamaguchi, who led the CL in wins in 2019, and who became the tradition-bound franchise’s first posting last winter.

Because the Blue Jays home games last season were held in Buffalo, New York, Yamaguchi never got to pitch in Canada.

Miura loses practice debut

Daisuke Miura’s first-team managing debut in a 3-0 practice game loss to the Central League rival Chunichi Dragons on Saturday made headlines in Japan as his side had three runners thrown out trying to steal, Hochi Shimbun reported.

“The three failed stolen base attempts are OK. One theme is to be aggressive,” said Miura, who managed the farm team last season. Everyone gave it a shot, so there were things to learn. There are a lot of things you can’t learn unless you try. We learned a lot.”

It’s hard to tell whether he was being ironic. His minor leaguers led Japan’s Eastern League in steals and sacrifice hits last year, while his predecessor’s offense got on base and hit for power, but finished third in runs scored. These figures are often trotted out along with Miura’s extensive use of one-run tactics last season, as if they are a kind of Japanese magic wand that will dispel the club’s poor scoring luck.

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