Around the Central League: February 9, 2012

The country's most famous knuckleballer will be playing in Japan in 2012.

Chunichi Dragons

  • Signed reliever Jorge Sosa to a one year deal. Sosa has a 4.72 ERA through 294 big league appearances.

Yomiuri Giants

Hanshin Tigers

Hiroshima Carp

  • This write-up over at NPB Tracker says that the Carp will be fielding another strong starting rotation even though Kuroda opted to spend another season in MLB.

Yokohama Baystars

  • Alex Ramirez came down with the flu last weekend despite the fact that he allegedly got a flu shot before leaving the US. Funny things, those flu shots.
  • First year manager, Kiyoshi Nakahata, who has been out of action with the flu, returned to spring camp on Tuesday donning the requisite facial mask. He hammed it up pretty big-time for the reporters on hand, so he seems to be feeling pretty well now.
  • Patrick Newman says that the team should be a lot more fun to watch this year even though they look destined for a bottom-half finish once again.
  • The team reported that it planned to kick the tires on three prospective imports at some point during spring camp. Wes Bankston, Chris Nowak, and Oscar Salazar are the players hoping to be offered a contract.

Pacific League News

  • Fukuoka (Softbank) may have found a way to ensure a few more wins by signing Brad Penny from MLB. Penny notched double-digit wins for the Detroit Tigers last season but was released at the end of the season after playing out a one year contract.

Elsewhere in Japanese Baseball

  • Gen has a handy post detailing the various suspensions handed out by Japan’s student baseball administrative body. The infractions range from smoking to beating the piss out of younger players. One suspension was meted for purchasing a train ticket in an illegal manner. Huh?
  • Female knuckleball phenom, Eri Yoshida (20), will be pitching in the Kansai Independent Baseball League once again as she signed a deal with the 2011 champion Hyogo Blue Sandars. You may remember that Yoshida started her pro career in the KIBL back in 2009 with the now inactive Kobe 9 Cruise. She then signed with the Chico Outlaws early in 2010. Here’s an article with a little more information on what Yoshida experienced during her two seasons of minor league baseball in the US.
About Christopher Pellegrini

Christopher is a budding sabermetrician and long-time supporter of Tokyo's more lovable team, the Swallows. He has publicly volunteered, several times, that he plans to buy the team at some point in the future. When he finally runs the joint, it is likely that he will fine any player who swings at the first pitch or sac bunts (unless it's a pitcher, of course). Follow him on Twitter: @chrispellegrini