Odds & Ends: Orioles, Rodriguez, Cubs, Nakajima

Links for Monday evening as the Giants look to shut the door on the Braves in Atlanta..

  • The O's might not be able to solidify their coaching staff as soon as they would like to, writes Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com.
  • Francisco Rodriguez's grievance hearing over being placed on the disqualified list is set for next week but there will not be an immediate decision rendered, writes Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.
  • Giants bench coach Ron Wotus is interested in managing the Bucs, writes Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com
  • According to Shannon Drayer of ESPN Radio, four candidates will interview for the vacant M's managerial job this week, including former Houston skipper Cecil Cooper.
  • Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild informed the team today that he will pick up his option for 2011, a major league source told ESPN.com's Bruce Levine.
  • The Pirates disclosed (via Twitter) that former Blue Jays skipper John Gibbons was in Pittsburgh today to interview for the team's managerial opening.
  • Saitama Seibu Lions shortshop Hiroyuki Nakajima is on his way to being posted, according to Jason Coskrey of the Japan Times (via Twitter) who passes along a report from Yahoo Japan (Japanese link).  In a piece for Fangraphs, Patrick Newman called the 28-year-old Japan's second-best hitter behind Norichika Aoki of the Yakult Swallows.
  • More and more teams are discovering that homegrown starters are crucial to success, says Alex Speier of WEEI.com.

23 Responses to Odds & Ends: Orioles, Rodriguez, Cubs, Nakajima Leave a Reply

  1. Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

    Japans best hitter behind Norichika Aoki?

    I already say the Twins or Tigers sign him and he gets 240 hits next season.

    • EdinsonPickle 5 years ago

      That would be so awesome! However, based on the track record of Japanese hitters it’s hard to be so optimistic, you know what I mean?

      Being half Japanese, I’m always super hopeful that any Japanese players who come to the MLB have great careers here.

      I watched Aoki in the World Baseball Classic a couple years ago, and he was magnificent for Team Japan, and if Nakajima is really that good I think he’ll do well here.

      • I have to disagree, japanese hitters tend to have a fairly good success rate.
        -Ichiro has been a hall of fame caliber player since coming.
        -Hideki Matsui was very good for a number of years until his knees starting to fall apart.
        -Kazuo didn’t live up to the hype but was still a decent contact hitter for a couple of years.
        -Iwamura was actually very good before that horrific accident.
        -Fukudome made an all-star game….alright, he sucks.
        -Shinjo wasn’t really a very good NPB player either, what with his .253 BA
        -Taguchi, Iguchi, Nakamura were all on the wrong side of 30 when they came across the Pacific, and were never great in NPB anyway.
        -Johjima wasn’t terrible in the states either, and put up pretty good numbers the first half of his career here.

        Overall, I think the great NPB players tend to translate fairly well to the MLB, and the average players are just average, and we shouldn’t expect anything better out of them.

        • EdinsonPickle 5 years ago

          I see your point. Ichiro and Matsui’s numbers speak for themselves, and after reading your post I am more inclined to agree.

          I think it’s just it is easier to remember the negatives of the players. I think it’s because a few of them all started to decline around the same time. Kazuo, Iwamura, Iguchi, and Johjima all went downhill in the in the 2008-2010 seasons. Looking back at their states they’ve all had at the very least decent seasons in the US, but I guess their struggles within the past couple years just stuck out more in my mind.

          Either way I’m excited to see if Nakajima comes over, and if he really is the second best hitter in the NPB then he should do fine, and I’ll have another great Japanese player to root for.

        • Xeller 5 years ago


          I’ve wondered if the NPB environment is better tailored to develop hitters for the MLB than pitchers. We see that pitchers tend to struggle in the transition, with a larger ball and different sized seams.

          However, we can’t deny that the average off-speed and breaking pitches in the NPB are on par with Majors, despite the average fastball velocity sitting around the mid-high 80’s. Furthermore, Japanese hitters are taught to develop a sense of plate discipline that’s hardly seen in the minor leagues. Could it be that Japanese hitters, assuming that they are able to catch up to MLB heat, are actually better prepared to face Major League pitching than do prospects coming out of the minors?

          We just don’t have a big enough sample size with position players making the transition.

          • NickinIthaca 5 years ago

            I think the problem with the pitchers probably comes down to two things. First off, pitchers in Japan only pitch once a week correct? (I only learned this from reading other comments on here, so I could be wrong) Also, as you said, there is a larger ball in the MLB. That’s going to cause a pitcher to have to rework their grips, pressures, and possibly even mechanics to get the same kinds of movements they would see if they were using NPB as opposed to MLB balls.

            It seems like the hitters benefit would come from the larger ball in MLB – it’s why people play soft toss with whiffle golf balls and broom sticks. Makes the ball look like a beach ball (just like a high inside fastball).

            Just theory on my behalf though….

          • Xeller 5 years ago

            You’re absolutely correct. The NPB schedule normally goes with every Monday off, with many teams employing a rotation with 6 pitchers, with the pitcher having pitched the previous day not even being available the following day on the bench (but being kept on the roster). Even teams that have a 5 pitcher staff would frequently give their aces 4-5 days of rest.

            Despite this, the practice of wearing out pitchers in Japan is well documented. I’m sure scouts are cringing at Yu Darvish’s starts, because he’ll often go 140+ pitches. Of course Dice-K’s 250 pitch game in high school is famous stateside as well.

  2. acloskey 5 years ago

    That’s the Bucs’ third formal managerial interview overall, not the third with Gibbons.

  3. AndreTheGiantKiller 5 years ago

    If the posting fee isnt too much, to the Dodgers as a 2b/ replacement for when Furcal gets hurt?

  4. derekbellstutu 5 years ago

    What kind of manager would John Gibbons be for the Pirates? I don’t know if he’s any better or worse than Eric Wedge.

    • HerbertAnchovy 5 years ago

      Probably as poor of a manager as he was for The Jays. After watching him manage The Jays, I was happy to see him go. I wouldn’t wish him on any team.

      • Why? He was a sensible bullpen manager which is about the only important way that an AL manager can impact a game. He didn’t really do or say anything stupid otherwise. He got into tifs with Lilly and Hillenbrand but those guys were headcases. One small complaint I had was that he gave unneeded rest to some players.

  5. Ferrariman 5 years ago

    what would be about the price of Mr. nakajima? maybe a 2yr/10mil deal to start things off? i would say more but their hasn’t exactly been go good track record of japanese players translating well to the majors. In fact, i can only think of Nomo, Ichiro, and to some extent Matsui translating effectively to the majors(i say somewhat Matsui because this guy was a 50HR man in japan and about a 25Hr man in USA).

    edit: i forgot Kuroda. although he was never really a star in Japan either.

    • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

      I don’t know about you Ferraridawg, but this off-season seems like one of the better ones for Japanese Imports. Hisashi Iwakuma and Hiroyuki Nakajima are one of Japans best pitchers and hitters respictively. Iwakuma was also 21-4 a year ago and Nakajima is apparently the best shortstop in Japan. So it’s going to be really interesting and exciting when the rumors come as to where they will go.

    • briankoke 5 years ago

      “(i say somewhat Matsui because this guy was a 50HR man in japan and about a 25Hr man in USA).”

      That’s not really a fair comparison. You are comparing his best year in Japan to his average in the states. 50 in Japan to 31 in the states or his AVG in Japan 36 to his AVG in the states 25 is much more accurate.

  6. Shikikazu 5 years ago

    If any team is going to sign him, I hope it will be to the Mariners because he can than replace the Josh/Jack Wilson thing going on.

  7. yazpik 5 years ago

    Come on Jack, sign this guy, iJack Wilson is terrible, Nakajima could be a third hitter in our lineup, 3 years 15 milions is enough.IchiroFiggyNakajimaBranyan/POWER DHSmoakThis lineup look much better than the actual, come on Jack…

    • Shikikazu 5 years ago

      I wouldn’t put Nakajima as a 3 hitter hes a 20Hr 20 steals guy in Japan that usually hits .300, hopefully he translates to a 5-20 HR hitter with 20-30 steals .300 AVG in the US which would make him a good #2 or #9 hitter. I hope the Mariners can sign him and Iwakuma (preferrable Iwakuma if I had to choose) and then a moderately priced power hitter that can hit for a decent average for either LF or 3B/2B

      • Ferrariman 5 years ago

        i’m sorry, have you seen the mariners? they’re pretty bad offensively…. Nakajima would probably be the #3 hitter.

  8. MetsEventually 5 years ago


  9. Xeller 5 years ago

    I can actually see the Giants making a run at him. Renteria’s contract comes off the books, Uribe may be looking for a big payday, and DeRosa is coming off a wrist injury. This leaves Fontenot and Sanchez as viable starting options in the middle infield. We’ll see if the Giants are wiling to increase the payroll.

    • “I can actually see the Giants making a run at him. Renteria’s contract comes off the books, Uribe may be looking for a big payday,”

      I’d rather have Nakajima than Uribe anyway.

  10. ugen64 5 years ago

    Orioles are interested in Nakajima according to MASN. he would be a clear upgrade over Cesar Izturis, not that that’s saying much…

Leave a Reply