A couple of debuts and a new NPB record to share. Today’s articles will require your Japanese language skills, or the Fish.
- Orix continues to work on its roster, bringing in 23 year-old Venezuelan pitcher Freddy Ballestas in for an audition. Ballestas spent 2005-09 with the Phillies organization, never pitching above high-A, and had played Indy league ball earlier this year. If Orix signs him he’ll be their eighth foreign-born player.
- Speaking of Orix, Francisco Caraballo is already with their ichi-gun team, and homered in his debut game on July 19. Here are the highlights on YouTube, skip to 7:11 for the Caraballo bomb.
- 47 year-old Kimiyasu Kudoh was promoted to Seibu’s top team on the 18th, and made his first appearance on the 20th. Kudoh is only slightly too young to have worn Seibu’s retro uniforms when they were new. If they were using an 80′s throwback uniform he could have supplied his own.
- Another notable promotion is the Giants bringing up ikusei alumni Levi Romero. He made his debut on July 19, in a mop-up time appearance against Yakult, keeping his fastball around the magic 150 km/h mark.
- Jason Standridge threw a two-hitter for Hanshin on the 19th.
- One of my players to watch this year, Sho Nakata, finally hit his first career ichi-gun home run on July 20. Nakata has missed time this year with injuries, but maybe he’ll show a little of the form that he used to hit 30 ni-gun home runs last year.
- Chunichi has assembled a streak of five straight shutouts, establishing a new NPB record at the expense of Hiroshima and Yokohama. The Dragons’ collective scoreless inning streak stands at 47, five away from the NPB mark of 52. The MLB mark was set way back in 1903, when the Pirates ran a string of six consecutive.