A few notes covering the last couple days of news...
- New Hiroshima Carp acquisition Brian Barden used Twitter to collect information on NPB prior to heading to Japan. Barden "tweets" under the handle @thegreatbardeni.
- Akinori Otsuka wants to make a comeback. The 39 year-old righty hasn't pitched in the Majors in four years, over which time he's had three Tommy John surgeries. Otsuka is currently coaching and throwing bullpen sessions with Samurai All-Japan of the Western Baseball Association.
- Hisashi Iwakuma is back after a two-month layoff. He won his return start with seven strong innings over Softbank.
- Craig Brazell lined up rookie Issei Morita the other day with a shaving cream pie in the face during a post-game interview. Here's the approach... and the delivery.
- Number has an article on the trade rumors surrounding Hiroki Kuroda. For the most part it's nothing you can't find in the American press, but Kuroda does comment that it "took him three years to get used to the Majors."
- Yakult has signed lefty Naoya Okamoto, the former Yokohama BayStar who had been with the Yankees' 2A affiliate in Trenton.
- Korean slugger Tae-Kyun Kim is leaving the Chiba Lotte Marines, and will resume his career in Korea.
- Seibu has said goodbye to reliever Brian Sikorski, who has been on the shelf since having his elbow scoped earlier this season. Look for Seibu to seek out bullpen help.
And in today's bonus article veteran writer Jim Allen takes a brief look at Japan's current resistance to the terms being offered by MLB for WBC participation.
Bonus #2 comes courtesy of my FanGraphs bud Navin Vaswani, who broke down the recent New York Times piece on Kei Igawa.