While pitchers and catchers are just now showing up to MLB camps, NPB spring training has been in full swing for a couple of weeks. Here’s a collection of random news stories from around the league. All links are in Japanese.
- Chunichi has signed outfielder Victor Diaz, who had been in camp with the team on a try out basis. Diaz has MLB experience with the Mets and Rangers and played in Mexico last season.
- Sumo wrestler Hakuho spent a day in camp with Yomiuri. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
- Hanshin righty Randy Messenger tweeted about a soba restaurant he enjoyed.
- Japan newcomers Scott Mathieson and John Bowker got to try eel.
- A Sponichi report from February 8th indicates that the Nippon Ham Fighters will give Korean lefty Yoon-Hee Nam a tryout. Nam, 24, was a first-round pick of Doosan in 2006, but opted to sign with the Texas Rangers instead. He pitched five seasons in the Rangers’ system, reaching high A in 2010.
- Softbank is working out two young Dominican pitchers, Juan Carlos Paniagua and Wanel Mesa.
- One of the more interesting positional battles (for me anyway) is for Orix’s cleanup spot, where newcomer Dae-Ho Lee is taking on incumbent T-Okada. Lee has the lead in the “huge gut” category.
- NPB legends Masaichi Kaneda and Katsuya Nomura turned up at Yomiuri’s camp. They both have quite an eye for fashion, particularly Nomura.