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Daisuke Matsuzaka

Discussion in the Rumor Mill forum
Daisuke Matsuzaka
" ... Seibu Lions righthander Daisuke Matsuzaka ... 23-year-old is one of the hardest throwers in Japan with a mid-90s fastball and solid command. He led the Pacific League in ERA with a 16-7, 2.83 season last year, striking out 215 in 194 innings pitched. Lions' owner Yoshiaki Tsutsumi has been quoted in the press as saying he would allow Matsuzaka to be posted and sign with a major league team next fall, if he is willing to make the jump."

I was wondering if anyone closer to the Japanese game than I might have insights into this possibility. Also, I was wondering about Matsuzaka-san's health. I believe he had elbow trouble at one point and he clearly missed significant time in the 2002 season. Any details would be greatly appreciated.
Comments
Re: Daisuke Matsuzaka
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Mar 18, 2004 9:42 PM | YBS Fan ]

I can confirm that I'd read the same rumor in Nikkan Sports. I don't put much meaning into posting talks at the beginning of the season, though. What was your source?

I don't have the data in front of me, but it seems to me that Matsuzaka takes a few weeks off in the middle of each season complaining about arm trouble. This is usually right after getting hit hard a couple of outings in a row. But he comes back as strong as ever each time.

There have been a number of MLB scouts concerned about his over use early in his career, and in high school. He's certainly lasted much longer than most people expected after throwing 250 pitches in 17 innings against baseball powerhouse PL Gakuin in the quarter finals of the 1998 summer high school championships (getting the win in the final two games as well, thowing 1 and 9 innings respectively).

Here are his career stats if you want to judge if he's been over used or not yourself.
Re: Daisuke Matsuzaka
[ Author: Guest: Matthew Mougalian | Posted: Mar 19, 2004 2:17 AM ]

My source is a (very reliable) clearing house that culled this information from a subscriber-only part of Baseball America. Their reports are usually spot on, so I took it to heart much more than if mlb.com or some other such source had reported it.

Matsuzaka on paper seems like an ideal pitcher, if a little young. The possibility of overwork exists, but right now, I'm not overly concerned. If you've seen him pitch, either live or on TV, I wonder what your impressions are. If his performances accurately reflect his statistics.

I was fortunate enough to hear about the possibility of Kazuo Matsui making the move to MLB two years ago and accordingly, drafted him in my fantasy league. I've held onto him for a few season and am anxiously awaiting to reap the benefits of his move.

On another note, is there a site like this one that disseminates information on Korean Baseball? I've looked but am left wanting. Hoping you can help me out again.

Many thanks.
Re: Daisuke Matsuzaka
[ Author: Jen Wei | Posted: Mar 22, 2004 10:50 PM | HNHF Fan ]

He can be the second Hideo Nomo in Japan. But he threw so many walks in his game except for last season, and he still must work hard for his future to get to the Major Leagues.
OT: KBO News
[ Author: Kiyoshi | Posted: Apr 3, 2004 11:45 AM | HAN Fan ]

Matthew,

One of the problems with KBO info is that the KBO started in 1982 whereas NPB started in 1936. Most of the people who share info about NPB have been doing so for over 20 years (I've been doing it since 1988). I find that the Korea Times sports online is the best.

JapaneseBaseball.com does have an "Asia" forum. I will try to give updates there and possibly on Baseball Guru. I tried a lot of writing last year, but it is very time consuming. Most of us are not getting paid to share this info. Michael Westbay has done an incredible job with this site considering this is his hobby not a vocation.
Re: Daisuke Matsuzaka
[ Author: Jingu Bleacher Bum | Posted: Mar 26, 2004 5:17 PM | YAK Fan ]

This story sounds a little fishy to me, especially with the way that Seibu reacted to Kazuo Matsui after he let his intentions known that he wanted to make the jump to MLB.

I remember that Seibu immediately took down the section linking to Kaz Matsui's personal web site after his announcement, so I can't see how Seibu would post him, especially well before he's eligible to become a free agent. Matsuzaka is now the most popular player on the team, and still very marketable for them. Just this week Seibu put up some new advertisements on their trains telling us to "Come see Matsuzaka!"

If they lose Matsuzaka, the only big star they will have left will be Cabrera. Seibu does not want to follow in the footsteps of Orix, and lose their fan base by intentionally letting their star player go.

Another factor in this decision is the fact that Seibu might lose up to 4 players this summer to the Olympics, (I forget all their names, but I think 2 will play for the Taiwanese National Team). If this affects them at all during the 2-3 weeks of the Olympics, then you can be sure that Seibu will do everything they can to hold onto Matsuzaka, as they will have had a brief glimpse of life without Matsuzaka (not that they haven't when he's on the DL).

Anyways, I think the trend is for one major super star from Japan to head to MLB per year, and I'm thinking Daiei's Iguchi will be the one next year.
Iguchi Posting?
[ Author: 1908 | Posted: Mar 27, 2004 12:54 PM | HT Fan ]

- Anyways, I think the trend is for one major super star from Japan to head to MLB per year, and I'm thinking Daiei's Iguchi will be the one next year.

Iguchi won't be a free agent after this year. The Hawks refused to post him this off-season. What makes you think they'll be willing to do so next off-season?
Re: Iguchi Posting?
[ Author: Jingu Bleacher Bum | Posted: Mar 29, 2004 4:49 PM | YAK Fan ]

A little off topic from the subject of the thread, but I seem to remember Iguchi signing only a 1 year contract extension for the 2004 season. Maybe my memory is wrong. I did some searching, but I couldn't find the length of the contract he signed last year. He already has 7 seasons under his belt, so wouldn't he be eligible for FA after this year? Or was it after 9 seasons in NPB?
Re: Iguchi Posting?
[ Author: 1908 | Posted: Apr 1, 2004 8:04 AM | HT Fan ]

- A little off topic from the subject of the thread, but I seem to remember Iguchi signing only a 1 year contract extension for the 2004 season.

It wouldn't surprise me if he did. One year contracts for players that haven't earned their free agency are pretty common in NPB (and in MLB for that matter). But that doesn't mean he'll be a free agent after this season.

- He already has 7 seasons under his belt, so wouldn't he be eligible for FA after this year? Or was it after 9 seasons in NPB?

9 seasons. (I'm pretty sure it's determined by number of days spend on the active roster, but I'm unsure as to the number.)
Re: Daisuke Matsuzaka
[ Author: Guest: Tony | Posted: Apr 16, 2004 11:50 PM ]

The two Taiwanese pitchers on the Seibu Lions that will be playing for them during the Olympics are Zhi-Jia Zhang and Ming-Jie Xu. The former is a starter, the latter a middle reliever.
Re: Daisuke Matsuzaka
[ Author: Guest: Jay | Posted: Sep 8, 2004 6:12 PM ]

I saw Matzasuka pitch in the Olympics this year against Cuba and against Australia. He can go to the MLB right now and pitch. Would he be what he is in Japan? No. But he would be a starter around number 3 or 4 in the rotation. He is very good and likely to get better.
Re: Daisuke Matsuzaka
[ Author: Guest: George Steinbrennernot | Posted: Sep 10, 2004 1:16 AM ]

With a shortage of quality starters, he could find a willing market in MLB.

An interesting contrast between NPB and MLB is the former's less concern over pitch count than MLB. Many young pitchers coming up in the minors are on strict pitch counts. The fear is that the overwork will damage their arms. There is some anecdotal evidence to support this. In the majors, starters typically only go 110 pitches or so a game and maybe 200 innings a season. In NPB, it seems that a high pitch count equates to more work that strengthens the arm. In MLB, it's the other way around, like an arm is like a tire and has only so many miles.

Thirty years ago, this wasn't the case, with guys like Gibson and Marichal pitching 250+ innings a season. Part of it also is the emergence of the closer and set-up man as a tactical part of the game.
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