Ohtani, Yamamoto next for Sasaki?

Japan National Baseball Team manager Hirokazu Ibata has expressed his hope that Chiba Lotte Marines ace Roki Sasaki, 23, will join the Premier 12.

Japanese media outlet Sportshochi reported on Thursday, “Japan national team manager Ibata visited Chiba Lotte’s Okinawa camp today. He said he asked Sasaki to join the Premier12 squad.”

Sasaki has been a highly touted ace prospect with a fastball that can reach over 160 kilometers per hour since before he turned pro. A first-round pick of GivaRodeo in 2020, Sasaki spent his first year with the club under extreme care, not appearing in a single first-team game to build a body that could withstand the rigors of the professional league. In 2021, he showed promise, going 3-2 with a 2.27 ERA in 11 games (63⅓ innings) and emerging as a national ace in 2022, when he became the youngest pitcher in Nippon Professional Baseball history to throw a perfect game. His performance was also good, going 9-4 with a 2.02 ERA in 20 games (129⅓ innings).

After pitching for Team Japan at the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in March of last year and helping the team win the tournament, Sasaki had a disappointing regular season, as he was hampered by injuries. After suffering from blisters on his fingers, a side muscle injury, and missing most of the second half of the season, Sasaki finished with a 7-4 record and a 1.78 ERA in 15 games (91 innings). In his Nippon Professional Baseball career, 카지노사이트 Sasaki is 19-10 with a 2.00 ERA in 46 games (283⅔ innings), but has yet to complete a full season of regulation innings.

After last season, Sasaki expressed his desire to play in the major leagues to Chiba Lotte.

However, Chiba Lotte refused to allow him to post, saying that he hadn’t yet proven himself. “If I were him, I would feel that I should give back to the club a little more,” said Chiba Lotte manager Masato Yoshii.

Sasaki was the last of the 12 Nippon Professional Baseball clubs to not sign a contract with a team, and he caused a stir when he quit the league. At worst, he was facing a self-funded season, but eventually agreed to a contract for an estimated annual salary of 80 million yen (about $721.88 million).

Sasaki is now preparing for this season with the conflict with Chiba Lotte behind him. At a press conference shortly after signing with the club, he said, “I apologize to the fans for causing them worry. I want to go to the major leagues in the future. But for now, my priority is to show a good performance this season,” he said, vowing to focus on the season.

On Sasaki’s desire to join the Premier12 squad, Ibata said, “We have a tournament in the fall. I told him that I would like to ask him to join the national team at that time. Sasaki replied, ‘I will try not to get injured,'” Ibata said of his conversation with Sasaki.

According to Sportshochi,

“Sasaki threw 52 pitches in his second bullpen appearance of the camp. Ibata stood behind the net behind the catcher and watched Sasaki’s pitches closely,” Ibata said. “It’s the first time I’ve seen him from this distance since his rookie year. I don’t think he’s finished yet, but he threw a good enough pitch. I think he threw a great ball at this point. It was so good that I wondered if I threw it earlier than the other pitchers. I think it’s because of his body type, and I think he has a sense of authority,” praised Sasaki.

Shohei Ohtani, who signed a 10-year, $700 million contract with the Dodgers this winter, pitched two games against South Korea in the 2015 invitational, throwing 13 scoreless innings and striking out 21. Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who joined Ohtani in signing the largest contract for a pitcher in Major League Baseball history (12 years, $325 million), was also selected to represent Japan in the 2019 Premier 12 as a reliever and performed well with a 1.80 ERA in five games (five innings).

Sasaki, who played in the WBC last year, 카지노사이트 순위 has never appeared in the Premier12. With the Premier12 being a showcase for Major League Baseball, Sasaki has plenty of incentive to give it his all in the tournament. It will be interesting to see if Sasaki can follow in the footsteps of Otani and Yamamoto and dominate the Premier12 and make it to the major leagues.

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