4th Lotte Marines Spring Camp in Chiba, Ishigaki, Okinawa, Japan. Rocky Sasaki (22), starting pitcher for the World Baseball Classic (WBC) Japan national team, entered the bullpen for the second time on the fourth day of spring camp. He got the ball back after two days. As a pitcher who throws the fastest ball in Japanese professional baseball, his fastball with a maximum speed of 157 km/h hit the mitt of catcher Go Matsugawa (20). Ahead of the WBC next month, he picked up his pace faster than in previous years. Chiba Lotte coach Masato Yoshii (58) also serves as pitching coach for the WBC Japan national team.
Sasaki, born in 2001, became the youngest ‘perfect game’ against Matsugawa, born in 2003, and the Orix Buffaloes on April 10 last year. He struck out 13 batters in a row and struck out 19 for the first time in Korean American and Japanese professional baseball. He tied the record for the most strikeouts in a single Japanese professional baseball game with a speed ball of 164 km/h and a forkball of 150 km/h.
In the bullpen that day, Sasaki threw 29 fastballs, 21 sliders, and 13 forkballs, a total of 63 pitches. Japanese media reported that his breaking ball control gradually improved.
There was a baseball player who watched bullpen pitching next to manager Yoshii. Hideo Nomo (55), the “pioneer” of Japanese baseball, took a close look at Sasaki’s pitching. Nomo, an advisor for the San Diego Padres, said she came to the camp at the request of her senior manager Yoshii during her Kintes Buffaloes days. He also has a relationship with Hidekazu Mitsuyama, general coach and general coordinator of Chiba Lotte’s 1st and 2nd teams (58), who worked as a battery during his Kintetsu days. General coach Mitsuyama, a Korean-Japanese, briefly joined the Lotte Giants under coach Baek In-cheon in 2003 under the Korean name Kim Young-hwa.
According to Japanese media, Nomo talked with Sasaki after pitching in the bullpen about pitches such as fastballs and breaking pitches. He is also said to have shared his experiences during his major league days. Regarding Sasaki’s major league potential, Nomo confirmed his talent, saying “it’s all as everyone knows”. For Sasaki, meeting and giving advice to the ‘legendary’ old mother must have been a very special experience.
Catcher Matsugawa said of Sasaki’s pitch, “I had power in my fastball, and the angle of the slider and forkball was good.” 토토사이트
did. It is a smooth preparation process.
Sasaki, like other Nippon Professional Baseball prospects, dreams of advancing to the major leagues. Prior to this, he should definitely be recognized as the best pitcher in Japanese professional baseball. It seems that the first gateway will be this WBC.
Prior to the ‘monster pitcher’ Sasaki, the old mother of a great senior played a more monstrous performance. He joined Kintetsu in 1990, and from his first year, he won the most wins and strikeouts for four consecutive years. He pitched 200 or more innings four years in a row, striking out 287 in 1990–1991.
He entered the major leagues in 1995 and recorded a career record of 123 wins and 109 losses with an earned run average of 4.24 while going through the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets. He was the rookie of the year and ranked first in strikeouts in both Japan and the major leagues.
Manager Yoshii is also from the major leagues. After going through Kintetsu and Yakult Swallows, he wore a uniform for the New York Mets in 1998. He pitched in 162 games over his five years in the major leagues, going 32-47 with an earned run average of 4.62.
Sasaki played 20 games last year and threw 129⅓ innings. He went 9-4 with a 2.02 earned run average. Chiba Lotte managed pitching intervals and innings to protect players.