Thursday, July 19, 2012

Your 2012 All-Stars

It's time for the 2012 All-Star Series and Chunichi has several representatives:

Hitoki Iwase
2.75 ERA, 36 IP, 10 BB, 17 SO, 27 SV
The NPB's all-time saves leader is having another solid season.  He is currently leading the NPB in saves for the 2012 season.  He's struggled a bit lately, blowing two out of his last three save opportunities, but up until that point Iwase had been very reliable.  Certainly deserving of another All-Star invitation.

Motonobu Tanishige
.250 AVG, .323 SLG, .361 OBP, 1 HR, 21 RBI
The veteran makes it as one of the back-up catchers.  He isn't the biggest offensive threat, and never really has been in his career, but he is a capable hitter and aside from Shinnosuke Abe there aren't any prolific hitting catchers in the CL.  Tanishige brings a lot of leadership and catching experience and is still a very good defender, even at his age, definitely an All-Star in my book.

Tony Blanco
.266 AVG, .542 SLG, .359 OBP, 16 HR, 42 RBI
Blanco put up great power numbers over the first half of the season.  Unfortunately, his hand was broken by a HBP a couple weeks ago and he will not be participating in the All-Star Series.  He was selected to be an All-Star by the player vote.

Masahiro Araki
.248 AVG, .314 SLG, .274 OBP, 2 HR, 18 RBI, 31 R
Araki is having a pretty mediocre season so far, but the CL doesn't have any above average second basemen right now to choose from.  He is listed as a back-up infielder, but is only one of two second basemen on the roster.  Araki currently has an OBP of under .300, pretty bad for anyone, pretty awful for a leadoff hitter.  If he is truly a back-up infielder then there would plenty more deserving infielders out there, Hirokazu Ibata comes to mind and he played 2B last year, but Araki probably is in the top 2 second basemen if that is the reason why he was chosen.

Kazuhiro Wada
.280 AVG, .411 SLG, .360 OBP, 6 HR, 37 RBI
Wada has returned to form this year and been the most consistent hitter in the Dragons lineup.  He's carried the team during parts of the season and had a bunch of sayonara hits as well.  Wada was selected to the All-Star team by the players' vote.

Yohei Ohshima
.288 AVG, .359 SLG, .352 OBP, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 39 R
I've always thought that Ohshima had the potential to be a nice player, but it has taken until now for him to hit consistently.  He's currently leading the team in runs scored and is 6th in the Central League in batting average.  His center field defence is excellent as well.  If he continues to play the way he did during the first half of the season he should become the Dragons' everyday leadoff hitter.  It's his first All-Star game and he was also selected by the players.

Shinji Tajima
0.46 ERA, 39 IP, 8 BB, 28 SO, 11 HLD
As you can see by his numbers Tajima has been almost unhittable in his rookie season.  He's shared the role of setup man and been a very important part of the bullpen, stepping up big in the wake of Takuya Asao's injury.  Tajima was named to the team by Takagi as an alternate for the injured Daiki Enokida.

Other Chunich players that should/could have made it:

Jorge Sosa
0.00 ERA, 39 IP, 7 BB, 34 SO, 1 SV, 10 HLD

Kazuki Yoshimi
2.25 ERA, 72 IP, 8 BB, 36 SO

Soma Yamauchi
2.44 ERA, 88 2/3 IP, 16 BB, 34 SO

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