Saturday, February 23, 2013

Hirokazu Ibata to Represent Japan at the WBC

Hirokazu Ibata was the only Dragon selected for the final Team Japan roster this week.  Dragons Kazuki Yoshimi, Takuya Asao, Daisuke Yamai and Yohei Oshima participated in preliminary workouts but will not be on the team.  Injuries contributed to Yoshimi, Asao and Oshima not being selected (Yoshimi actually withdrew).
Ibata is a good choice for a reserve infielder, he's got a lot of experience and is excellent defensively.  He's spent significant time at shortshop and second base, plus he could play the other infield positions in a pinch.  I don't anticipate him playing a whole lot based on the talent on the roster, but congratulations to him for making the team, it will be his first time playing in a WBC tournament.
Congratulations as well to the Seattle Mariners who will be playing the tournament, Michael Saunders (Canada), Alex Liddi (Italy) and Oliver Perez (Mexico).

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Spring Training on USTREAM

The Dragons official USTREAM page (see link on the right) has been showing a ton of video from Chunichi's spring practices in Okinawa.  They are also broadcasting the preseason games!  I watched a portion of yesterday's game against Hanshin.  Chunichi lost 15-11, in a game where none of their regulars played.  Shuhei Takahashi and Ryosuke Hirata were the big names in the lineup and the Dragons' young pitchers were hit hard.  The Dragons fought back late to make what was a 13-4 game 13-11 going into the 9th, but Hanshin was able to get two more in the top of the 9th and closed out the Dragons in the bottom of the inning.  Yakyubaka has some more notes on the game.

Here's a portion of the schedule for preseason games:

2/16 vs. Hanshin (Replay is available on USTREAM)
2/17 13:00 (JST) vs Kia
2/22 13:00 (JST) vs Kia
2/23 13:00 (JST) vs. Lotte
2/24 13:00 (JST) vs. Orix
The rest of the schedule is here on the Dragons website.

They aren't currently listing which games will be broadcasted, but I imagine at least the games at their home stadium will be.