• Kenji Jojima

    Posted by on October 23rd, 2005 · Comments (8)

    From the Japan Times:

    Softbank Hawks catcher Kenji Jojima will declare free agency after the Japan Series and is aiming for a move to the major leagues, baseball sources said Friday.

    The move would see Jojima become the first Japanese catcher to try his luck in the major leagues. Jojima was ruled out of the Pacific League playoffs after breaking his shin in September.

    The Hawks had hoped he would not declare himself a free agent and stay in Fukuoka but club representative Masashi Tsunoda, who is in charge of negotiations with the player, admitted that dissuading Jojima from leaving would be a tough task.

    “He has the desire, the dream and the right to go to the United States but we have to talk to him about it,” said Tsunoda. Jojima hit .309 with 24 homers and 57 RBIs in 116 games this season.

    Fingers are fingers. One’s a fastball. Two’s a curve. If the price is right, perhaps the Yankees should look into this one? But, be warned now, they don’t have to block the plate in Japan on tag plays. So, if that’s your Posada beef, this kid will not make that any better.

    Comments on Kenji Jojima

    1. Raf
      October 23rd, 2005 | 12:22 pm

      If he can hit, catch and throw, IOW be a productive ML’er, go for it. I’m not going to be worried if he can block the plate or not

    2. Rich
      October 23rd, 2005 | 1:46 pm

      Any idea how old he is or what type of wear and tear catching has in Japan compared to North America?

      I think Japan has a shorter regular season schedule but I don’t know how often a catcher rests there.

    3. Jen
      October 23rd, 2005 | 1:51 pm

      I wonder if the same problem that Japanese hitters have when they first come here (not seeing certain types of pitches in Japan) would affect catchers as well.

    4. Raf
      October 23rd, 2005 | 2:05 pm

      I wonder if the same problem that Japanese hitters have when they first come here (not seeing certain types of pitches in Japan) would affect catchers as well.
      =======================

      Not sure what you mean; pitchers in NPB throw some combination of fastball, slider, splitters & changeups, using different arm angles; 3/4, sidearm and submarine

    5. October 23rd, 2005 | 8:17 pm

      Godzilla, in his 1st year here, claimed that one of the fastball types – I can’t remember if it was the 2-seamer or the 4-seamer? – gave him problems here because it was a pitch not thrown in Japan.

    6. Jen
      October 24th, 2005 | 1:35 am

      Thanks Steve. For some reason I thought it was a breaking ball of some sort. (must be the old age setting in;-)

    7. rafael
      October 24th, 2005 | 6:00 am

      I’m almost absolutely sure that it was the 2-seam fastball.

    8. Raf
      October 25th, 2005 | 5:47 pm

      Looked it up, it was the 2 seam fastball, as well as the cutter.

      Still find it hard to believe that in Japan nobody throws a sinker (2-seamer). Ditto the cutter, which has been around for a while as well. Andy Hawkins (remember him?) used to throw one

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