Japanese pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma said to be eyeing MLB


Hisashi Iwakuma is one of the best pitchers in Japan and according to Jason Coskrey of the Japan Times he “wants to try and head to MLB via posting after the season.”
Coskey adds that Iwakuma’s team, the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, are “said to be reluctant” to let him go, no doubt in part because they still have the 29-year-old under contract for another season.
However, Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker and Fan Graphs told MLB Trade Rumors that the Golden Eagles may want to get value in return for Iwakuma before losing him for nothing as a free agent.
Newman recently pegged Iwakuma as “the second-best MLB pitching prospect” in Japan behind phenom Yu Darvish, calling him “a fairly standard fastball/slider/forkball righty” who “can reach 95 mph with his fastball, but mostly works around 90-91.”
Iwakuma has a 2.74 ERA and 138 strikeouts in 187 innings this season. His best year came in 2008, when he went 21-4 with a 1.87 ERA and 159 strikeouts in 201.2 innings. And, obviously, he looks dapper in a suit.

ALDS, Game 1: Rangers vs. Blue Jays lineups

Toronto Blue Jays' starting pitcher David Price works against the Baltimore Orioles during first inning of a baseball game in Toronto, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015. (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

Here are the Rangers and Blue Jays lineups for Game 1 of the ALDS in Toronto:

CF Delino DeShields
RF Shin-Soo Choo
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Prince Fielder
1B Mike Napoli
LF Josh Hamilton
SS Elvis Andrus
2B Rougned Odor
C Robinson Chirinos

SP Yovani Gallardo

With left-hander David Price on the mound for Toronto the Rangers are going with Mike Napoli at first base over Mitch Moreland. Beyond that it’s a pretty standard lineup for Texas, or at least standard for what manager Jeff Banister used down the stretch once Josh Hamilton was healthy enough to play left field.

LF Ben Revere
3B Josh Donaldson
RF Jose Bautista
DH Edwin Encarnacion
SS Troy Tulowitzki
1B Justin Smoak
C Russell Martin
2B Ryan Goins
CF Kevin Pillar

SP David Price

After returning from the disabled list for the final weekend of the regular season Troy Tulowitzki is in the lineup and batting fifth. That allows Ryan Goins to play second base in place of the injured Devon Travis. Justin Smoak gets the nod over Chris Colabello at first base against a right-hander.

Astros leave Chad Qualls off playoff roster, add Preston Tucker

Chad Qualls Getty
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Houston made one unexpected change to the roster for the ALDS, leaving off veteran reliever Chad Qualls.

Qualls warmed up but never appeared in the Wild Card game win over the Yankees and during the regular season the 36-year-old right-hander logged 49 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 46/9 K/BB ratio. Qualls was on the Astros’ last playoff team in 2005.

Utility man Jonathan Villar has been bumped off the roster in favor of outfielder Preston Tucker, as the Astros opted for a good left-handed bat off the bench versus the Royals rather than Villar’s speed.