Video: Watch a Japanese batter try to hit a 186 m.p.h. fastball

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This is fun. It’s in Japanese, but you don’t need to speak Japanese to get what’s going on here. A special pitching machine that can fire a 186 m.p.h. fastball + an NPB hitter trying to square up. He does not succeed. Partially because he appears to be totally unaware that the pitch is going to be that fast.

Go to the 3:29 if you want to see his first effort.

 

Afterwards, the pitching machine talked about wanting to work on his offspeed stuff because all big league hitters can turn on a fastball.

 

The Tigers decline Anibal Sanchez’s 2018 option

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From the “this does not surprise us in the very least” department, Tigers GM Al Avila announced today that the club is declining its $16 million option on right-hander Anibal Sanchez.

Sanchez had a terrible year in 2017, going 3-7 with a 6.41 ERA in 2017. That’s a long slide down from his 2013 season, in which he won the AL ERA title, going 14-8 and posting an ERA of 2.57 in the first year of his five-year, $80 million deal. Since then he’s gone 28-35 with a 5.15 ERA. He never started 30 games or more over the course of the contract.

The declination of the option does come with a nice parting gift for Sanchez: a $5 million buyout. Which is pretty dang high for a buyout, but that’s how the Tigers rolled three or four years ago.