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Video: Shohei Otani’s fly ball disappears in Tokyo Dome

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There’s little that Nippon Ham Fighters’ right-hander Shohei Otani can’t do.

He can pitch, as evidenced by three record-breaking pitches in high school and the Nippon Professional Baseball league and a monster 2016 season that saw a 1.86 ERA, 174 strikeouts, and a 3.87 K/BB in 140 innings.

He can hit, as demonstrated by a career .275/.347/.491 batting line, replete with 40 home runs and an .838 OPS in four seasons with the Fighters.

He can command top-tier salaries from MLB teams, according to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman, who estimates offers in the $200-300 million range when the 22-year-old makes his long-anticipated jump to the MLB circuit in the next year or two.

And, thanks to the unique structure of the Tokyo Dome, he can also make baseballs disappear.

During the seventh inning of an exhibition game against the Netherlands on Sunday, Otani muscled a fly ball that vanished among the paneled roof of the Tokyo Dome. A hush fell over the crowd as officials and teammates tried to figure out exactly where the ball was lodged, watching as Otani rounded the bases for a home run. After some deliberation, the umpires rescinded the scoring change and called the hit a ground-rule double.

The full video is below:

Drew Smyly has a torn UCL, will undergo Tommy John surgery

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Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports that Mariners starter Drew Smyly has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery.

Smyly was diagnosed with a flexor strain in his left elbow at the end of spring training. He had been on the shelf since then, but was throwing bullpen sessions. He was set to throw his first simulated game today, but that was scratched after he said his arm didn’t feel right in his last throwing session. The Mariners called it “a little setback.” A reexamination shows that this is not little, obviously.

The Mariners acquired Smyly in January for outfielder Mallex Smith and two minor leaguers, and were expected to utilize the lefty as a core member of their rotation in 2017. Now he’s going to miss all of this season and, given that he’s on a one-year deal, will be released by the team at the end of the season. Odds are that he’ll be unable to pitch for most of 2018.

Tough break.

Miguel Montero to be designated for assignment

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A play in three acts:

I.

Miguel Montero talks smack about his teammate

II.

A team leader talks smack about Miguel Montero

III.

The Cubs get rid of Miguel Montero:

This is rather surprising. As I said in the last post, I figured he’d apologize today and it’d all be in the past. Guess not. Even more surprising: we learned earlier this week that the key to good clubhouse chemistry is having a teammate everyone hates. Guess that only works for the Giants.

Montero is making $14 million this season, so the Cubs are definitely eating some money to make a headache go away. They’re also losing some offensive production, as Montero has hit a nice .286/.366/.439 on the season. His terrible defense against opposing baserunners mitigates that, of course. And the whole “pissing off everyone in the clubhouse” thing isn’t exactly working out for him either, so here we are.

Oh well, have a good one, Miguel.