Not a terribly notable one, though. It’s Hisanori Takahashi, a 34 year-old lefty from the Yomiuri Giants who has declared free agency and wants to pitch in U.S..
The only things I could find out about the guy is that (a) he had a couple of decent years as a starter a few years ago; (b) he has been a swingman since then; (c) he got roughed up in his last outing in the Japan Series; and (d) he “got a Yomiuri batter’s foul ball on his face in his bench on a day the first half of 2006 and he got out of games.” Yes, that last bit came via a blog post that was translated from Japanese. If someone has an English language scouting report on this guy, they dug really really deep to find it.
Because he’s a lefty there will probably always be a place for a fellow like Takahashi, though given his resume and his age, his posting fee probably won’t buy you fare from Shinjuku to Moto-yawata on the leaf green line of the Toei.
(photo via a Creative Commons license via Flickr)
Despite the earlier rain, the All-Star Game got underway on time and following the usual pregame festivities Max Scherzer took the hill to face the American League.
Scherzer did great in the first inning, striking out Mookie Betts and Jose Altuve and then, following a walk to Mike Trout and giving up a single to J.D. Matinez, retired Jose Ramirez on a weak popup. Scherzer was cooing with gas: the reigning Cy Young winner had not thrown a pitch as fast as 98 m.p.h. all season, but he threw three of those during his scoreless first.
Chris Sale‘s work in the bottom half was more about nasty stuff than mere heat. Following a leadoff single allowed to Javier Baez he got Nolan Arenado to fly out to left, struck out Paul Goldschmidt on a nasty slider and then got Freddie Freeman out via a fly to left.
Aaron Judge led off the second. The same Aaron Judge someone wrote today could be trade bait if the Yankees felt so inclined. Which, um, OK, that was dumb anyway, but it looked even dumber when Judge muscled Scherzer’s second pitch — a letter-high fastball — out to left field with many, many feet to spare for a homer.
Scherzer got the rest of the A.L. side, but the damage had been done. The American League leads 1-0 after an inning and a half.