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Seibu Lions expected to announce that they’re posting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi

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Yahoo Japan — I’m probably getting the attribution for that wrong, but here is the link — reports that the Seibu Lions of NPB are expected to announce on Monday that they will post lefty starter Yusei Kikuchi.

Kikuchi, 27, posted a 3.08 ERA and 153/45 K/BB ratio over 163 and two-thirds innings in Japan Pacific this season. The year before that he was truly exceptional, going 16-6 record with a 1.97 ERA while striking out 217 batters and walking only 49 in his 187 and two-thirds.

A fastball-slider pitcher some have compared to Patrick Corbin, Kikuchi has made the Pacific League All-Star team three times. He’s generally viewed by scouts as a potential mid-rotation starter, but there is at least some concern about his durability given that shoulder problems cut short two of his seasons in the past, though that was several years ago.

Anyway, another guy to consider when looking at free agent starting pitchers.

B.J. Upton is going by B.J. Upton again

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Outfielder B.J. Upton went by the name B.J., short for Bossman Junior, through the 2014 season. His father Manny was known as Bossman, hence Bossman Junior. Upton decided he wanted to be referred to by his birth name Melvin starting in 2015, saying that everyone except baseball fans knew him by that name. Now, he’s back to B.J., Scott Boeck of USA TODAY Sports reports.

For those keeping score at home, Upton is the artist formerly and currently known as B.J.

Upton, 34, hasn’t played in the majors since 2016. He signed a minor league deal with the Indians in December 2017 but was released in the middle of last March and wasn’t able to latch on with another team. It seems unlikely he finds his way back to the majors.