Sasaki Rocky (22), a “Japanese perfect man” who helped Japan win all seven games at the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in March, was notified by his team, Chiba Lotte Marines, on the 16th that he could not post to the Major League. Although it was known that Sasaki conveyed his intention to challenge the Major League to the club on the 10th, Chiba Lotte decided not to accept it on the 15th, the deadline for the NPB posting application.
Lotte manager Masato Yoshii regarded Sasaki’s challenge to the Major League as “premature.” According to Japanese media reports such as “SportsNippon” on the 18th, Yoshii said, “I heard that Sasaki wanted to go to the Major League soon after he joined the team. I haven’t heard his thoughts in person these days,” adding, “I think I would have to repay the club a little more.”월카지노
Sasaki, who became a monster with Ray when he was a senior in high school, received the top pick from four teams in the 2019 draft and wore the Chiba Lotte uniform through a lottery. Chiba Lotte planned to train Sasaki for five years and managed the team by thoroughly training the body in its first year of joining the team in 2020.
Sasaki made his debut in the first year of the Korean pro league in 2021 with 11 games (63 ⅓ innings), three wins, two losses and a 2.27 strikeouts, and displayed his potential with 9 wins, four losses and a 2.02 strikeout and 173 strikeouts in 20 games (129 ⅓ innings) in 2022. Notably, he struck out 19 in nine innings and became the youngest player (20 years and five months) to achieve a perfect game in Japan’s history at the game against the Orix Buffaloes on April 10. He set a new Japanese record of 19 strikeouts in a single game, and set a new world record of 13 consecutive strikeouts.
In March this year, he was selected as a member of the Japanese WBC national team and made public his presence in the world stage. He had one win and an earned run average of 3.52 in two games at the match against Czech Republic (three scoreless innings in three ⅔s) and the semifinal against Mexico (three scoreless innings in four innings), and captured the attention of the Major League with his four-seam fastballs reaching a maximum of 101.9 miles (164.0 kilometers) and 100.5 miles (161.7 kilometers) on average and forkballs.
On April 28, Shohei Ohtani (LA Dodgers) threw a 165-kilometer fastball against Orix and continued to grow, tying the highest-ever speed limit he recorded during the Nippon Ham Fighters in 2016. Although the quality of the pitch improved with 7 wins, 4 losses, 1.78 strikeouts, and 135 strikeouts in 15 games (91 innings), it was regrettable that the entry was canceled three times due to blisters in the middle of the right hand, damage to the inner abdominal muscle and high fever.
The prevailing opinion was that Sasaki’s application for posting was premature, given that it has only been four years since he joined the professional league and there has never been a regular innings season. For overseas players under the age of 25 and six years of professional experience, the international amateur regulations apply when they advance to the Major League, and the down payment and annual salary for the first three years are limited. Considering that the amount of posting the club would receive was small, Chiba Lotte could not allow Sasaki posting even more. Under the current regulations, if Sasaki signs a contract now, Chiba Lotte will receive only 20% of the down payment.
There was a case where Ohtani played for Nippon Ham for only five years and advanced to the Major League early through posting, but at that time, the club could receive a maximum amount of 20 million dollars for posting. Above all, Ohtani’s contribution to pitching and hitting was very high. In particular, he led the team to win the league title and the Japan Series title in 2016. Chiba Lotte has yet to win the title since joining Sasaki. In this context, Yoshii seems to have said something to the effect that “the team should repay the team a little more” regarding the posting of Sasaki.
Next year will be the last year of Chiba Lotte’s five-year Sasaki training plan. If Sasaki wants to advance to the big league early, it should pay attention to not only individual performances but also team performance next year. As the Orix Buffaloes are expected to weaken due to ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s advance into the big league, Chiba Lotte, ranking second in the Pacific League, may have a chance to win the title. Manager Yoshii also announced a plan to increase Sasaki’s innings to 150 innings next year.