FULL COUNT: Tanaka still in the picture, Nakajima isn’t


Although Kensuke Tanaka was optioned to Fresno last month, Giants manager Bruce Bochy spoke to the media about the left fielder’s future prior to San Francisco’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers on Aug. 7. When asked whether Tanaka would be evaluated further at the big league level when rosters expand in Sept. Bochy said “We’ve talked about what we may or may not do. Of course his name has come up and he’s still in the picture.” Later that night, Brewers outfielder Norichika Aoki hit a clutch two-run single in the eighth to preserve Milwaukee’s 6-1 win.

The Boston Red Sox came to AT&T Park for the third time in team history this week to take on the Giants. Shane Victorino had two hits off Tim Lincecum on Monday night, but was also drilled in the shoulder by the right-hander. Junichi Tazawa (5-3) remains solid with 20 holds and a 1.13 WHIP for Boston while closer Koji Uehara (3-0) has been outstanding with 12 saves and a 0.68 WHIP.

On Aug. 17, the Athletics removed shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima from the 40-man roster, meaning there’s a good chance that he’ll never play a game in Oakland. Nakajima signed a two-year, $6.5 million contract this spring and was expected to be the team’s starter at short, but injuries and lack of production plagued him.

Meanwhile left-hander Hideki Okajima (1-2) is still on the Athletics’ 40-man roster with a 3.58 ERA, 41 strikeouts and eight walks in 37.2 innings in Triple-A Sacramento. Whether or not he’s called up in September remains unclear.

Down in Anaheim, Angels’ spot starting long-man Jerome Williams (5-9) gave up three runs in 4.1 innings on Aug. 16. He still has his job, but with Tommy Hanson throwing well at Triple-A Salt Lake, the journeyman right-hander’s time in Los Angeles may be short.

Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Brandon League (6-4) took his fourth loss of the year on Aug. 18 after walking one and giving up the go-ahead run.

Kansas City Royals right-hander Jeremy Guthrie (12-9) has lost two straight starts after four consecutive wins. It’s been an up-and-down year for Guthrie, and it’s really hard to trust him on a regular basis

Texas Ranger Yu Darvish (12-5) still leads the majors with 214 strikeouts and on Aug. 12 he again flirted with a perfect game in Houston, but was denied by a bad call and a homerun yet earned his 12th win of the season against the Astros.

Hisashi Iwakuma (11-5) got his 11th win of the season for the Seattle Mariners after allowing just one run on four hits and three walks with eight strikeouts over seven innings against the Rangers on Aug. 16.

Chicago Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney is hitting .219 with a .270 on-base percentage, but remains a trusted glove in the field.

In New York, the five-game streak of five consecutive quality starts by Hiroki Kuroda (11-8) ended on Aug. 17, when he gave up a season-high 11 hits in a losing effort. His teammate Ichiro Suzuki is still hitting .272 with a .307 OBP as he continues to split time in the Yankees outfield.

Drew Morita, a Yonsei from the island of Kaua‘i, grew up rooting for the Oakland A’s but is now a loyal San Francisco Giants fan. He writes from San Francisco. Follow him @drewmorita or e-mail him at drew_morita@yahoo.com.

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