FULL COUNT: Minor leaguers to eye two weeks in


This week the Toronto Blue Jays recalled popular infielder Munenori Kawasaki from Triple-A Buffalo after placing shortstop Jose Reyes on the 15-day disabled list. Kawasaki became a fan favorite last season for his late game heroics and classic postgame interviews.

Over in Triple-A Sacramento, shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima is off to a slow start, batting just .179 with six strikeouts in 28 at-bats in eight games. Not the numbers that will earn him a call-up to Oakland. Meanwhile several others are making strong cases for call-ups just two weeks into the regular season.

Former Boston Red Sox ace Daisuke Matsuzaka has posted a 2.25 ERA with 12 strikeouts in 12 innings over two starts with the Las Vegas 51s, the New York Mets’ Triple-A affiliate. The right-hander tossed six hitless innings against Fresno on April 13. Dice-K went 3-3 during a brief stint with the Mets last year.

Iowa Cubs left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada was named PCL Player of the Week for posting a 0.68 ERA with 18 strikeouts and one walk in 13.1 innings over two starts for Chicago’s Triple-A club. Wada was cut by the Baltimore Orioles this offseason after spending two years rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.

One-time San Francisco Giants left-fielder Kensuke Tanaka has been hot at the plate and on the bases hitting .379 with two homeruns, four RBIs and six walks while stealing two bags and scoring 11 runs for the Round Rock Express, the Texas Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate.

Lastly, reliever Yoshinori Tateyama has made two appearances for the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees (Triple-A), allowing no runs in 1.1 innings of work. He hopes to join countrymen Masahiro Tanaka, Hiroki Kuroda and Ichiro Suzuki in New York sometime this season.

Drew Morita, a Yonsei from Kaua‘i, writes from San Francisco. Follow him @drewmorita or e-mail him at drew_morita@yahoo.com.

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