FULL COUNT: Bold predictions for Nakajima’s future

Back in December 2012, the Oakland Athletics signed Japanese infielder Hiroyuki Nakajima to a two-year, $6.5 million deal amid high hopes that the eight-time NPB All-Star would become the team’s everyday shortstop. Yet injuries and disappointing spring play has kept him in the minors while the likes of Jed Lowrie, Alberto Callaspo, Eric Sogard, Nick […]

FULL COUNT: The latest on trio of Japanese arms

A week after the All-Star break, three Japanese starting pitchers find themselves in very different situations. Just prior to the All-Star Game, the New York Yankees received the awful news that rookie right-hander Masahiro Tanaka (12-4) has a partially torn elbow ligament and there is no clear timeline for his return.  The Yankees are hopeful […]

Three named to All-Star Game

New York Yankees rookie pitcher Masahiro Tanaka and Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish were selected to the MLB All-Star Game, the league announced July 6.  Tanaka (12-4, 2.51 ERA) leads the majors in wins and becomes the seventh Japanese player to be named an All-Star in his rookie season.  Darvish (8-4, 2.63 ERA) makes his […]

FULL COUNT: Mid-June report for three JA players

A trio of Japanese American major leaguers find themselves in very different situations at this point in the season. With the All-Star Game just over a month away, Minnesota Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki ranks fifth in votes among AL catchers. Known primarily for his defense, Suzuki is off to one of his best offensive starts […]

FULL COUNT: Darvish among Japanese arms shining early on

Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish (3-1) will get some extra rest before his next start after throwing 126 pitches in a one-hitter against the Boston Red Sox on May 9. Darvish, who has 54 strikeouts over 46.1 innings and a 2.33 ERA, lost his no-hit bid on a two-out single in the top of the […]

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 […]

FULL COUNT: Season begins with many in minors, on DL

The 2014 regular season has begun and former San Francisco Giants’ first baseman Travis Ishikawa made the Pittsburg Pirates’ roster after a strong spring. One-time fan favorite Kensuke Tanaka begins the year with the Texas Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate Round Rock while his friend Yu Darvish is on the disabled list with back issues. Darvish is […]

FULL COUNT: Rex rights USF hoops into postseason

Distractions and criticism have plagued USF’s basketball program during the six-year tenure of head coach Rex Walters, reaching its peak earlier this season when starting point guard Cody Doolin left the team following an altercation with a teammate. Yet Walters, the lone Japanese American head coach in NCAA hoops, rebounded to guide the Dons to […]

FULL COUNT: Three spring storylines

Teams have reported to their respective camps in Arizona and Florida, and here are three storylines to keep an eye on this spring. Defensively sound catcher Kurt Suzuki looks to be the Minnesota Twins’ everyday signal caller with six-time All-Star Joe Mauer moving to first. Early reports indicate Suzuki’s been working with starters Ricky Nolasco, […]

FULL COUNT: Next ace posted to MLB likely a Sawamura Award winner

In case you missed it, the New York Yankees signed record-setting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka to a seven-year, $155 million contract on Jan. 22, making him the latest Eiji Sawamura Award recipient — Japan’s version of the Cy Young, which crowns the league’s top starter — to cross over to the MLB in what is a […]