FULL COUNT: Tanaka sent down, others performing as expected

Following the San Francisco Giants trip to the White House on July 29, popular left fielder Kensuke Tanaka was optioned to Fresno to make room for Roger Kieschnick and Brett Pill. Tanaka hit .267 with two RBIs in 15 games along with a .353 on-base percentage, two steals and four runs scored. Fans haven’t seen […]

FULL COUNT: Giants call up Tanaka with All-Star break approaching

Utility man Kensuke Tanaka was called up to San Francisco on July 9 after batting .330 with 24 RBIs and 20 steals for the Fresno Grizzlies. He started for the Giants in left field on Tuesday night against the Mets, but is normally a second baseman. As for the Athletics, neither Hideki Okajima nor Hiroyuki […]

FULL COUNT: The mid-June baseball report

Roughly halfway through June, Athletics lefty specialist Hideki Okajima has made only four appearances since being called up on May 19. He has a 2.45 ERA with one strikeout. Oakland also has no pressing need for shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima, who is doing fine in Triple-A Sacramento. That’s where he’s going to be for a while. […]

FULL COUNT: Everyone’s doing well except Barney, League

Leading off the not-good list is Los Angeles Dodgers closer Brandon League, who is in danger of losing his job. In three appearances this month, League has faced 18 batters giving up six hits, five earned runs, and three walks for a 6.28 ERA. Kenley Jansen is set to take over if his struggles continue. […]

FULL COUNT: One month of baseball by the numbers

Four weeks into the 2013 season, most if not all Japanese and JA major leaguers are playing well. I’d only classify Chicago Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney (.208 average, 10 hits in 48 at-bats) and Blue Jays infielder Munenori Kawasaki (.220 average, three RBI in 17 games) as struggling at the plate. Yet Barney, who […]

FULL COUNT: Roster moves precede Opening Day

Many Japanese and JA stars like Ichiro Suzuki, Yu Darvish, and Shane Victorino know that they are locks to make their club’s big league roster. Not the case for non-roster invitees and rookie hopefuls like Giants infielder Kensuke Tanaka or Phillies shortstop Troy Hanzawa. In San Francisco, “Tanaka Time” is on hold. The Giants designated […]

FULL COUNT: Classic upsets in spring baseball

In a major upset, two-time defending champion Japan lost to Puerto Rico 3-1 in the World Baseball Classic semifinal at AT&T Park on March 17 before a crowd of 33,683. The Samurai were held hitless through three innings by Puerto Rican starter Mario Santiago, a career minor-leaguer. Japanese starter Kenta Maeda gave up just one […]

FULL COUNT: Spring Training and World Baseball Classic under way

Baseball is back and that’s a good thing. The Arizona Cactus League and Florida Grapefruit League began play on Feb. 22, and the 2013 World Baseball Classic started on March 1. San Francisco Giants infielder Kensuke Tanaka had a slow start in the desert, but on March 2 against the Chicago Cubs he went 2-for-5 […]

FULL COUNT: Dice K and Okajima return

Boston outfielder Shane Victorino is eager to represent the U.S. in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. He’s set to leave Red Sox camp on March 3 to join Team USA in Arizona. Meanwhile, his teammate and relief pitcher Koji Uehara will likely open the season as the primary set-up man for closer Joel Hanrahan. But […]

FULL COUNT: Okajima pursues return to MLB

Veteran reliever Hideki Okajima was released by the Softbank Hawks on Jan. 28, enabling him to seek a deal with a major league club. The Oakland Athletics are among the teams interested in the 37-year-old who last pitched for Boston in 2011. He is expected to fill the lefty specialist role for whoever signs him. […]

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