SF Giants News

Two NL West Former Japan Ball Players hit DL

By Stuart Jones

Writer’s Note: In a bit of self-disclosure, please let it be known I’m Japanese-American, have grown up embracing that heritage, majored in Japanese and Asian Studies in college, and lived in Japan for a year during my college days. The sentence in the parenthesis is meant to be informational, not to be made in jest. Thank you. –Stuart

Not surprising you see two guys in August get injured, but two guys that played in Japan that are in the same division?!? Insanity! (And no this does not qualify as “Linsanity” because to my knowledge, there’s no Japanese last name of “Lin,” because it would be “Rin” due to the absence of the “L” in their language… just take my word for it.)

Takashi Saito played for the Yokohama Taiyo Whales in 1992, and the Yokohama Bay Stars (just a name change, same organization) from 1993-2005 (I’m assuming he missed the 1997 season due to injury) before crossing the Pacific. He’s only been able to play in 10 G this year after being signed for an affordable $1.75MM, which did spark some debate amongst the fanbase over wishing we’d sign some more affordable guys rather than spending nearly $10MM on Affeldt and Javier Lopez.

Brad Penny also played for a Japanese League squad with the Softbank Hawks this year, who used to have legend Sadaharu Oh as their skipper through 2008, but newer manager Koji Akiyama only had the pleasure of watching Brad Penny enjoy Japan for one start. Lots of speculation that the Giants made up an injury for Penny because he’s not that good or whatever, but it doesn’t appear to be their doing:

So RHP Dan Otero was brought up to replace the former Japanese Baller. Dan Otero and Mike Zagurski (Saito’s replacement) have no experience in Japanese baseball… yet.