Baseball’s elder statesman has criticized Roki Sasaki

Baseball’s elder statesman has criticized Roki Sasaki (23) of the Nippon Professional Baseball’s Chiba Rode Marines.

“Tsutomu Ito, who served as a manager at Seibu and Chiba Lotte, said on his YouTube channel that Roki Sasaki, who was expected to be a pillar of the Chiba Lotte pitching staff, has been avoiding the mound recently,” Japanese media outlet Sporicianex reported on Jan. 1.

Sasaki is Japan’s next generation ace, with a 24-12 record and 1.99 ERA in 55 career Nippon Professional Baseball games (343⅓ innings). With a fastball that reaches over 160 kilometers per hour and a sharp forkball, the right-hander has already attracted the attention of major league clubs, with scouts visiting the stadium at every game in hopes of signing him.

After showing incredible promise in 2022, when he became the youngest pitcher in Nippon Professional Baseball history to throw a perfect game, Sasaki had a career year, going 9-4 with a 2.02 ERA in 20 games (129⅓ innings). However, he has been hampered by injuries since then, and hasn’t been able to develop as much as expected. Last season, he was just 7-4 with a 1.78 ERA in 15 games (91 innings).


Sasaki was mired in controversy after the end of last season when he posted to the Chiba Rode organization that he wanted to play in the major leagues. The Chiba Lotte organization said they could not allow Sasaki, who had never played a full season, to move to the major leagues because he had not yet contributed enough to the organization. Sasaki was the last Nippon Professional Baseball player to reach an agreement in salary negotiations, but a dramatic deal was reached just before spring training opened, allowing him to finally reunite with his fans.

After a series of twists and turns, 고스톱사이트 Sasaki was able to stay in Japan to finish out the season and is 5-2 with a 1.96 ERA in nine games (59⅔ innings) this season. While he has performed well on the mound, he has been hampered by injury once again. After a seven-inning, five-hit, two-run, one-walk, eight-strikeout victory over SoftBank on May 24, Sasaki was removed from the first-team roster after throwing 119 pitches due to upper-body fatigue. After returning from a two-week layoff, he pitched six innings of three-hit, one-run ball with nine strikeouts and one walk in a no-decision against Hiroshima on March 8. However, Sasaki was injured again after throwing just 90 pitches. He was unable to pitch against Chunichi, which was scheduled for the 15th of last month, due to a sore right upper extremity.

As a result, he hasn’t pitched for the first team since March 8 against Hiroshima.

Ito said, “Sasaki is not pitching for the whole year. I think he’s playing baseball with the major leagues in his head. I feel a little sorry for him,” Ito pointed out. Full Count also criticized Sasaki, saying, “Sasaki is suddenly avoiding appearances or getting de-registered after pitching well, which is not the kind of starting pitcher who aims to win a championship.”

“Where are they playing baseball?” asked Ito, who pointed out, “It would be great to go to the major leagues in the future, but first of all, they should play baseball for Nippon Baseball, for their team. It’s frustrating because Sasaki’s skills are highly regarded as a pitcher who can win any game he throws. Professional baseball players are called “sole proprietors,” but it’s still a team sport and there are fans who support the team. Baseball is about fighting together with everyone during the season, and I hope they don’t think of it that way (individualism),” he said, emphasizing the need for dedication to the team.



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