What’s the point of throwing 165km of “Leaving Again”? Why are you challenging ML with such a glass body…The director is also uncomfortable

Sasaki Rocky (23, Chiba Lotte Marines), a “Japanese monster pitcher” who expressed his intention to challenge the Major League last winter and was at odds with the club, left again in five days. He has not been able to play the prescribed innings due to special management and injury, but he has not been able to spend a full-time season this year due to repeated poor condition.

Chiba Lotte removed Sasaki from its first-team entry on the 13th. According to Japanese media, including Sports Nippon, the game against the Chunichi Dragons scheduled for the 15th was canceled due to poor condition of the right upper limb (between shoulder and wrist) after taking the mound against Toyokaf in Hiroshima on the 8th.

After the Softbank Hawks match on the 24th of last month, Sasaki was removed from the entry and took a rotation, citing a delay in recovery from fatigue in his upper body. After taking a two-week break, he took the mound against Hiroshima on the 8th and won the game with three hits, one strikeout, nine strikeouts and one run (non-earning) in six innings, but he was absent from the entry again in five days.

After the match against the Yokohama DeNA BayStars on Thursday, Lotte manager Yoshii Masato Chiba said of Sasaki’s condition, “I took the mound after taking a two-week rest last time, and I heard he had similar symptoms again. I canceled the game because I said I would not be able to play this week.”
On the possibility of re-registering Sasaki’s entry 10 days later, Yoshii said, “It’s something I can’t say. It depends on how the trainer and Sasaki feel,” but declined to say, “I’ll wait for you to judge that it’s going to be okay.”

Chiba Lotte has recently lost three consecutive games and is ranked third in the Pacific League with 35 wins, 25 losses and two draws (0.527) among others. As the ace left the team due to poor condition in the midst of a ranking battle, manager Yoshii is also in a bad mood.

Sasaki pitched 59 ⅔ in nine games this season, winning five games and losing two with a 1.96 ERA, 70 strikeouts and a WHIP 0.97 ERA. However, his entry has already been canceled twice, and depending on when he returns, his first regular innings season may become difficult.

Sasaki, who garnered attention early on as a rising star pitcher by throwing a top speed of 163 kilometers per hour in his third year of afternoon high school, joined Chiba Lotte through a lottery after receiving the top pick from four teams in the 2019 draft. Chiba Lotte cherished and managed Sasaki, which will become a great treasure of Japanese baseball in the future. In the long run, the company established a five-year training plan and focused only on training without playing in the first and second teams in its first year.

He was a key starter in the main league from 2021 to 2022, but ended up with 63 ⅓ innings in 11 games and 129 ⅓ innings in 20 games, respectively. He received special management for his team’s thorough management of the number of pitches he pitched and regular rest, but has been suffering from frequent injuries since last year. He was erased from the main league three times due to blisters on his right middle finger, damage to his intraperitoneal muscles, and high fever, and pitched 91 innings in 15 games.

This year, the last year of his five-year promotion plan, Sasaki aimed to throw more than 150 innings, going beyond the stipulated innings, but it will not be easy as he has already left the team twice. Sasaki showed off his talent by spraying up to 165 kilometers per hour in Japanese professional baseball, such as Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Dodgers, but his body does not seem to be able to withstand fastballs.

Sasaki asked for a Major League post last winter, but failed to achieve his will due to the club’s disapproval, and he was in a tug-of-war with his salary contract, drawing unfavorable attention from the baseball community. The ball is enough to work in the Major League, but the current “glass body” cannot withstand the 여우알바 Major League’s 162-game long-term race and tight 5-day rest rotation.

Major League teams are paying keen attention to Sasaki as Japanese pitchers including Kodai Senga (New York Mets), Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Dodgers), and Shota Imana (Chicago Cubs) have successively moved to the big leagues. Still, his market value is very high given that he is only 23 years old. However, his unstable durability will likely become a big issue among Major League teams going forward.

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