The Lotte Giants, led by head coach Kim Tae-hyung, will receive the attention of the Japanese media in Okinawa, where the second camp will be held. On the 24th and 25th, they will play two practice games against “Japanese Lotte” Chiba Lotte Marines, where they will face Rocky Sasaki, who boasts colorful modifiers such as “Monster with Ray,” “Top Speed of 165 km/h,” and “Youngest Perfect Game.”

Japan’s Sports Hochi reported on the morning of the 12th that “Sasaki will make his first real game appearance this year in a match against Lotte, Korea, which will be held at Itoman Stadium on the 25th.” According to the report on the 12th, Masato Yoshii informed reporters on the 11th that Atsuki Tanachi, Kazuya Ojima, and Sasaki will start in the last three practice games played in Okinawa. The order to take the mound is Ojima against Rakuten on the 23rd, Tanachi against Lotte on the 24th, and Sasaki against Lotte on the 25th.토토사이트

Taneichi Sasaki, and Ojima are the three starters chosen by Japanese media for the opening game of Chiba Lotte. They will take the mound as starting pitchers for three consecutive days and hold an audition to select the starting pitcher for the opening game. Sasaki is drawing keen attention. Prior to joining this year’s spring camp, he had difficulties in moving to the Major League.

Just before the camp, he was the last of the 12 players to complete his salary contract, avoiding the worst, but he was criticized for being greedy to enter the Major League at an early time when he felt it was too much in the process, and with not much performance compared to the “impact.” As the withdrawal from the players’ association in 2023 became a hot topic again, it also received a scathing look.

Chiba Lotte defended Sasaki, saying the team was also at fault. Sasaki also joined the spring camp with a bright face, dismissing rumors of discord, and started pitching in the bullpen on Tuesday. He also joined the bullpen on the second day of joining the camp last year. On Tuesday, when his showdown with Kim Tae-hyung was confirmed, he pitched 21 pitches in the fourth bullpen session of this year.

Did he lose his pace? The 21st pitch is the minimum number of pitches that he has pitched in the camp bullpen this year. Sasaki said in an interview with Japanese media, “I will proceed with caution and not rush as I will go up further.” When asked about the early nomination of Japanese national baseball team coach Hirokazu Ibata as the ace for the “Premier 12” to be held in November this year, he said, “It is a long way off. First of all, I want to focus on the regular season.”

Sports Nippon provided a more detailed message of Sasaki’s determination. “I want to throw while keeping my senses alive. I will prepare well for the actual game,” Sasaki said of the match against Lotte on Sunday. On the decrease in the number of pitches he pitched in bullpen sessions on Sunday, Sasaki said, “I started with a focus on training compared to the past. I gradually increased the number of pitches I threw.”

This match is expected to serve as a good preparation for Korean batters who can meet Sasaki at the Premier 12. After visiting the Chiba Lotte Spring Camp on the 4th, Ibata met Sasaki and encouraged him to join the Premier 12 national team. “I will make an offer to Sasaki. I expect him as an ace,” he said. Sasaki gave a positive response, saying, “I will try my best not to get injured.”

If Sasaki is to take the mound, chances are high that the third eye of Sasaki will appear as well as players from both teams. He is a scout for the Major League. Sasaki has already received attention from Major League teams even before the World Baseball Classic. There is a high possibility that he will continue to attract scouts from the Major League. He was already there.

When he participated in the U-18 World Cup held in Gijang, Busan in 2018, many scouts in the Major League focused on Sasaki’s trend. When he was uncertain about whether he would return to the mound due to blisters, he wondered whether Sasaki would return to the mound every day. Sasaki eventually started the game against Korea and finished the pitching in just one inning. As blisters on the middle of his right hand reappeared, it was difficult to continue pitching. The blisters burst and bleeding. The catcher discovered this and told the bench that he should stop pitching.

Until now, Sasaki had many strong memories. Even before his debut in the pro league, he threw a 163-km/h fastball, drawing keen attention from fans. In his first season after his debut, he pitched 63 ⅓ innings in 11 games. In his second year in 2021, he pitched 63 ⅓ innings in 11 games. Instead, Sasaki displayed his best performance in the game. His 68 strikeouts and 2.27 ERA were enough to demonstrate his outstanding potential.

In 2022, he became the youngest player to win a perfect game in Japanese baseball history with 19 strikeouts. He continued to win perfect games through the eighth inning in the next game, and challenged himself to win two consecutive perfect games. However, he pitched 129 ⅓ in 20 games, failing to enter the required innings. Last year, he pitched just 91 innings in 15 games, failing to achieve even 100 innings, let alone the required innings. His career ERA in the first division is 2.00 in 46 games, 19 wins, 10 losses, and 283 ⅔ in 283 ⅔.

Meanwhile, he was rumored to have entered the Major League early. Manager Yoshii, who has experience in Major League Baseball, even indirectly expressed the position that it is not time for Sasaki to challenge himself, saying, “Isn’t it something you should do after paying back your favor to the club?” Sasaki eventually signed the club’s offer to freeze his salary and decided to concentrate on completing this season safely. After joining the camp, he said, “Last season did not yield satisfactory results. First of all, I want to break the record of last year and two years ago.” He also expressed his commitment to participate full-time and set a new Japanese pitcher’s speed record with a new record.

Tannechi, a pitcher who will face Lotte on Monday ahead of Sasaki, is also mentioned as a candidate for starting pitcher. He made his debut in the first division in 2018 and spent five seasons until last year.

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