Yankees make moves, Cashman says Japanese ace ‘intuitive’ to start…’Sasaki return’ unexpectedly lucky

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman travels to Japan to see Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix Buffaloes), while Roki Sasaki (Chiba Lotte Marines) makes a ‘surprise’ return to the mound.안전놀이터

Japan’s Nikkan Gendai broke the news of New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman’s visit to Japan on Sept. 9 (JST). The purpose of the visit is to see Yamamoto, who is on his way to the major leagues through the posting system.

After winning four pitching titles in 2021-2022, leading the Pacific League in wins, ERA, strikeouts, and winning percentage, being named the Pacific League MVP, and winning the Sawamura Award for the best pitcher, Yamamoto will be eligible for posting after this season. He has long expressed his desire to play in the major leagues, so his path to the big leagues is clear.

There are not many starting pitching options on the major league free agent market after this season, and local media in the U.S. are predicting that Yamamoto will at least get a much bigger contract than Senga Kodai’s five-year, $75 million deal with the New York Mets. And he deserves it.

Yamamoto is 13-5 with a 1.34 ERA in 19 appearances prior to the start of play on Sept. 9. He leads the Pacific League in wins and ERA, and is third in the league in strikeouts with 137. If he strikes out more batters by the end of the regular season, he could win an unprecedented third consecutive Pitcher of the Year award.

As Cashman travels to Japan to watch Yamamoto, who starts on Sept. 9, Sasaki’s return was also announced. Sasaki was designated for assignment after the July 24 game against the SoftBank Hawks. He suffered a torn adductor muscle. At the time, local media reported, “His return is expected to take two months at the earliest. If the symptoms persist, he could be out for the season,” raising the possibility of a season-ending injury.

However, his recovery was unexpected. Initially expected to be sidelined for two months, Sasaki pitched in the bullpen with the catcher standing on the 27th of last month, threw bullpen pitches with the catcher seated on the 29th, threw “live pitches” on the last three days, and made a “surprise” start against the Orix on the 10th.

Cashman’s trip to Japan to see Yamamoto was an unexpected “stroke of luck. Sasaki also has a strong chance of making it to the major leagues in the future. “For Sasaki, who is looking forward to the challenge of the major leagues in the future, Cashman’s visit will be a motivating factor,” the Nikkan Gendai said.

According to Nikkan Gendai, a major league official said, “Cashman’s main purpose for his offseason visit is to inspect Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who is certain to make it to the major leagues, but he is aware of Sasaki’s presence.” “Sasaki is in the stage of improving his physical condition, but it is very valuable to be able to observe his rehabilitation and growth process,” the official said.

Chiba Rodeo currently sits in second place in the Pacific League with 60 wins, five draws and 54 losses, but is 2.5 games behind third-place SoftBank and just four games behind the fourth-place Rakuten Golden Eagles. A postseason berth is far from assured. Sasaki’s return will be a big boost.

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