Roki Sasaki (Chiba Lotte Marines), who is called a ‘monster pitcher’ by achieving a ‘perfect game’ last year, gave a thumbs up to Los Angeles Dodgers president Andrew Friedman.
On the 19th (Korean time), Sasaki started pitching in the bullpen at the Miyazaki Camp, where training for the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in Japan is in progress.
Sasaki is receiving a lot of attention from the WBC national team, comparable to Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels), Yu Darvish (San Diego Padres), and Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix Buffaloes). Last year, Sasaki achieved a ‘perfect game’ against Orix and was active with an average ERA of 2.02 of 9 wins and 4 losses in 20 games, establishing himself as a pitcher representing Japan.
Sasaki, who threw up to 160 km of fast balls twice in a recent practice game against the Yakult Swallows, pitched in the bullpen for the first time after joining the national team on the 19th. Sasaki threw a total of 37 pitches while coach Hideki Kuriyama, Darvish, and Los Angeles Dodgers president Andrew Friedman watched. According to ‘Sponichi Annex’, President Friedman, who watched Sasaki’s pitching from behind catcher Takuya Kai, said, “Sasaki has the best talent.”
On this day, Sasaki received a one-point lesson through a one-on-one conversation with Darvish after pitching in the bullpen. According to ‘Chunichi Sports’, after pitching, Sasaki said, “I was nervous because many people were watching,” and “I heard from senior Darvish that ‘the slider is getting better'” and smiled shyly.
Several players who are highly likely to advance to the major leagues in the future have joined the Japanese national team. The most representative players are ‘Ace’ Yamamoto, ‘Perfect Game’ Sasaki, and Munetaka Murakami (Yakult Swallows), who hit 56 home runs last year and set a new Japanese record for most home runs in a single season. The Dodgers appear to have come to Miyazaki to watch talented players. 메이저놀이터
In addition to Sasaki, Friedman praised the overall quality of the Japanese national team. According to ‘Sponichi Annex’, President Friedman said, “I was able to realize that other players also have great talent. Compared to other teams, I think they are number one.”