Rocky Sasaki (Chiba Lotte Marines), who is being reborn as the next-generation ‘ace’ representing Nippon Professional Baseball, is showing insane resilience. He didn’t seem likely to see him on the mound all season, even until an injury took him off the line, but he’s already pitched in the bullpen for the second time.
Japanese multiple media such as ‘Daily Sports’, ‘Nikkan Sports’, and ‘Sports Hochi’ reported on the 29th (Korean time) the news of Roki Sasaki’s bullpen pitching.
Sasaki, who was selected by Chiba Lotte in the first round of the 2019 Nippon Professional Baseball Rookie Draft, had the best year last year. Sasaki caught the fans’ eyes just by spraying his best 164 km fast ball, and quickly became the league’s top pitcher by achieving a ‘perfect game’.
The only regret was ‘durability’. Sasaki struggled a bit due to a blistering injury at the end of the first half and physical problems in the second half, and the first 10 wins of his career were delayed until later, but after leaving an impressive record with 9 wins and 4 losses and an average ERA of 2.02, he enjoyed the joy of being on the World Baseball Classic (WBC) national team. He pitched in 2 games and recorded 1 win, 0 loss and ERA of 3.52, helping the Japanese national team to lift the championship trophy.
After stepping on the professional stage, Sasaki participated in the most matches last year and accumulated experience in international competitions. Sasaki showed his potential to sweep various indicators of the Pacific League, such as breaking his personal best speed (previously 164km) this year to 165km, and stepping on the first 100 strikeouts in the Pacific and Central Leagues in just 11 games.
But this year, the problem was ‘injury’. Like last year, Sasaki had a hiatus of about a month this year due to ‘blisters’. On the 24th of last month, in a face-to-face confrontation with the Softbank Hawks, Sasaki pitched 93 pitches, 4 hits, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts and 1 run (1 earned) in 6 innings. After struggling with it, he is unable to enter the game. This time it’s an internal oblique injury.온라인카지노
At that time, Sasaki’s highest speed in the Softbank match was only 160 km. It wasn’t a slow ball by any means, but it was far from Sasaki’s usual appearance. And the next day, Sasaki was erased from the first team, and according to local media outlets such as ‘Daily Sports’, coach Masato Yoshii said, “Sasaki’s left internal oblique muscle (problem) was erased.”
Next, coach Masato Yoshii explained, “I felt a little pain while dealing with the last batter, and it seems that the pain got worse as I threw 4 more pitches and returned to the bench.” If the symptoms persist, the possibility of despair this season has also risen,” he said, hinting at the possibility of a season out.
However, Sasaki’s recovery is unexpectedly good. He may return to the first team before the regular season is over. According to Nikkan Sports, coach Yoshii said, “(The catcher) is standing, but it is already the second time he has thrown. Since he was able to throw a fairly strong ball from the bullpen, pitching practice will begin with the catcher sitting.” Sasaki threw a total of 20 pitches in the second group on the 27th.
He declined to comment on the exact timing of his return, as he is highly likely to recur in the case of my oblique muscle. Director Yoshii said, “If the rehabilitation staff say ‘OK’, I’m going to upload it. For now, I’ll think about it after the ‘OK’ sign.” In response, ‘Sports Hochi’ added, “In short matches, Sasaki becomes a trump card.”
Currently, the Chiba Lotte Marines are running second in the Pacific League. The gap with Softbank in third place has widened to some extent. Even if Sasaki fails to return within the regular season, there is no problem with fall baseball. Therefore, he can put in a short game and become a great force in the first and final stages of the Pacific League Climax Series. At the time of his departure, “two months at the earliest” was expected, but it is really momentum to return to the mound in two months.