One week before spring camp, uncontracted, Sasaki, who has been involved in the Major League, goes to personal training at his own expense instead of team training

The spring camp will begin in a week, but there has been no news of renewal of his annual salary. He is the only player who has not signed a contract with his team, Chiba Lotte Marines. It seems that Sasaki Rocky (23), a “fire bowler” who throws 165 kilometers per hour fastballs, will not be able to join the team’s spring camp and may conduct individual training sessions at his own expense. Chiba Lotte will hold its spring camp in Ishigaki and Itoman, Okinawa, from Feb. 1 to Feb. 26.

When asked by reporters about Sasaki’s renewal of his contract on the 21st, Lotte club CEO Shunsuke Takasaka said, “I will not comment on individual players.”

Only Sasaki and Rakuten Eagles outfielder Ryosuke Tatsumi, 28, have not signed yet. According to Japanese media, Sasaki had previously renewed his contract in December every year. This is the first time he has passed a year.

The amount of salary increase does not seem to be the problem.

There has been an abnormal trend since mid-December. It was reported that Sasaki asked the club to post in the Major League. Since he joined the team as the No. 1 draft pick in 2000, he was treated as an unexpected “bombing remark.” Talk of entering the Major League quietly disappeared after the posting application period.

Public opinion was also bad.

No matter how promising a pitcher is, he has never moved to the Major League ahead of his fifth year as a pitcher. He has never met 143 innings in the past four seasons. He never pitched in the first year as a pitcher. The team let him rest to protect his shoulder.

Sasaki, which has been managed by Chiba Lotte, has grown steadily. He played for Japan at the 마카오토토주소 World Baseball Classic (WBC) held in March and contributed to the victory. He pitched alongside other top-rated pitchers such as Yu Darvish (38, San Diego), Shohei Ohtani (30) and Yoshinobu Yamamoto (26, Los Angeles Dodgers). Major League teams were keeping an eye on fastball pitchers in their early 20s.

Sasaki threw a maximum speed of 165 kilometers per hour early last season. He reached the Japanese record set by Ohtani during the Nippon-Ham Fighters.

However, he did not finish the race last season either. Since May, he has not been able to play full time due to three injuries including finger blisters and side pain. In the second half of the season when ranking competition was fierce, he was out of power. It did not operate normally even in the postseason.

He has been spotlighted as a player representing Chiba Lotte with seven wins and four losses with a 1.78 ERA in 15 games, but his performance is hard to be recognized as an ace. He has revealed problems with his durability every year. Criticism has been mounting that it is premature to go to the Major League. Some suspect that Sasaki’s agent is cheating on him. It seems that the renewal of his annual salary is due to Sasaki’s demand to advance to the Major League after this season.

This offseason, Yamamoto and left-hander Shota Imanaga of the Chicago Cubs moved to the Major League after posting. They contributed to the team for a long time and decided on a challenge after approval. Yamamoto, who won four gold medals for three consecutive years, spent seven years with the Orix Buffaloes, and Imanaga, the No. 1 strikeout player in 2023, went to the bigger stage after spending eight years with the Yokohama BayStars.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *