Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Seibu Lions announce five new coaching additions to the 2017 staff

The Saitama Seibu Lions announced multiple coaching additions after several resigned at the end of the year. They were also given an introductory press conference on Tuesday.

For those who are unfamiliar, coaching staffs are a lot larger in Japan with several at the ichi-gun and ni-gun level.

Here are the new coaches and members of the Lions staff:

#83 Toshifumi Baba (first team base running and infield defense)

Baba has no prior connection to the Lions as he played for the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks, Orix Blue Wave and Yakult Swallows in the 90s. He last worked with the Hanwha Eagles in KBO this season. Previously he spent several years as a coach with the Yokohama DeNA Baystars. Most likely, he will be seen as the new 3B coach.


#74 Fumiya Nishiguchi (farm team pitching coach)

Nishiguchi should already be a famous name for Lions fans. He spent his entire playing career with the team from 1995-2015 and is remembered for nearly throwing no hitters, but coming up short each time. He also came close to a perfect game. Nishiguchi is a legend and was a solid starter throughout his time as a player. Last year, he did some coaching in Taiwan in spring training with the Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions.


#82 Kosuke Noda (farm team battery coach)

Noda was a reserve catcher for the Lions from 2002-2010. His most notable moment came from the 2008 Japan Series, where he appeared as a pinch hitter despite playing in nine regular season games that year. With two outs, Noda would walk, moving the winning run to second base and it eventually led to a Japan Series title with a base hit coming from Hiroshi Hirao. You can see the full at-bat here.


#81 Takanori Hoshi (farm team trainer / Ikusei coach) 

Hoshi spent majority of his career in the farm with the Yomiuri Giants. The Lions would purchase him from the Kyojin in 2011 and he saw 120 ichi-gun games from 2011-2014. He spent the last two years in the Lions ni-gun working with the young pitchers downstairs. Last week, Hoshi was announced as one of the Senryokugai players not returning with a player contract for 2017.

Last year, the Lions had no players under an ikusei contract. While his title involves ikusei in it, this would only be an empty word if the Lions don't draft any players in the ikusei round next week.


#96 Kenta Kudo (farm team trainer)

Based on the resume seen, Kudo has no experience in coaching or playing baseball at the professional level. He has plenty of education through graduate school, med school and working with several hospitals to be a trainer. He also spent time as an announcer in Oita prefecture.


While a lot of these new staff members won't be seen on the ichi-gun except Baba, it is still important to know the staff members. Some guys could be promoted or taking a role in development of players down in ni-gun. Nishiguchi is the most notable name among the coaches hired, but it's great that the Lions have him work his way up as a coach. If things become different in the next few years, he could earn a promotion to the ichi-gun staff and even be a manager with time.


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