Friday, June 9, 2017

Shogo Kimura promoted from ikusei, added to ichi-gun roster

Kimura (right) poses with Haruhiko Suzuki
On Thursday, the Saitama Seibu Lions promoted Shogo Kimura from ikusei and gave him a spot on the 70-man roster. He was then immediately given the No. 0 and put on the 28-man ichi-gun roster for Thursday's game against the Yomiuri Giants.

Kimura, 37, came off a torn ACL after interleague play ended in 2016. He was originally signed by the Lions during the 2016 training camp after passing his tryout contract. Kimura previously played with the Yokohama DeNA Baystars and Hiroshima Toyo Carp.

"I am happy with the [promotion] and new contract," Kimura said in an interview. "I would like to thank [everyone who had supported me so far. I'd like to contribute to [help the team win]." 

Kimura played his first ichi-gun game in a 13-2 win over the Yomiuri Giants on Thursday and got a base hit, which he later scored on from a HR by Yuji Kaneko as the starting 3B.

In 2016 prior to his injury, he appeared in 38 ichi-gun games with a slashline of .221/.262/.263. He was signed to an ikusei contract to rehab from his torn ACL and appeared in 37 ni-gun games with a slashline of .211/.315/.284.

General Manager Haruhiko Suzuki brought up the injury to 3B Takeya "Okawari-kun" Nakamura and felt it was the right time to add Kimura to the 70-man roster. Okawari-kun hurt himself after hitting a home run in Wednesday's 3-0 win over the Giants.

Kimura will make about ¥7.5 million with this promotion and the Lions currently have 69 players on a roster with a limit of 70. This will be his 15th season in NPB and 14th that he's appeared in at least one ichi-gun game. 

Overall, Kimura is another addition to the Lions infield and brings a different option off the bench. He can play any infield position as well as the OF for an emergency. His bat is slightly better than replacement player Kyohei Nagae, but defense is worse when comparing the two. 

The Lions can still sign someone until the July 31 deadline. They were most recently interested in pitcher Edison Barrios, who was a setup man for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks in 2015. Barrios, 28, is currently playing in Japan in an independent league known as the Baseball Challenge League for the Toyama Thunderbirds.  


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  1. ... and he wore number 121 in his first game because his new "0" jersey was not ready. It's the first time in any sport that I've ever seen a jersey number over 99.

    1. It's hilarious seeing a guy wear another's jersey. Seen it all over NPB, Yuji Kaneko had the bullpen catcher's jersey on.