The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Japanese high school baseball looking at ways to shorten games, preserve pitcher's arms
TOKYO - The marathon pitching exploits of Japan's high school baseball players may soon be a thing of the past.
Japan's High School Baseball Federation is considering introducing measures such as a tiebreaker and pitch counts limits in order to protect the health of the country's future stars.
New York Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, who was recently placed on the 15-day disabled list with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, was a standout in Japanese high school baseball. He led his high school team to a championship in 2005.
New York Mets pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, who had elbow surgery in 2011, gained notoriety for throwing 250 pitches in 17 innings at the summer high school tournament in 1988 after a 148-pitch complete-game shutout the previous day.
Tomohiro Anraku, who many consider the future of Japanese baseball, took the mound on Wednesday and pitched a complete-game shutout an 8-0 win in a qualifying tournament for the summer tournament.
The 17-year-old Anraku, who experienced pain in his right elbow last year, is no stranger to the type of marathon pitching performances that are legendary in Japanese high school baseball.
In 2013, Anraku threw 183 pitches in one game at the Koshien high school baseball tournament after a 137-pitch outing the previous day.
"High School coaches in Japan will argue if the core mechanics are good then a pitcher won't hurt his arm throwing every day," said author Robert Whiting, who has written several books on Japanese baseball.
Whiting points out that Tanaka's former pitching coach with the Rakuten Eagles thinks the American obsession with pitch counts is a bad thing. Starting pitchers in Major League Baseball generally are limited to no more than 100 pitches per outing.
One idea the high school baseball officials are pondering is a system similar to that used at the baseball tournament at the Beijing Olympics in which teams started with runners on first base and second base from the 11th inning on.
The high school federation sent out a questionnaire to its 4,000 member schools in mid-July seeking feedback on the proposals.
Many in Japan consider 250-pitch outings to be character building. Despite his injuries, Matsuzaka has said he feels more comfortable the more he throws.
Even in professional baseball in Japan, pitchers throw on the sidelines in between innings to stay warm.
Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
(1 of 27 articles for today)5:44 PM 0
CHICAGO - Matt Kemp homered and had four RBIs, Yasiel Puig scored a career-high four times and the NL West-leading ...
Photo Store Gallery
- Cardinals hit 3 home runs, beat Reds 8-4 and move closer to playoff spot
- Marlins eliminated from wild-card contention with 3-2 loss to Nationals
- MLB cracks down on 'speed'
- Chicago White Sox manage just 3 hits in 3-1 loss to Archer, Tampa Bay Rays
- Cashner brilliant again in Padres' 3-2 win against Giants
- Jackson leaves in 1st as Cubs lose 14-5 to Kershaw, Dodgers
- Kinsler homers, Verlander sharp as AL Central-leading Tigers beat up second-place Royals 10-1
- Diamondbacks slide reaches 5 games after 5-1 loss to Rockies
- Andrew Cashner has another strong effort as San Diego Padres beat San Francisco Giants 3-2
- Bautista HR, Stroman pitches 6 gritty innings as Blue Jays end 6-game skid, beat Yankees 6-3
- Saying goodbye difficult task for Fish
- Goldeyes now out of season
- Umpire Joe West suspended for 1 game without pay for grabbing jersey of Phillies' Papelbon
- Kent Tekulve, former reliever and Pirates studio commentator, recovering from heart transplant
- Former Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington apologizes to breaking wife's trust
- Fan heckling Nationals star Bryce Harper in Atlanta ejected by veteran umpire Tim Welke
- Slumping Derek Jeter gets night off from Yankees' starting lineup
- Orioles fans bid farewell to Jeter in ceremony before his final game at Camden Yards
- Orioles' celebration of AL East title was 17 years in the making
- Phillies' Burnett beaten by Padres, absorbs majors-worst 17th loss
- Trophy Fish clinch North Division
- Goldeyes lick Saltdogs 7-6
- Goldeyes now out of season
- Goldeyes' game against Railcats pushed back
- Fish feast on 'Cats
- Fish fail to close the deal
- Fish dump Saltdogs in first playoff game
- Goldeyes playoff run over with 2-0 loss to Saltdogs
- Fish bats fall silent as Lincoln evens series
- Hernandez is first Fish hurler to win AA pitcher of the year
Ads by Google