8 – Shortstop Makoto Kadowaki.
When the starting lineup for the Yomiuri Giants was announced without key shortstop Hayato Sakamoto (34), Yokohama Stadium was buzzing. Sakamoto토토사이트, who is losing his presence, is in a series of crises. After being excluded from the starting list for the Yokohama Baystars game on the 5th, he kept the bench throughout the game. In the opening five games, the veteran who represented the team, who hit 2205 hits in his career, was dropped from the starting lineup.
Kadowaki, a 22-year-old infielder, took the place of Sakamoto. Kadowaki, who entered the batting order in the 8th, hit a double to left field in the first at-bat in the second inning.
Manager Tatsunori Hara said, “It was a decision made after considering various things. I will start tomorrow’s game.” No matter how good a player he is in the past, he has no choice but to think about the team’s performance first. Coach Hara recently announced that he would “use players with his skills.”
Yomiuri, which fell to Class B last year (4th to 6th out of 6 league teams), aims to win this season. The team aims to win every year, but this year the championship is more desperate and urgent. After the end of last season, the Yomiuri leadership re-confided in coach Hara and ordered a championship. Over the past two years, the Yakult Swallows have won the Central League in a row. In 2021, it climbed to the top of the Japan Series.
In his 17th year as a pro, the sluggishness in hitting is serious.
Since the opening game, he has been a starter for four consecutive games, and has no hits in 16 at-bats and 15 at-bats, and his batting average and on-base percentage are ‘0’. In the match against Chunichi Dragons on the 2nd, he bunted 7 times. These are instructions from the bench after recording strikeouts and double hits in the previous at-bat. It was the first sacrifice bunt in 557 days after the Hiroshima Carp match on September 22, 2021.
From the demonstration game, the hitting feeling was at the bottom. He went hitless in 22 consecutive at-bats, and finished the schedule with a batting average of 1.11. The pace is too bad to see it as a temporary slump.
It’s downhill from last season. Last year, he only played 83 games due to injury. He had a batting average of 2.8 par 6 (87 hits in 304 at-bats), 5 home runs, and 33 RBI. After becoming a starting player in 2008, he had his worst performance. Because of this, he was not selected for the World Baseball Classic (WBC) national team. Sakamoto competed in the WBC as Japan’s representative in 2013 and 2017.
As Sakamoto is sluggish, there are voices saying that young players should be given a chance.
Sakamoto is ranked second in all-time hits by right-handed hitters in Nippon Professional Baseball.