Results tagged ‘ Kosuke Fukudome ’

Saying sayonara to Kosuke

Post by Austin Hannon. (Photo by Stephen Green)

Last week’s trade deadline brought a bittersweet ending to the Cubs career of the team’s first Japanese player, who inspired an entire bandana trend in the Wrigley Field bleachers. Kosuke Fukudome arrived in the Windy City in 2008, and his three and a half seasons in Chicago produced a career average of .262, with a .369 on-base percentage and .403 slugging. Above all, Fukudome will be remembered as a patient hitter with a knack for getting on base.

The right fielder was traded before the deadline to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for prospects; outfielder Abner Abreu and relief pitcher Carlton Smith. Abreu, has enjoyed a productive July, winning Player of the Week honors twice for High-A Kinston in the Carolina League.

Baseball Prospectus’ Kevin Goldstein, a future contributor to Vine Line, identified Abreu as a sleeper before the 2010 season. Noted for “impressive power” that is starting to produce home runs this year, Abreu’s also an “impressive athlete.” He also noted that his hit tool is well below-average, “with the brutal combination of swinging at everything while rarely making contact. He’s not a high-risk/high-reward player as much as he’s a high-risk/medium-reward type, but there’s some chance of him being more than just a name.”

On Smith: “He’s a classic, non-descript fastball/slider reliever, but both pitches are solid, despite his arm angle giving left-handers a very long look.” In his seventh season, Smith will provide depth at Triple-A Iowa until he gets a call-up to the Cubs bullpen.

News and notes from Mesa

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for ON LOCATION LOGO.jpgMESA, Ariz.–Just some observations from around Hohokam Park:

Manager Lou Piniella isn’t kidding when he keeps reiterating that “a couple of these young kids are going to win jobs.” With a camp filled with first-round draft picks, it’s easy to see why.

— Outfielder Tyler Colvin looks better than ever. I was remarking with a couple of other people during morning practice that Colvin looks like he’s put on 25 pounds. Sure enough, one baseball ops man verified that. This off-season was the first during which Colvin didn’t have an injury to rehab through. He made an impression on many last year with some great catches and timely hitting during a late-season cup of coffee. While he’s a longshot to make the team out of camp, because there’s simply no room for him, I don’t think it’ll be long before he’s back in Chicago. He’s still just 24–he was drafted out of Clemson at 20, not 21 like most juniors–and has three options left, so he’s a prime candidate to ride the shuttle back and forth from Iowa to Chicago in case something happens to an outfielder. It was pointed out to me that Colvin isn’t a guy who does well coming off the bench, so if he comes to Chicago, he will play. He hit a homer and a double in yesterday’s game.

— I am told that hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo and outfielder Kosuke Fukudome have hit it off very well. While there was some reluctance at first, Jaramillo has helped Fukudome shorten his stride, like Soriano. This helped Fukudome stay balanced in the box, and prevents that “spinning” thing he does when things get out of whack. During BP before the game, Fukudome was solidly stinging line drives as well as hitting long home runs to rightfield. During the game, Fukudome had a solid double to centerfield.

— Rule 5 pitcher Mike Parisi gave up a homer to Chicago-native Adam Rosales.

Starlin Castro might be fast, but watching the position players work on baserunning, it’s easy to see just how fast is Brett Jackson. The two have different gaits–Castro has long strides and covers ground in a loping sort of way, while Jackson’s shorter stride is quickened by legs like a halfback.

— Got a real good taste of High Plains Bison meat. The company was giving away samples. It is owned by Ricketts family patriarch Joe Ricketts. I have to say, it’s pretty darn good. Had a sausage with mustard, and it’s better than any hot dog.

–Mike Huang

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Kosuke takes Round 2 against a former teammate

070809 Fukudome K - Kawakami HR.JPG

Kosuke Fukudome rounds the bases after hitting a home run against his former Chunichi Dragons teammate, Kenshin Kawakami.

Rubber match vs. Braves

Kevin Hart gets his first career major-league start today. Milton Bradley originally was slated to bat second, but after Geovany Soto and Andres Blanco were scratched (and Ryan Theriot and Koyie Hill inserted into the lineup), the batting order took on a more typical look.

Fukudome, CF
Theriot, SS
Lee, 1B
Ramirez, 3B
Bradley, RF
Fox, LF
Baker, 2B
Hill, C
Hart, RHP

Japanese import Kenshin Kawakami (4-6, 4.46 ERA) pitches for the Braves. You can see Kosuke’s blog from June on facing his former teammate for the first time.

Catching up with Kosuke Fukudome

Fukudome blog.JPGEditor’s Note: About every two weeks, Cubs outfielder Kosuke Fukudome updates his diary, which can be found on his website


Fukudome’s interpreter, Hiro Aoyama has been kind enough to translate Kosuke’s thoughts for the Vine Line blog. Enjoy! 

On Tuesday last week, one of the famous actors (from Japan) visited Chicago and brought diapers for my son from Japan (as part of a television show). Since there were so many of them and supposed to last until October, it took a lot of space in my room.

So, we decided to put them into extra storage we have instead of our house until we use them. My son seems to be excited, and my wife was really happy about it since he had some reaction from a diaper we bought in the United States before. We didn’t want our son to struggle with just a diaper.

I haven¹t seen the television show yet, but my friends who watched it in Japan told me that it was good and funny. I am looking forward to seeing it with my family. I appreciate Mr. Hamada, Mr. Daito, and all the staff of “Junk Sports,” which is a title of the television show, for their work and dedication. One of the questions Mr. Hamada asked during the show was ‘What do you do when you are going from city to city?’ I answered, ‘reading a book.’ I am really reading a book everyday.  I thank Mr. Yukio Miyachi for sending me books periodically from Japan to my home in Chicago so that I can enjoy my reading.
It is getting warmer in Chicago little by little, but it is sometimes still a bit cold at night for me. The team has been struggling with injuries, but it is still just a beginning of the season. I am not too worried about it.

I am doing just fine although I have a hitless game from time to time.  My former hitting coach, Mr. Kyosuke Sasaki, is visiting Chicago this week until Sunday. I want him to take a look at my swing and hear his opinion. I have been pretty healthy so far, and I hope that I can keep it up. Swine flu was a fear for everyone last weeks. We should make sure to wash our hands and gargle.
I see you then.

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East meets West


The Cubs were happy to see Kosuke last Thursday, March 12, when they took on Team Japan from the World Baseball Classic. Cubs players were greeting him in the clubhouse and on the field. Kosuke was hanging out with the Japanese team, and he was one of their stars.

1000 WORDS LOGO.jpgWatching Ichiro and Kosuke warm up with Team Japan before the game — they had a really different pre-game routine. They had full-time batting practice pitchers (instead of different coaches throwing). They had a catcher in the batting cage during BP.

Team Japan’s fans were just nuts over them. I’m told many of the fans came from the Valley area.

Lou_Japan.JPGIt was a competitive game that Team Japan ended up winning 3-2. They were playing hard. The Japanese wanted to beat the Cubs, and I think Lou Piniella wanted to beat Team Japan. He played it like a regular game.