Tag:Takashi Saito
Posted on: April 4, 2011 9:08 pm

Brewers stay positive despite 0-4 start

By Matt Snyder

The Milwaukee Brewers entered the 2011 season with sky-high expectations. In fact, you could make the argument the expectations have never been higher since the team joined the national league.

Yet after Monday's 2-1 loss to the Braves in Milwaukee, the Brewers sat 0-4 for the first time since 2003. That was a team that would go on to lose 94 games. This was a team probably confident it could win that many. Fortunately, the players realize that there is still more than 97 percent of the season remaining.

"We know we're still good," red hot Rickie Weeks said after the game.

"We certainly didn't hope to start 0-4. Obviously, we felt good about ourselves coming out of the spring and we still feel good about ourselves. It'll be nice to get our first win under our belt and I think we'll feel a little bit better about where we're at," Ryan Braun added.

"It's not frustrating. It's the beginning of the season. It's only four games. We still have 158 games to play," center fielder Carlos Gomez pointed out. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel )

The Brewers could very easily be 2-2, if not better. On opening day, they took a three-run lead into the ninth, only to see closer John Axford cough up four. Monday, they had a 1-0 lead in the eighth inning when setup man Takashi Saito allowed two home runs.

It's easy for fans to become overly frustrated with slow starts, because they've sat and waited for months for the season to begin. Excitement builds and builds as it inches closer, and then to see a team thought to be pretty good start 0-4, it's maddening. Just take a deep breath and follow the lead of the guys on the field. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Plus, having to open at Cincinnati and then host the Braves isn't exactly an easy task.

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Posted on: March 13, 2011 7:25 pm
Edited on: March 13, 2011 7:50 pm

Baseball dealing with tragedy in Japan

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Brewers pitcher Takashi Saito gave up two runs on four hits in his one inning of work on Sunday, but it was still the best day he's had since an earthquake and tsunami devastated his hometown of Sendai, Japan, last week.

Saito was supposed to pitch Saturday against Arizona, but was given permission to leave after playing catch. He was given the option of whether he wanted to pitch the first inning today or not. 

Takashi SaitoHe pitched and before the game asked for a moment of silence for unaccounted friends and family in the disaster.

"I've gotten more news on what's going on in Japan," Saito told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel through his translator. "Mentally, I was in a better place pitching. Compared to the past two days, I was able to sleep. I have been getting more information and I'm more relieved."

Saito's wife and three children live in Yokohama, far south of where the significant damage was, but there were still aftershocks. His wife and kids are scheduled to come to Phoenix this week.

"The Brewers staff has been very supportive of me," Saito said. "From now on, I want to get into my regular routine."

Saito's parents and two brothers have been accounted for, but there are still other members of his family missing.

"I recognize areas of neighborhoods where relatives live, and I feel terrible," Saito told the Journal-Sentinel's Michael Hunt for his column this morning.  

For a look at the damage in Sendai, see these before and after shots from Google Earth.

One of those missing is a high school teammate, as well as relatives on his father's side.

"I still haven't given up hope," he told MLB.com.

Yankees reliever Kei Igawa's family lives in Orai, Japan, another hard-hit area. According to the New York PostIgawa was able to track down his family in Japan. His family is living in a car, but alive. He was scheduled to fly to Japan yesterday.

Japanese Professional Baseball will hold a special meeting on the 15th to discuss the start of the season and what to do with the Rakuten Eagles, who play in Sendai. Kleenex Stadium isn't in shape to play due to cracks in the structure, water leaks and depressions in the field.

"Ideally, I think it's our job to play games in order to lift spirits and bring courage to everyone in the Tohuku region," Jun Yoneda, an Eagles representative said (via YakyuBaka.com). "But we need to make this decision after taking a look at the big picture; this isn't just about problems with the stadium, but also the growing list of casualties."

Kleenex Stadium is being opened to the public to use the bathrooms, as well as for use to charge mobile phones.

In the United States, the Dodgers will hold a "drive-through" relief effort at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday. Dodgers alumni will take donations for the American Red Cross Japan earthquake and tsunami relief efforts.

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Posted on: December 27, 2010 2:00 pm
Edited on: December 27, 2010 4:08 pm

Saito gets deal with Brewers

Takashi Saito
If you had to get all your baseball news through online Japanese-to-English translation tools, you would end up with a very confusing view of things.

Nikkan Sports was first to report that reliever Takashi Saito has gone "into the Brewers ... and became rich." Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com has managed to come up with a clearer picture: The Brewers have signed Saito, 40, to a one-year deal that, with bonuses, could match the $3.2 million he made last year with the Braves.

The right-hander is still extremely effective when healthy, posting a 2.83 ERA and a 4.06 strikeouts-to-walks ratio in 2010. But he missed time with leg and shoulder problems and wasn't available for the playoffs. He hasn't pitched more than 56 innings any of the past three seasons.

So Saito settles for a one-year deal, and the Brewers take a low-cost chance with a high potential upside. Nikkan mentions that the Yankees were among the teams interested in Saito, but as "the battle was being waged ," the Brewers used " the military approach to drive aggressively during the past few weeks . "

--David Andriesen

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Posted on: October 10, 2010 1:44 pm
Edited on: October 10, 2010 1:47 pm

Braves will deactivate Wagner

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports via Twitter that the Braves will remove closer Billy Wagner from their playoff roster pending approval from Major League roster, due to an oblique injury he suffered in the last game. He would be replaced on the roster by Takashi Saito.

The MLB approval is simply a formality -- obviously Wagner is hurt, and his loss doesn't exactly give the Braves an advantage. Wagner will not be allowed to return to the roster for the NLCS, but could be activated for the World Series if the Braves make it that far and he's healthy. Otherwise it looks like the end of Wagner's career, as he has steadfastly insisted he will retire after this season.

--David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
Posted on: October 7, 2010 2:01 pm
Edited on: October 7, 2010 2:04 pm

Saito not on Braves roster

The Braves' postseason roster didn't have any surprises, but it had one slight disappointment as Takashi Saito wasn't sufficiently recovered to make the cut. Saito's sore shoulder felt better in a bullpen session on Wednesday, but apparently the Braves didn't feel confident enough to use a roster spot. Rookie Cristhian Martinez, one of a team-record seven rookies on the roster, took Saito's spot.

The Braves' roster, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Pitchers (11): Brandon Beachy (RH), Mike Dunn (LH), Kyle Farnsworth (RH), Tommy Hanson (RH), Tim Hudson (RH), Craig Kimbrel (RH), Derek Lowe (RH), Cristhian Martinez (RH), Peter Moylan (RH), Jonny Venters (LH) and Billy Wagner (LH).

Catchers (2): Brian McCann and David Ross.

I nfielders  (7) : Brooks Conrad, Troy Glaus, Alex Gonzalez, Diory Hernandez, Eric Hinske, Omar Infante and Derrek Lee.

Outfielders (5): Rick Ankiel, Melky Cabrera, Matt Diaz, Jason Heyward and Nate McLouth.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: September 20, 2010 6:35 pm

Braves' Saito should be ready this weekend

Takashi Saito The Braves, who have been forced to put a rookie making his big-league debut on the mound in the season's biggest series tonight, did get some good news on Monday as MRIs showed Takashi Saito should be ready to pitch by this weekend.

"I was prepared for that to be the end," Braves manager Bobby Cox told reporters (via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution ) before Monday's game. "You know, he's 40 years old. He's pitch an awful lot here and [in] Japan.  … He's a special guy."

Saito left Friday's game in New York with shoulder pain. Saito has a 2.52 ERA in 55 appearances, limiting opponents to a .196 batting average. Since July 30, he's allowed just nine hits and no earned runs with one walk and 10 strikeouts in 16 appearances.

Saito will throw a side session before going into a game, Cox said.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: August 25, 2010 7:45 pm

Braves' Saito has vision problems

Takashi Saito On Friday night, Takashi Saito was pitching to Brian McCann in the eighth inning when a passed ball resulted in Clint Barmes reaching first base after swinging and missing.

The ball drilled the umpire in the shoulder before winding its way to the backstop. That led to Dexter Fowler's two-run single that padded the Rockies' eventual 5-2. win.

Could the mix-up have been due to Brian McCann's vision struggles, which has required LASIK surgery and goggles over the past two years?

Nope. Instead, it's Saito's own struggles, as Mark Bowman of MLB.com found out . Saito's limited version at night has forced Brave catchers to abandon finger signs, instead needing to touch various parts of the body to signal pitches.

Saito has a 2.87 ERA in 47 innings for the Braves, punching out 62 and walking just 13 in his first season with Atlanta. He spent 2009 with the Red Sox as a top setup man. Prior to that, he racked up 81 saves in three seasons for the Dodgers, finishing eighth in Cy Young voting in his rookie season.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: June 15, 2010 11:54 am

Braves opt to keep, promote Resop

Chris Resop Chris Resop has traveled an unusual path. He was drafted as an outfielder, then became a mediocre relief pitcher in the major leagues, then became a modestly successful relief pitcher in Japan, then this season came back to America and became a starting pitcher.

Today he again becomes a major leaguer, called up by the Braves thanks to his impressive work this year in the minors and an unusual clause in his contract. When he signed this spring, his agent included a clause that by June 15, the Braves had to call Resop up, trade him or give him 72 hours to sign with another team.

The Braves decided their best option was to promote the 27-year-old right-hander, even though they're not sure what his role will be. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution , Resop was notified this morning and will be in uniform tonight.

In 13 starts for Triple-A Gwinnett, Resop went 5-2 with an ERA of 1.84 (best in the International League). In his last start, he faced the minimum 27 batters in a one-hit shutout.

There was no doubt that if the Braves exposed him to being signed by another team, they would have lost him. His agent said there were trade offers, but the Braves decided to make a place for him.

Resop still might end up being traded. Braves starter Jair Jurrjens (hamstring) made a rehab start in Gwinnett on Monday night and will be ready soon. Reliever Takashi Saito is recovered from a hamstring problem and eligible to come off the disabled list on Saturday. When they are ready to be activated, the Braves can't send down Resop, who is out of minor league options, without exposing him to waivers, where they would surely lose him. Their best option might be to showcase him for a start and take offers.

No official word yet on who will be sent out today to get Resop onto the roster, but the Journal-Constitution says it will likely be Craig Kimbrel or Jesse Chavez.

-- David Andriesen

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com