Monday, February 9, 2009

Pitchiro?

Say what!?!? Coined here first, suckers: Pitchiro!

Evidently, some 13 years ago, a very young looking Ichiro was called in to pitch to Hideki Matsui, who was removed for a pinch hitter. Now, Japan is looking at Ichiro as a possible reliever in emergency situations with the WBC:

Japan WBC manager Tatsunori Hara has, perhaps unintentionally, prompted Ichiro to return to the mound by suggesting that using him in emergency situations is a possibility in this year’s tournament. In his workout on the 7th, he skipped batting practice and worked out as a pitcher. He threw 56 pitches off the mound at Skymark Stadium, throwing fastballs and forkballs. Word is that he hit 147kmph (92mph) with his fastest pitch. Ichiro said he wants to throw a little bit harder.

Sanspo has a series of photos of his work out:
1, 2, 3, 4.
I have no doubt that this guy could do anything he wants on a ballfield, including hitting for power, if he put his mind to it. If he wants to become a pitcher once he hits 40, he could last another 10 years and it wouldn't surprise me the least.

Of course, if he blows out his elbow Canseco-style, then prepare for the last WBC game you will ever watch!

For that video, click here and behold.

3 comments:

The Common Man said...

That...is...awesome. Can't wait to watch.

Steve said...

Interesting...
Also he's a lefty hitter but pitches right?
I don't watch a lot of NL ball but I wonder what the percentage of LHP who bat righty and RHP who bat left?

bigjf said...

Steve, Ichiro is a right-handed fielder...plenty of guys bat lefty and throw righty. Tino was one of them that comes immediately to mind...

If I'm not mistaken, I believe Mussina batted left in his limited experience...