Friday, February 29, 2008

Come-From-Behind Win for the NT....

CH Lin - Doing It Again

Thanks to two late inning blasts, the NT pulled out an 8-7 win against the Uni Lions. Down 6-3, heading into the 8th inning, NT SS Chih-Sheng Lin would even things up with one swing, hitting a 3-run HR in the inning. Tai-Shan Chang, who would enter the game as a late replacement for DH Kuo-Ching Kao, hit a 2-run HR in the top of the 9th inning to give the NT a lead it would not relinquish. Youngster Che-Hsuan Lin continued his power surge by hitting a 2-run HR in the 5th.

View CH Lin's HR:

NT Starting Lineup:
1)Chien-Ming Chang (RF) 2-5 with a RBI
2)Che-Hsuan Lin (CF) 1-5 with a HR and 2 RBI's
3)Cheng-Min Peng (1B) 1-4
4)Kuo-Ching Kao (DH) 0-3
5)Yi-Chuan Lin (3B) 1-5
6)Chih-Sheng Lin (SS) 3-4 with a HR and 3 RBI's
7)Chen-Yu Chung (LF) 0-2
8)Chih-Hsien Chiang (2B) 0-1
9)Chih-Kang Kao (C) 0-0

NT Hurlers:
1)SP Kai-Wen Cheng 3.1 IP/4 runs allowed (3 earned)/9 hits/ 0 K's/ 0 BB
2)Chien-Ming Chiang 1.2 IP/2 runs allowed (1 earned)/ 4 hits/ 1 K/ 0 BB
3)Fu-Te Ni 3.0 IP/0 runs allowed / 0 hits/ 6 K's/ 0 BB -picked up the W
4)Chia-Jen Lo 1.0 IP/ 1 run allowed (1 earned)/ 1 hit/ 1 K/ 2 BB

The Lions actually outhit the NT 14-10. Leading the way on offense for the Lions were: CF Sung-Hsien Yang who was 3-3 with a RBI/ LF Tai-Chi Kuo who was 2-4 with 2 doubles, 2 RBI's/ & 1B Lien-Hung Chen who was 1-1 with a double and 2 RBI's.

Despite the win, the NT received some bad news when SP and current NT ace, Wei-Lun Pan reaggravated an injury to his shoulder on Thursday. Pan will not play in the OQ's. This means that the role of staff ace will fall to one of the following trio: Chien-Fu Yang, Chien-Ming Chiang, or Chih-Chia Chang. Also troubling is slugger CFC's absence (back injury) these past 2 games.

The NT will resume action Sunday against the La New Bears. The Korean NT will play the T-Rex on Sunday as well.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Che-Hsuan Lin Leading The Way.....

CH Lin

A day after the Korean NT defeated the Chinatrust Whales 8-1, the NT managed to squeak by the Whales 2-1 on Thursday. Powering the NT was Red Sox farmhand CH Lin who was 2-4 with a double, a HR, and a RBI. Click here to watch Lin's HR.

Starting Lineup:
1)Chien-Ming Chang (RF) 1-4
2)Che-Hsuan Lin (CF) 2-4, 2B, HR, 1 RBI
3)Cheng-Min Peng (1B) 1-3
4)Kuo-Ching Kao (DH) 0-4
5)Tai-Shan Chang (3B) 0-2
6)Chih-Sheng Lin (SS) 0-1
7)Chih-Hsien Chiang (2B) 1-3
8)Kuo-Hui Lo (LF) 1-3
9)Chih-Kang Kao (C) 2-4, 1 RBI

Chih-Chia Chang started for the NT and allowed 1 run on 3 hits over 5 innings to go along with 5 K's and 2 walks. Wei-Lun Pan, Po-Yu Lin, and Chia-Jen Lo would blank the Whales the rest of the way.

The NT will play the Uni-"7-Eleven" Lions on Friday.

ST Box Scores:
LA 5 - Braves 4

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

NT 9 - Elephants 5....

After tying the T-Rex 2-2 yesterday, the NT defeated the Brother Elephants in an exhibition match on Tuesday (despite being outhit 10-7). Ko-Chien Lin picked up the win for the NT, while Elephants starter Yu-Cheng Liao took the loss.

Here's how the NT's starting lineup fared:

1)Chien-Ming Chang (RF) 2-4 with 2 RBI's
2)Che-Hsuan Lin (CF) 1-4 with a RBI
3)Cheng-Min Peng (1B) 1-4 with a double and 2 RBI's
4)CFC (DH) 0-4
5)Yi-Chuan Lin (3B) 1-3 with a RBI
6)Chih-Sheng Lin (SS) 1-2
7)Chih-Hsien Chiang (2B) 0-2
8)Kuo-Hui Lo (LF) 1-1 with a double
9)Feng-Min Chen (C) 0-3

As for the NT's hurlers in the game:

1)Wei-Hua Lee started and lasted 4 innings. He gave up 3 runs on 6 hits.
2)Ko-Chien Lin pitched the next 2 scoreless innings, allowing only 1 hit.
3)Chih-Lung Huang threw 1 inning, allowing 2 unearned runs - he also allowed 2 walks.
4)Chu-Kuan Lee and Kevin Huang would throw a scoreless inning each, allowing one hit each.

The NT gets the day off tomorrow while the Korean NT plays the Chinatrust Whales on Wed.
The NT will be back in action on Thursday against the Whales.


Kuo impresses Torre.

OQ Prep......

Well, in preparation for the impending OQ in March, the NT has been playing a series of exhibition matches at home against amateur and CPBL teams.

The biggest question mark heading into the tourney will be the pitching staff. With some of the biggest names unable to participate in the tourney, the NT will have to look for some of the younger guys to step up to the plate.

Here's a list of the top velocities so far during the current exhibition matches:
rhp Chia-Jen Lo 90
rhp Kai-Wen Cheng 89
rhp Chih-Lung Huang 89
lhp Fu-Te Ni 88
rhp Chih-Chia Chang 87
rhp Chen-Chang Lee 87
rhp Chu-kuan Lee 87
rhp Po-Yu Lin 86
rhp Kevin Huang 86
lhp Tzu-Kai Chiu 83

*amateur players demarcated in red

HS Notes: Follow-up....

Some more HS baseball news to pass on: In the recently completed HS tournament, representatives from CSMG (Kelvin Lee), WMG (Charlie Yang), and Bros Sports (Niba Chang) were seen actively shopping their clients to MLB scouts (~10 to 12 teams present at the tourney).

The premium names being mentioned by the three different agencies?
1)CSMG/Lee: RHP Rong-Hao Hsieh
2)WMG/Yang: RHP/IF Wei-Da Su
3)Bros Sports/Chang: RHP Wei-Chen Huang

Hsieh has received plenty of shine on this blog.

Su was profiled in a previous post and was named as one to watch back in 2005.

Huang, who's probably a little bit more of an unknown commodity, is a senior RHP from Nan-Ying HS. He stands 6'0" and was clocked ~ 85-86 mph during the recent tourney. The Bros client is reportedly seeking ~$150 to 200 K.

Speaking of Bros Sports, the news in Taiwan is reporting that the agency has fired their creative director, Slow Yang, for her role in supporting and serving as the consultant for DPP presidential candidate Frank Hsieh. Slow has been a controversial figure in the past.

Pic of CH Tsao in his new threads:

photo from UDN

Sunday, February 24, 2008

ML Notes....

*Barring any setbacks, CMW figures to be the Yankees starter on Opening Day.

*For HC Kuo, it's a crucial spring for him - read more here.

*YC Chen is turning some heads in the Mariners organization.

Friday, February 22, 2008

HS Notes....

Taichung Gao-Nong HS won the recently completed Taiwan HS Cup. The top 4 finishers of the Taiwan Cup are as follows:

1)Gao-Nong HS
2)Shi-Yuan HS
3)San-Hsin HS
4)Nan-Ying HS

Leading the way for Gao-Nong HS was junior 2-way star Wei-Da Su. Su had the highest BA and the most HR’s in the tourney. The 17 year old (DOB: 11/10/90) is another member of the talented HS class of 2009 (Yi-Hao Lin and Yao-Wen Chang have already signed professional contracts). Su, who stands 6'1" (T:R/B:L), is one of Gao-Nong's top pitchers (able to throw in the high 80's). However his ticket to a bigger and brighter future is his bat (and sweet swing).


(pictures courtesy of Liberty Times and Apple Daily)

Gao-Nong senior RHP Cheng-Hao Wang (clocked at 90 mph) was selected as the top pitcher in the tourney.
Others who were selected to the tourney all-star team included:
1)P Meng-? Fan (Gao-Nong)
2)C Chao-Hsiang Chen (Gao-Nong)
3)IF ? Lo (Gao-Nong)
4)IF Yi-Jen Lin (Shi-Yuan)
5)IF Chia-Ming Huang (San-Hsin) – hit the tourney’s other HR
6)IF Chia-Liang Hung (Nan-Ying)
7)OF Tsu-Wei He (Shi-Yuan)
8)OF Yi-Kun Huang (Gao-Nong)
9)OF Chieh-Huang Wu (Shi-Yuan)

In other HS baseball news, two of the most hyped pitchers in Taiwan have named their asking price:
1)Senior RHP Rong-Hao Hsieh from Ku-Pao HS (clocked at 83-86 mph during the tourney/represented by CSMG) is looking to sign for ~ $400 K.
2)Junior RHP Wen-Hao Cheng from Mei-Ho HS (84-87 mph during the tourney/represented by KDN Sports) is looking to sign for ~ $500K.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Not Worth an Additional $600K....

CMW lost his arbitration case and will make $4 million in 2008. Makes you wonder what went down in St. Petersburg Thursday. After 2011, if he so chooses, Wang, who expressed his wishes to remain a Yankee for life, can reciprocate the lack of respect and loyalty shown by his organization to him.
*Updated Link

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Cobras No More....

The CPBL franchise formerly known as the Macoto Cobras is now the dMedia T-Rex. It'll be weird seeing Chia-Hsien Hsieh and his teammates in a new uni.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

CMW: Earning His Keep.....

Good insight on CMW's possible arbitration hearing. Read more here.

Essentially the 2 major factors working against Wang are:
1)health concerns (history of shoulder surgery and a non-surgically repaired rotator cuff tear)
2)his implosion during the 2007 playoffs

Working in Wang's favor is his production. You could argue that Wang was a key component in helping his team to reach the post season the past 2 years. He led the NYY pitching staff and won 19 games in both 2006 and 2007.
The Yankes won their division by 10 games in 2006. Although the Yankees lost to the Tigers in the Division Championship Series that year, it seems to be forgotten that Wang won the only game for the Yankees in that Series.
In 2007, the Yankees won the AL wild card by 6 games over the Tigers and Mariners. We all know about Wang's forgettable 2 outings during the ALDS against the Indians.
The key thing to remember about all of this is the revenue generated by ticket sales and other venues during the two home games played during each of the 2 past post seasons. The Yankees profited further by making it to the playoffs.

Wang's marketability is also undeniable. He is the face of Taiwan to many unfamiliar with the tiny island nation. When I was in Taiwan last May, Wang's image and news saturated the media 24-7, making it easy for anyone to understand why the NYY organization is the most popular ML team in Taiwan. Hence you can imagine the kind of revenue that Wang generates for MLB and the Yankees. Wang is the main reason for why this lucrative MLB television deal was accomplished in Taiwan. From my personal perspective, I am not a Yankees fan, but I do own a few officially licensed CMW apparel that have the Yankees logo emblazoned prominently.

The above-article suggests that the Yankees are standing firm on their offer of $4 million based on Dontrelle Willis's record-breaking 2006 contract ($4.35 million for a first-time arbitration eligible SP). However if you factor in inflation (let's say we put that number at 3% annually), Dontrelle's contract in 2006 would be worth around ~ $4.61 million today. Is it a coincidence that Wang's sports agency is currently asking for $4.6 million?

Looking at the numbers, Wang and Willis both had pretty similar numbers over the first 3 years of their career:
Dontrelle won 46 games, lost 27 and had a 3.28 ERA from '03-'05.
Wang won 46 games, lost 18 and had a 3.74 ERA from '05-'07.

Willis helped his team to the playoffs in one of those 3 years (The Marlins did win the WS in '03). The Yankees have been to the post season in every one of Wang's first 3 years (although the Yanks have not been able to get out of the ALDS these past 3 post seasons).

Should this go to arbitration, it'll be interesting to see how all this plays out. Personally, I feel Wang deserves the $4.6 million.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

High Rate of Attrition....

P's Chin-Hui Tsao & Po-Hsuan Keng, IF Sen Yang, and OF Chia-Hsien Hsieh have withdrawn themselves from consideration for the OQ tourney, possibly clearing the way for some younger players to make the NT. With YC Chen and CL Hu being unavailable, this could be the middle infield combo we'll see come March:

Chih-Sheng Lin (SS) foreground/Chih-Hsien Chiang (2B) background

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Rumor Mill.......

Rumor has it that the New York Yankees have hired Ken Su as their scout in Taiwan. If true, one can only wonder what took them (the Yankees) so long to do so. The Yankees one and only foray into Taiwan was back in 2000, when John Cox (who no longer works for the Yankees) was credited with signing Chien-Ming Wang. That single signing has paid off big time for the NYY organization.

The hearsay hiring of Ken Su (not to be confused with current Twins local scout Kenny Su) does raise an eyebrow or two. Ken, the former Minnesota Twins local scout in Taiwan (for the past 2+ years) also worked for the Boston Red Sox (for around 9 months) prior to his gig with the Twins. In his scouting career, the only player Ken has signed is Twins OF Wang-Wei Lin, who signed for $120 K. Lin struggled in the GCL last year, hitting only .194 with 25 K's in 62 AB's.

It seems as if qualified scouts are hard to come by in Taiwan. The recycling of scouts with different organizations also occurred with Steve Wilson, who worked with the Phillies prior to his current position with the Chicago Cubs.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Chicken Scratch(ed)....

En-Yu "The Chicken" Lin will not participate in the March OQ Tourney due to a sore right shoulder. This is a big blow to the NT as Lin would've been counted on as the probable ace of the starting rotation.

The NT closed out its tour in PR with a 2-1 win over the PR NT. Chih-Chia Chang continued his impressive run on the island with another good outing Wednesday. Chang allowed only one run on 2 hits over 6 IP. He also had 8 K's.

Monday, February 04, 2008

It's Official....

The Macoto Cobras have been acquired by dMedia.

NT Roster....

Here's the current NT preliminary roster (currently at 37). The list will be pared down to 24 prior to the OQ tourney in March.

1)Chin-Hui Tsao (Royals)
2)Po-Hsuan Keng (Blue Jays)
3)En-Yu Lin (Eagles)
4)Ming-Chieh Hsu (S. Lions)
5)Chien-Ming Chiang (Giants)
6)Chih-Chia Chang
7)Kevin Huang (Bears)
8)Wei-Lun Pan (P. Lions)
9)Chien-Fu Yang (Bulls)
10)Fu-Te Ni (Whales)
11)Chen-Chang Lee
12)Wei-Hua Lee (P. Lions)
13)Po-Yu Lin (White Sox)
14)Chu-Kuan Lee
15)Kai-Wen Cheng
16)Ko-Chien Lin
17)Chia-Chun Tang (Whales)
18)Chih-Lung Huang

1)Chun-Chang Yeh (Bulls)
2)Feng-Min Chen (Bears)
3)Chih-Kang Kao (P. Lions)
4)Kun-Sheng Lin

1)Kuo-Ching Kao (P. Lions)
2)Sen Yang (P. Lions)
3)Tai-Shan Chang (Bulls)
4)Cheng-Min Peng (Elephants)
5)Sheng-Wei Wang (Elephants)
6)Chih-Sheng Lin (Bears)
7)Chih-Hsien Chiang (Red Sox)
8)Yi-Chuan Lin (Bulls)

1)Chin-Feng Chen (Bears)
2)Chia-Hsien Hsieh (Cobras)
3)Kuo-Hui Lo (Mariners)
4)Che-Hsuan Lin (Red Sox)
5)Chen-Yu Chung
6)Chih-Yao Chan (Cobras)
7)Chien-Ming Chang (Bulls)

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Wine One, Lose One....

Chih-Lung Huang picked up a win over in PR as the NT defeated Carolina, PR 2-1 on Saturday. Tsung-Han Yu was 3-4 with 2 doubles and a triple.

The NT lost 5-4 to the PR NT on Sunday.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Staying Put....

*In a move to keep talent in Taiwan, the President Lions signed pitcher Wei-Lun Pan to a 3 year deal. Pan will receive ~ $14,200/month (460,000 NT) in 2008, ~ $15,600/month (500,000 NT) in 2009, and ~ $15,900/month (510,000 NT) in 2010. Pan is the second highest paid domestic player in the CPBL and will earn approximately ~ $172,300 in 2008.

Bears IF Chih-Sheng Lin also cracked the list of highest paid domestic players when he was recently signed to a multi-year deal that will pay him ~ $9,700/month (310,000 NT) in 2008 through 2010.

Tarzan, the veteran star for the Sinon Bulls will make ~ $9,400/month (300,000 NT) in 2008.

CH Hsieh, the Cobras star, is still waiting the fate of his team's status (pending acquisition by D-Media).

*The 411 on the Indians' scouting presence in Taiwan has been updated.

*The NT lost to the PR NT 5-1 on Friday.

*Updates on CMW: If the Yankees can't come to terms with Wang, the arbitration hearing is set for Feb. 14th. As late as this past Tuesday, the Twins asked for CMW as part of a proposed package for Johan Santana.