Saturday, February 28, 2009

2/28 News Briefs....

*The Dodgers beat Colorado 13-5. CL Hu scored a run as a PR. Box

*JB's review of the NT's chances at the WBC.

*Hope for the future

Friday Briefs....

Yung-Chi Chen was 1-1 with a run scored as the A's lost to the Brewers 8-5. Box

The Dodgers lost 18-2 to the Mariners. CL Hu was 0-2. Box

The NT is at full strength. WC Lin and FT Ni have joined the team in Tokyo.



The league kicks off its 20th season starting March 28th. The league's 4 teams will play 120 games each. The first half of the season begins on opening day and runs till June 21st. The second half will take place from July 7th till October 4th. All-star weekend will be on July 25th and the 26th. The playoffs are expected to start on October 17th.

The 4 clubs will have their home games played at:

Elephants (Taipei) - Tien-Mu Stadium and Hsin-Chuang Stadium
Lions (Tainan) - Tainan Municipal Stadium
Bulls (Taichung) - Intercontinental Baseball Stadium
Bears (Kaohsiung) - Cheng-Ching Lake Stadium

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Another Ominous Loss for the NT.....

*The NT lost to the Sinon Bulls 9-4 on Wednesday. Despite outhitting the Bulls 13-9, the NT could not cash in with men on base. The team also continued to struggle defensively - particularly on the left side of the infield.
Starter Yueh-Ping Lin pitched 3 innings, allowing 3 runs. He was clocked at a high of 91 mph.
CJ Lo, who despite hitting 94 mph on the gun was charged with 4 runs in 2/3 of an inning of work.
Offensively, Che-Hsuan Lin collected 2 more hits (2-4) while Yi-Chuan Lin, Chih-Hsien Chiang, and Chia Chia also had 2 hits each.

In the 3 game series, bright spots offensively for the NT were:
1)Che-Hsuan Lin - .500 BA, 6 BB's, 2 RBI
2)Yi-Chuan Lin - .500 BA, 2 BB's, 3 RBI
3)Chih-Hsien Chiang - .500 BA, 1 BB, 2 RB

The top 2 starting pitchers in the 3 game series:
1)Chen-Chang Lee - 0.00 ERA, 5 IP, 5 K's, 1 BB
2)Hong-Wen Chen - 2.25 ERA, 4 IP, 1 K, 2 BB's

The NT will now prepare to head to Japan shortly and will receive a small shot in the arm as Fu-Te Ni and Wei-Chu Lin are set to join the squad. The NT is scheduled to scrimmage the Yomiuri Giants on March 2nd and the Seibu Lions on the 3rd.

*Fu-Te Ni picked up a W for the Tigers after a 1-2-3 8th inning against the Atlanta Braves.

*CMW will be the #2 starter in the Yankees rotation according to manager Joe Girardi.

*Brother Elephants OF Ming-Hsien Lin will need surgery for a fractured right knee. He suffered the injury in the warmup match against the NT.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lions Defeat the NT....

The NT lost its second warm up match in Taiwan to the President Lions 7-5 on Tuesday. Hong-Wen Chen started for the NT and gave up 1 run in 4 innings of work. He was clocked at a high of 92 mph.
With the NT up 3-1 in the bottom of the 5th, the game unraveled for reliever Yu-Cheng Liao. He lasted only 1/3 of an inning and was charged with 5 runs. Po-Yu Lin would relieve Liao and give up 1 more run to complete the scoring for the Lions.

CF and lead-off hitter Che-Hsuan Lin was 3-3 at the plate with 2 additional BB's. 3B Yi-Chuan Lin was 2-5. The NT as a whole only collected 8 hits.

A bit of good news for the NT - Chia Chia played in today's game and collected a double in 2 PA's.

Yueh-Ping Lin is expected to start tomorrow's game versus the Sinon Bulls.

Some highlights from today's game:

Vid of Chen-Chang Lee from yesterday's game versus the Elephants:

*JB with an update on the HS aluminum bat tourney.

Vid of Shi-Yuan celebrating their victory:

Monday, February 23, 2009

NT Defeats Elephants....

In its first warm up match on home soil, the NT defeated the Brother Elephants 6-1 on Monday. NT starter Chen-Chang Lee threw 5 innings, allowing 1 unearned run and K'ing 5. He was clocked at a high of 94 mph and received high praise from Coach Yeh, who considers Lee the best pitcher on the NT right now. Lee combined with relievers Chi-Hung Cheng, Yueh-Ping Lin, Chia-Jen Lo, and Sung-Wei Tseng to 4 hit the Elephants. CJ Lo hit a high of 95 mph, but had some command issues.
3B Yi-Chuan Lin was 3-5 offensively for the NT. Tai-Chi Kuo had 2 hits and drove in 2 runs.
Chia-Chia sat the game out as an injury precaution.

Hong-Wen Chen will start tomorrow's game against the Lions.

NT OF candidate Ssu-Chi Chou who injured his hand while training in Australia, was discovered to have a broken bone in the same hand. Chou had surgery on his hand and will be out at least 6 months.

*CL Hu had an infield hit in an intrasquad game on Monday.

Easy-does-it for Kuo. He's not scheduled to pitch till March.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Player Registration.....

26 of the 28 players selected for the NT registered on Sunday. The other two, Fu-Te Ni and Wei-Chu Lin are with their respective teams overseas.


The Last Amigo Signed?

There were 3 amateur players on the 2008 Olympic NT roster. Two of the three were signed by ML teams. The last of the three amigos, Kai-Wen Cheng is believed to be a done deal to the Hanshin Tigers. There is a purported mutual agreement between the two parties, however the two sides (Bros/Cheng and Tigers) haven't agreed upon the dollar amount. Word is the actual initial offer made by the Hanshin Tigers is closer to $250 K.

*EWC's JB with a nice write up on the aluminum bat tourney in Taiwan.
The 15 year old anonymous kid that JB is referring to is none other than Nan-Ying first year RHP Chia-Hao Sung. The kid, who stands 6'0" and will turn 16 later this year, can reach 87 but sits comfortably at 83-85 mph. One concern with Sung is perhaps the lack of perceived development/progress. He was able to hit 87 mph as a 14 year old!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Your 2009 WBC NT.....

2009 WBC NT:

1)Chen-Chang Lee (Indians)
2)Sung-Wei Tseng (Indians)
3)Hong-Wen Chen (Cubs)
4)Fu-Te Ni (Tigers)
5)Chi-Hung Cheng (Pirates)
6)Chia-Jen Lo (Astros)
7)Yu-Cheng Liao (Elephants)
8)Yueh-Ping Lin (Lions)
9)Ko-Chien Lin (Bulls)
10)Po-Hsuan Keng (drafted by Bears)
11)Kai-Wen Cheng (Amateur)
12)Po-Yu Lin (Amateur)
13)Chia-Chun Tang (Amateur)

*Yi-Jie (Chieh) Hsiao was to be on the official roster, but because he was struck on his right arm by a line drive on the 19th (in Australia), the Tigers decided to protect their first round investment.

1)Chih-Kang Kao (Lions)
2)Yi-Feng Kuo (Elephants)
3)Kun-Sheng Lin (Amateur)

1)Chih-Hsien Chiang (Red Sox)
2)Yen-Wen Kuo (Reds)
3)Cheng-Min Peng (Elephants)
4)Sheng-Wei Wang (Elephants)
5)Kuo-Ching Kao (Lions)
6)Han Lin (drafted by Lions)
7)Yi-Chuan Lin (drafted by Bulls 2 years ago)

1)Che-Hsuan Lin (Red Sox)
2)Wei-Chu Lin (Tigers)
3)Wu-Hsiung Pan (Lions)
4)Tai-Chi Kuo (Lions)
5)Chih-Yao Chan (Bears)

Coach Yeh will have an uphill battle in Tokyo. This is a young and relatively inexperienced team (on the world stage at the elite level). There is not one player on the team with MLB experience. OF Wei-Chu Lin is the only player on the team with NPB experience.

Friday, February 20, 2009

News Briefs....

*The 28 man-roster for the WBC will be announced shortly in Taiwan.
-OF Kuo-Hui Lo will not be available for selection.
-OF Wei-Chu Lin, P Yi-Jie Hsiao & Fu-Te Ni will not be participating in the 3 warmup matches against CPBL teams. Those three players, who are all expected to be picked for the NT, will report directly to Tokyo, Japan on the 27th.
-Chih-Hsien Chiang who played some LF in Australia is expected to move back to the IF for the WBC.
-The NT's hitting coach, Guang-Hui Wang has a starting lineup in mind for the NT that goes something like this:
1)OF Che-Hsuan Lin
2)IF Chih-Hsien Chiang
3)IF/OF Cheng-Min Peng
4)OF Wei-Chu Lin
5)IF/DH Kuo-Ching Kao
6)IF Yi-Chuan Lin
7)OF/DH - TBD - originally Kuo-Hui Lo (Wu-Hsiung Pan?)
8)IF Yen-Wen Kuo
9)Catcher (Chih-Kang Kao)

*Nice read on Fu-Te Ni

Update on CMW - facing live batters

NT Concludes Tour with a Loss....

The team completed action in Australia on Thursday with a 7-6 loss to the Australian NT. Starter Yi-Jieh Hsiao shut out the Aussies over 2 innings - but received a scare when he was hit by a liner off of his right arm. The injury is not thought to be serious though. Hsiao hit 85 mph. Reliever Po-Yu Lin also managed an ugly trifecta, giving up 3 home runs in the game (duplicating Kai-Wen Cheng's debacle).
On offense, Yi-Chuan Lin blasted yet another HR and was 2-4 with 3 RBI's. OF Ying-Chieh Liao and IF Chih-Hsiang Huang also hit HR's.

Box Score/Play-By-Play

The team finished with a 2-6-1 record in Australia. Yi-Chuan Lin led the team in several offensive categories including BA: .433, HR: 3, RBI: 7. The only other two players to hit above .300 were: Yen-Wen Kuo (.367) and Che-Hsuan Lin (.357).

The official 28 man WBC NT roster is expected to be announced on the 21st.
The team will then play 3 warm-up matches against the Elephants (23rd), Lions (24th), and Bulls (25th) before heading to Tokyo on the 27th.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Australian NT Beats Up on NT 9-3.....

The NT lost yet another game to the Australian NT as Justin Huber crushed 2 home runs to help power his team to a 9-3 victory.
NT starter Yu-Cheng Liao gave up 4 runs (2 earned) on 6 hits over 3 IP (5 K's, 3 BB's) - it didn't help that his defense committed two errors behind him (4 total).
Offensively, Yi-Chuan Lin managed to smack his second HR in Australia, he was 2-4 with a RBI but committed 2 errors at 3B. LF Chih-Hsien Chiang was 1-5 with a 2B and 2 RBI's while DH Yen-Wen Kuo was 2-4 with a 2B.

Box Score/Play-By-Play

*Brief blurb on Ni - as provided by BC in the comments section

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

NT Takes Game 2 in Melbourne....

The NT rallied to beat the Australian NT 5-4 on Tuesday. Down 2-1 after 7, the NT would put up 4 runs in the top of the 8th to help push the score in their favor. CH Lin had a key triple RBI while CH Huang had a big 2 RBI double in the inning.

NT starter Hong-Wen Chen threw 4.1 innings, allowing 2 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits (he had 4 K's, 1BB). Facing the heart of the Australian lineup, Yi-Jie Hsiao managed to pitch a scoreless 6th inning, K'ing 2.

Box Score/Play-By-Play

Monday, February 16, 2009

NT Falls 9-3 to Australian NT.....

*Playing its first friendly match in Melbourne, the NT lost 9-3 to the Australian NT. The NT's offense was held in check, with only 3 hits collectively. Yen-Wen Kuo had the biggest hit of the night for the NT as he slammed a 2-run HR. Chen-Chang Lee started and allowed 2 runs on 8 hits over 4 IP to go along with 6 K's. Reliever Kai-Wen Cheng was roughed up for 6 runs on 7 hits (including 3 bombs) over 2 innings.

Box Score/Play-By-Play

*Hanshin first round pick YJ Hsiao is expected to pitch one inning tomorrow.

YJ Hsiao in his NT uni

*Fu-Te Ni will wear #75 with the Tigers.

*Chung-Dao HS coach Yung-Mao Lu has vehemently denied that his HS baseball team is disbanding. Lu mentioned that Chung-Dao will be participating in the Taiwan Cup next month as well as the Yu-Shan Cup in June.

Monday News Roundup....

*The Chinese WBC team is training at ML complexes in Florida.

*Due to a lack of support from the school board, the Chung-Dao HS baseball program will disband. The school has produced two players of interest just this year.
Taichung Agricultural HS lost its outside funding as well.

*The La New minor league manager who scouted the Ta-Tung Cup said that he didn't see any talent that stood out: very few pitchers hit the 140 kph mark. He thinks that the use of wood bats is not good because hitters are weak & can't hit for power, so pitchers don't need to throw hard, rather they can just get by with command & breaking stuff.

*Kao-Yuan's 2-0 victory over Gao-Nong in the Ta-Tung championship game was keyed by starting pitcher Hang-Yu Lin. Lin allowed only 1 hit (to Chin-De Chang) over 7 innings, to go along with 6 K's. Reliever Chao-Wei Yu would combine with Lin to pitch a 1 hit shutout.

Nan-Ying earned third place after starter Tien-Ting Lee threw a CG, allowing 5 hits while leading his team to a 6-1 win over Ku-Pao.

*Chen-Chang Lee is expected to start today's game against the Australian NT. Righty Yi-Jie Hsiao is in Australia now.

*Nice read on CMW.
Another one.
And last but not least.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

2009 Ta-Tung Cup Player Notes....

Some observations regarding this HS tournament:

Kao-Yuan won the championship game.
EWC's own JB at the tourney.*Updated

Several of the more heralded players had very disappointing showings and saw their stock fall a bit after this tourney:

INF Fu-Lin Kuo--his father and agent Kelvin Lee had been seeking $250-300 K; he showed no average tool at all, batting less than .200 in the tournament with no power, and struggled mightily against mediocre pitching; one international scouting director commented that at most, FL Kuo is worth a couple thousand dollars!

2B Ping-Chieh Chen--Bros Sports had raised his asking price to $300 K after an outstanding performance in the December Wood Bat Tourney. But like FL Kuo, Chen also struggled against mediocre pitching, batting less than .200 in the tourney. He still showed good running speed but demonstrated why his bat is questionable and inconsistent. A couple of teams came just to see him but he certainly disappointed the teams big time.

RHP Chia-Ming Huang--he's got all the potential in the world with his size, smooth delivery and decent makeup but he seems to have lost his velocity since last fall; he had one short outing in which he topped out at 86 mph. He's still only 17 but his time is running out if he wants to get signed after high school.

LHP Kuan-Yu Chen--he's lost 25 kg over the past 6 months and now weighs only 70 kg! Some have suggested that he has a medical condition that is unknown to the public at this time which has yet to be confirmed but this is quite concerning. His velocity is also significantly down while his command and breaking pitches aren't as sharp as before.

-Player that saw his stock rise--none other than INF Wei-Da Su; he hit .700 in the tournament showing a good stroke and demonstrating why he was the #1 positional prospect coming into high school. However the issues with him are still unresolved - there's the unstable family background, not playing all out at times (especially his base-running skills), and lacking a defensive position. The NYY might certainly increase their offer through scout Ken Su but will Su's father actually sign without seeing cash in front of him?

Weekend Recap....

The NT lost 9-8 to the Australian NT on Friday. Chih-Hsien Chiang and Yen-Wen Kuo had 3 and 4 hits respectively, while OF Ssu-Chi Chou slammed a HR. Box Score/Play-By-Play

On Saturday, the NT earned its first win in Australia with a 4-1 win over the Australian NT. Yu-Cheng Liao started for the NT and threw 3 shutout innings. OF Che-Hsuan Lin was 2-5.

Ni - Coming to America

Wang's new glove

Tourney heavyweights Ku-Pao and Nan-Ying were eliminated in the semifinals of the Ta-Tung Cup on Saturday. Kao-Yuan defeated Ku-Pao 8-7 in 13 innings. Gao-Nong beat Nan-Ying 1-0. Wei-Da Su drove in the game's only run and was 3-4 at the plate.

Gao-Nong and Kao-Yuan will play for all of the marbles while Ku-Pao and Nan-Ying will duke it out for third place.

More to come on some of the big names in the tourney.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Su's $200 K Offer Legit....

*Taichung Gao-Nong senior IF Wei-Da Su's $200 K offer from the NY Yankees was confirmed by his HS coach - Mr. Lee. Lee indicated that in addition to the Yankees, the Red Sox, Rays, Royals, Mariners, and Tigers had all scouted Su. Su has hopes to play in the US, but only after attending college initially. Coach Lee believes that Su will need to play another position defensively (maybe 2B, 3B, or even C; he's currently a 1B) to help bolster his chances of playing abroad.

Speaking of Su, he was 2-4 with 2 RBI's as he helped Gao-Nong reach the quarterfinals of the Ta-Tung HS Cup.

Kao-Yuan HS and Ku-Pao HS have already advanced to the semifinals of the tourney.

*The NT played the Perth Heat to a 1-1 tie over 9 innings. Chih-Hsiang Huang had the game-tying RBI in the top of the 9th inning.

The pitching staff finally had something to hang their hat on as they held the Heat to 1 run on 5 hits. Starter Chen-Chang Lee threw 3 shutout innings and was clocked at 93 mph.

Box Score/Play-By-Play

*RHP Nic Ungs will return to the Brother Elephants this year.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

0-2 Down Under......

*The NT lost to the Perth Heat 9-7 on Wednesday. Wielding the big stick for the NT was 3B Yi-Chuan Lin. Lin was 3-4 with a BB, 2B, HR, and a RBI.

Other standouts on offense:
SS Sheng-Wei Wang 2-5, 2 RBI
CF Chih-Yao Chan 1-5, 2B, RBI
2B Ping-Yen (Tu-Hsuan) Lee 1-2, RBI

The pitching staff was rocked again, this time for 9 runs on 14 hits. Wang-Yi Lin and Kai-Wen Cheng managed scoreless innings. KW Cheng was clocked at 92 mph.

Box Score/Play-By-Play

*Bulls catcher Chun-Chang Yeh has been selected to lead the player's union for the CPBL.

*In the Ta-Tung HS Cup, perennial powerhouses Nan-Ying and Ku-Pao are moving on to the elite eight. Nan-Ying managed to defeat San-Hsin 7-0 on Wednesday despite San-Hsin throwing out their fireballing ace, Yao-Lin Wang. Wang, who lasted 1.2 innings, took the loss as his team committed 6 errors, leading to 5 unearned runs. Wang was clocked at 90 mph. Nan-Ying's #1 SP Keng-Hao Chang (capable of hitting 90 mph) earned the W. San-Hsin with the loss, was eliminated from the tourney.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

2/10 News.....

*The NT lost 9-2 to Team USA (Western Australia) on Tuesday. The team racked up 11 hits in the loss - leading the way were:

Che-Hsuan Lin 2-4, BB, 2B
Chih-Hsien Chiang 1-4, BB, 2B, RBI
Yi-Chuan Lin 2-3, BB
Yen-Wen Kuo 2-4

The pitching staff didn't fare so well, allowing 9 runs on 14 hits. Starter Hong-Wen Chen was clocked at 93 mph.

Box Score/Play-By-Play

RHP Po-Yu Lin is expected to start tomorrow's game.

*Excerpts from's recent profile/scouting report/outlook on Yung-Chi Chen:

By Melissa Lockard

"*He doesn’t walk a lot, but he has excellent bat control, striking only 211 times throughout his career.
*Chen isn’t much of a hitter for power, however. He tends to slap the ball into the gaps and look to go the other way.
*At second, Chen has rated as an average defender.
*Chen has above-average speed and good instincts on the base-paths.
*The A’s may carry two back-up infielders on their Opening Day roster rather than the standard one. That would represent Chen’s best opportunity to make the team out of spring training.

Chen will have plenty of competition for one of those spots, however. In addition to Chen, Crosby and Hannahan, the A’s will have Gregorio Petit, Cliff Pennington, Eric Patterson, Jeff Baisley and Joe Dillon in camp competing for a spot on the roster as middle or back-up infielders. In addition, the A’s will have prospects Corey Wimberly (recently acquired from Colorado) and Adrian Cardenas in camp looking for reps in the middle infield.
*The A’s will most likely be looking for a back-up infielder that is better than average and versatile defensively, handles the bat well and can steal a base or two. When healthy, Chen meets most of those criteria, but he will need his health to have any shot of breaking camp with the big league club."

Monday, February 09, 2009

Monday News....

*If Taiwan can make it to the second round of the WBC (to be played in San Diego), it would get a chance to play against the Dodgers (and possibly face Hu and Kuo) and Padres in a warm up match (on the 11th and 12th of March) prior to the second round of the WBC.

*The NT kicks off its first warm up match against a select western Australian squad made up of players with US minor league experience. Hong-Wen Chen is expected to be the starting pitcher in that game.

Expected lineup for tomorrow's game:
1)RF Chih-Yao Chan
2)CF Che-Hsuan Lin
3)LF Chih-Hsien Chiang
4)DH Yi-Chuan Lin
5)3B Chih-Hsiang Huang
6)2B Yen-Wen Kuo
7)1B Chuan-Chia Wang
8)C Yi-Feng Kuo
9)SS Sheng-Wei Wang

Click here for game play-by-play action and stats.


YL Wang

In the Ta-Tung Cup, San-Hsin senior Yao-Lin Wang was clocked at 94 mph on the stadium gun (in actuality the reading was probably closer to 91-92 mph). He pitched one inning. San-Hsin won 15-0 in 7 innings. Wang's teammate, LHP Hua-Wei Lo was clocked at 90 mph - he also pitched an inning. San-Hsin's pitching staff is loaded: including heralded players RHP Chia-Ming Huang and RHP Tzu-An Wang. Huang and TA Wang pitched the 6th and 7th innings respectively in the blowout win.


2/8/09 News....

*Former Chinatrust Whales minor league manager and Taiwanese national team manager Lai-Fa Lee is the new head coach at Kao-Yuan HS. He'll lead his team in the Ta-Tung Cup against 22 other HS teams that begins on the 9th. The tourney will run through the 15th.

*The NT conducted its first workout in Australia. LHP CL Lo's control improved during a bullpen session as he seemed to get rid of some of the nervous energy that had been plaguing him in Taiwan.

*The Sinon Bulls had 2 foreign players introduced to them by the LA Dodgers.

*YJ Hsiao pitched in front of the team's owner, making an impression on him.
Agent Niba Chang (Bros) said that he is still negotiating with the Hanshin Tigers - meaning that in all likelihood Cheng will finalize a deal with the team after the WBC.

-Baseball aside, I'm late on the Slumdog Millionaire bandwagon. If you haven't seen the movie, go check it out - best movie I've seen in some time - the soundtrack is pretty sweet too.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Saturday News...

*SS/2B Yen-Wen Kuo has managed to add 4 KG to his frame, putting him now at 182 LBS. The added strength has helped him with his confidence and hitting ability.

*The NT is now in Australia. (Team roster in Chinese - Babel Fish) The team will play at least 9 warm-up matches prior to the WBC. Five of the games are set in Perth:
2/10 vs. Team USA (WA)
2/11 vs. Perth Heat
2/12 vs. Perth Heat
2/13 vs. Australian NT
2/14 vs. Australian NT
The NT will also be playing in Melbourne beginning on the 16th of the month for 4 scheduled games until the 19th.

The NT at the Airport

*Chin-Hui Tsao and his agent Kelvin Lee have returned to Taiwan (after a brief stay in the US) and have said that they will reopen negotiations with the Elephants after the WBC.
Kelvin Lee is also going to watch the Ta-Tung Cup HS tourney; CSMG client, Nan-Ying senior Fu-Lin Kuo will be playing in the tourney.

*Elephants OF Chih-Yuan Chen and P Ching-Lung Lo will not be available for the WBC. P Wang-Yi Lin has taken Lo's preliminary roster spot.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Sweet Swinging Su.....

*There's a rumor that Gao-Nong HS senior Wei-Da Su received a $200 K offer from the New York Yankees. Su's father reportedly turned down the offer, wanting cash only. It's unclear if WMG, which has a contract with Su was involved in this negotiation.

*The Hanshin Tigers who made a 30 million yen offer to KW Cheng, may have to wait for an answer. Cheng feels the offer is too low. He wants to play in the WBC first and hopes that a good performance in the event would result in a higher offer. Cheng's agency cancelled his scheduled workout with the Nippon Ham Fighters.

*NT pitching coach Tai-Yuan Kuo has been satisfied so far (in these past few days) with the pitching performance of Fu-Te Ni. Ni topped out at 90 mph and averaged 88 mph in a 35 pitch outing. He allowed only one hit to OF Chih-Yao Chan. Ni will now prepare himself to report to ST in the US; should he be selected to the final 28 man roster (almost a guarantee now), he'll head directly to Japan in time for the WBC opening round of play.

*INF Chih-Hsien Chiang was casualty #2 to an ankle sprain. The injury is not considered to be too serious. Chiang doubled in the intrasquad game against LHP CC Tang. Both Chiang and 3B YC Lin are in the running to hit cleanup for the team in Australia; both are stroking the ball well.

*Former pitcher/coach/manager Chang-Heng Hsieh plans to take some graduate school classes. Hsieh managed the now defunct Whales in 2007.

*Ray Chang
will play for China in the WBC.

Thursday News and Notes....

OF Chih-Yao Chan is likely to be the lead off hitter for the team.

INF Po-Ting Hsiao tweaked his left ankle during the intrasquad game.

Intrasquad game notes -
CF CH Lin 0-2, INF YW Kuo, CH Chiang, CH Huang all had hits, Chiang doubled off the wall

RHP SW Tseng was clocked at 89 mph, he threw 31 pitches total

RHP PH Keng has now changed his arm slot to low 3/4, he topped out at 87 mph - avg 86 mph, he threw 43 pitches total

RHP WY Lin topped out at 88 mph - avg 86mph, he threw 40 pitches, gave up 3 hits against 15 hitters, induced 3 DP

RHP CC Lee topped out at 92 mph, avg 89-90 mph, he threw 35 pitches

LHP Yu-Chi Hsiao topped out at 83 mph

-UDN is reporting that Joe Torre was strongly critical of CMW in his new book.

-Hanshin reportedly made a 30 million yen (~ $329 K USD) offer to KW Cheng; his agent is looking for 40 million yen (~ $438 K USD). That initial offer is significantly higher than what Cheng was offered by ML teams (estimated at $150 K USD).

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Wednesday Tidbits...

*La New is considering pulling their current offer to Po-Hsuan Keng since he insists on participating in the pre-WBC exhibition games in Australia. There is a fear by the Bears that Keng could reinjure himself prior to joining the team.

Frustrated by the current lack of progress, the Brother Elephants have decided that they will only negotiate with Chin-Hui Tsao himself, bypassing his agent.

*The Japanese media is reporting that the Hanshin Tigers manager liked what he saw of RHP Kai-Wen Cheng and will sign him. If true, Cheng would join WC Lin and YJ Hsiao on the team.

*Hong-Wen Chen has impressed the NT coaching staff with his stuff, but needs to work on his slider.

News Briefs....

*Update on Wang's foot

*More on Oh-san

*WBC - NT Update
Today's intrasquad exhibition game:

Chih-Hsien Chiang HR off RHP Chien-Ming Chiang.

Che-Hsuan Lin HR off LHP Cheng-Lung Lo.

RHP Hong-Wen Chen clocked at 85 mph -90 mph.

RHP Po-Yu Lin clocked at 88 mph.

In his workout with the Tigers, RHP Kai-Wen Cheng threw 45 pitches in his session and was clocked at a high of 91 mph according to Apple Daily. Cheng's idol is former Hanshin Tiger and Olympic hero Chien-Fu Kuo Lee.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Revered Legend in Taiwan.....

*Sadaharu Oh is visiting the island for 6 days. He was originally scheduled to come to Taiwan in January.

*The Brother Elephants have resorted to signing foreign players since they are having trouble reaching an agreement with pick Chin-Hui Tsao. The latest pickup: 洋投昂斯 (Lyons?)

The Lions signed P Mickey Callaway.

*In addition to his tryout with the Hanshin Tigers, RHP Kai-Wen Cheng will also work out for the Nippon Ham Fighters

*C Kun-Sheng Lin received some praise from the NT coaching staff for his defensive prowess during these past few days. Lin, who was in LA in December, did not receive an offer higher than $100 K from ML teams.

*RHP Sung-Wei Tseng had a 90 pitch bullpen session while RHP Yu-Cheng Liao had a 100 pitch session.

*After looking over some of the pics of the NT in training, I almost didn't recognize Cubs minor leaguer Hong-Wen Chen. The kid has put on a lot of weight since 2005.

Chen in 2005

Chen Now

Sunday, February 01, 2009

A Super Sunday......

First off, a happy belated Chinese New Year to all who celebrate the joyous event.

I apologize for my lengthy absence but technical difficulties and other personal commitments have kept me away from posting.

Anyways, here's a recap of some of the more recent news to help pass these slow times.

*The President Lions and Brother Elephants have decided to cancel their trip to Shanghai, China in March. The two teams who were scheduled to play a few warm up matches there were forced to forgo their trip because of insufficient funds.

*Righty Kai-Wen Cheng is going to try out with the Hanshin Tigers of the NPB.

*En-Yu Lin is rehabbing his shoulder, getting ready for the upcoming season. EY Lin is scheduled to begin the year with the nigun team. YJ Hsiao is also expected to start the season there. MC Hsu, WC Lin, and CS Yang should begin ST with the parent club.

*The NT in Australia: News
Red Sox farmhand Wang-Yi Lin is training with the NT in Taiwan.

*Che-Hsuan Lin and Chih-Hsien Chiang receiving some love from
Brief note on HW Chen

*OF Chih-Yao Chan signed with the La New Bears. He received a 3 million NT ($89 K USD) signing bonus and will earn 120 K NT/month ($3,500 USD). He can also earn an additional $30 K USD in performance incentives.

*Lions slugger Tilson Brito will not be returning to the team this year due to personal reasons.