Leaders of the Yakult baseball team do not want to be disliked by the team’s star? …Yakult’s Munetaka Murakami: “Sudden slowdown after winning the triple crown | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Leaders of the Yakult baseball team do not want to be disliked by the team’s star? …Yakult’s Munetaka Murakami: “Sudden slowdown after winning the triple crown

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Yakult finished in 5th place, only 1.0 point behind Chunichi, the lowest ranked team this season, in terms of winning percentage. The main reasons for the team’s slump are the pitching staff, which has the lowest defensive rating of the 12 teams, and the mid-season slump of main gun Munetaka Murakami (23).

In March of this year, Murakami participated in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) with a brilliant record of 56 home runs in a season, the most by a Japanese player and Reiwa’s first triple crown.

His abilities are impeccable. But it would have been a waste of his talent. ……

As you know, Murakami was a dud, and his form had not improved since his voluntary training in January. I think it had something to do with the fact that he was forced to make adjustments at a rapid pace because he had to finish about a month earlier than usual, but manager Hideki Kuriyama (62 at the time) quickly removed him as the No. 4 pitcher for the Samurai Japan team. His competitive spirit was one of the best in the semifinals and the final, but it was clear that he was not in his best form,” said a baseball desk reporter for a sports newspaper.

Murakami’s form did not improve after the WBC ended, and his batting average for the month of April was a dismal .152 with one home run and 10 runs batted in, while he struck out 38 batters.

In July, his monthly batting average finally exceeded the .301 mark, but he did not hit double digits in home runs for the month. He led the team in both home runs (31) and runs batted in (84), but his batting average was a mediocre .256.

Last offseason, Murakami signed a three-year contract with a view to challenging the U.S. Major League Baseball, and the team will allow him to move to the posting system after his contract expires, but at his current rate, he is unlikely to attract the attention of major league scouts. The fluctuations between good and bad performances are too drastic.

In order for Murakami to continue his high performance, he needs to review his adjustment methods and conditioning, but an alumnus of the baseball team says that the adverse effects of his overwhelming performance as a “triple crown winner” in his early 20s are beginning to appear.

According to an alumnus of the baseball team, “No one, including manager Shingo Takatsu (54), has been able to give Murakami any complaints. That’s why he was never removed from the starting lineup even though he had been flying very low, nor was he ordered to readjust on the farm. Even the leaders have looked down on him, saying, “If Mune, the team’s big star, doesn’t like him, there’s no place for him. This is not like Hanshin manager Akifumi Okada (65), who dropped the ailing Teruaki Sato (24) to the farm in the middle of a three-game series to revive him. He was a good manager.” (Baseball team alumnus)

Yakult will begin fall practice at Jingu Gaien on October 10 and will hold fall camp in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture, in November. ……

Murakami seems to be allowed to self-adjust during fall practice as well. While other teams would practice from morning to night, Yakult’s main practice venue is only the indoor practice field due to the facilities. The rest of the day is spent playing catch and taking simple knocks at a sub field, and it is said that the entire practice menu can be completed in half a day.

The team then moves on to individual practice. Checking hitting form and hitting, Murakami recorded a league-worst 22 blunders, so he has to spend time on special defense. …… . Compared to players of his age, he seems to spend less time practicing. I feel like I’m not getting enough practice time compared to players my age.”

Yakult promoted battery coach Motohiro Shima (38) to head coach to support Takatsu, and will start over with three coaches in the hitting department, led by Naoyoshi Omatsu (41), Shigeru Sugimura (66), and Masakazu Fukukawa (46). Can they revive the “village god”?

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