Homerun 0…Yase but sluggish Nichi-Ham’s Kiyomiya: “A Severe Decision by Shinjo’s Manager”. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Homerun 0…Yase but sluggish Nichi-Ham’s Kiyomiya: “A Severe Decision by Shinjo’s Manager”.

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Kiyomiya is challenging himself in the outfield to broaden his options. Defense is also an issue (Image: Jiji Press)

I must say, it was a miserable change.

An open game against DeNA on March 19. Nippon Ham’s manager Takeshi Shinjo arranged for the batting order to be decided by the number of popular votes from the fans, starting with No. 1. Kotaro Kiyomiya (22) was assigned to “No. 2, first base. But …….

He struck out two batters in a row. My timing was not right at all, and my stance was completely off. Manager Shinjo was irresistible and dropped Kiyomiya to the bench at the end of the third inning. After the game, Shinjo told the press the reason for the substitution as follows After the game, Shinjo told the press the reason for the substitution: “When I saw that hesitant swing from the bench, I felt like I was going to get sucked in. It’s a little bit …….'” (source from the baseball team)

In the open games, Kiyomiya’s batting average was 20%, with no signs of improving (as of March 22, hereafter the same). For NIHAM, which has slumped to fifth place for three consecutive years since its main gun, Sho Nakata, left for the Giants last year, the awakening of the long-hitting Kiyomiya is an absolute prerequisite for a comeback. Shinjo must be in a difficult position.

On the 20th, the day after the DeNA game, he and GM Atsunori Inaba spent more than 30 minutes directly coaching Kiyomiya. He said, ‘Let’s go with the new Kiyomiya. He said, ‘You’re not putting in the power (because you’re plunging forward). (If you work on your swing (with your hands only), you will inevitably increase this kind of (wrist-kneading) swing,'” he advised.)

Whatever advice you give ……

This is not the only time Shinjo’s “parental love” has been shown. Last fall at camp, he asked Kiyomiya, who weighed more than 100 kg, “Aren’t you a little fat? Before a practice game against Chunichi in February, he personally bowed to Kazuyoshi Tachinami, the left-handed hitting coach who shares Kiyomiya’s position, and asked for guidance.

Kiyomiya was a star hitter at Koshien, hitting 111 home runs, the most in high school history,” Tatsunami said. I think the Nichi-Ham front office wants to use him in the first team as the ‘face of the team. Shinjo may want to go along with the front office’s idea, but Kiyomiya’s track record is not good enough. No matter what advice he gives, he can’t get results, so I think he’s having a hard time thinking of what to do.

The sense of urgency is not quite right for Kiyomiya.

It is not that he does not have a sense of urgency. He is eagerly seeking advice not only from manager Tatsunami, but also from other good left-handed hitters such as Softbank’s “Triple 3” (.300, 30 home runs, 30 stolen bases) Yuki Yanagida and teammate Kensuke Kondo.

However, from the outside, he is still not very serious. After successfully following Shinjo’s advice and losing nearly 10 kg, he made the following comment. He said, “It’s easy to move and I don’t get tired. (My goal is to hit 30 home runs this season. His teammates reacted coldly, wondering what he was talking about when he had never hit double-digit homers.

Although Kiyomiya should be the “face of the team,” he cannot continue to be used in favor of other players if he remains in the doldrums. Shinjo must also make a decision.

Shinjo is a manager whose performance stands out, but he is also very critical of the people around him. In a staff meeting with the coaches, he is very critical of the players. If you don’t produce results, you will all be fired after one year. During practice, when Naoto Inada, the infield defense and base running coach, failed to knock, he spoke harshly to him. He said, “That’s why you won’t be a regular (during your career). You are weak under pressure.

For Kiyomiya, the season must have been a backwater. It is not surprising that he was given a stern warning. He did not appear in a single game for the first team last season, and at this rate he may well be relegated to the second team. Ultimately, he should be aware that he is in danger of being declared out of the force.

The Koshien star is in his fourth year as a pro. Popularity alone is no longer enough to keep him in the game. Kiyomiya’s battle in the ring continues.

  • Photo Jiji Press

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