Ochiai Complains about Chunichi Neo’s “Dual Wield” Style, an Idea of Manager Tatsunami | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Ochiai Complains about Chunichi Neo’s “Dual Wield” Style, an Idea of Manager Tatsunami

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Neo pitched a strong game against Hiroshima on May 21 (Image: Jiji Press)

It’s safe to say that Neo has lost his way.

It is the way in which Chunichi’s Akira Neo (22) has been used. Manager Kazuyoshi Tatsunami initially instructed Neo to concentrate on the outfield to take advantage of his strong shoulders. However, in April, he decided to put him to shortstop, his main position. May 21 he took the mound against Hiroshima  and at the end of a game against the Orix on May 29, both of which he pitched one scoreless inning.

One of the most prominent baseball alumni has complained about the frequent position changes and “dual wield” approach to pitching and hitting: Hiromitsu Ochiai, who became manager of Chunichi in 2004 and won four league championships, criticized the team on the May 29 broadcast of “Sunday Morning” (TBS).

I wonder how he feels about it. Which is it? I don’t know. If he is going to be a two-sport athlete. If he is going to play dual wield baseball, he should play in the Pacific League in principle, because they have a DH (designated hitter).

All of them were “losers” by a large margin.

Even among fans, Neo’s dual wield approach is controversial.

There are a lot of fans who are happy. Shohei Ohtani’s success with the Angels has raised expectations for a dual role. Neo also played on the mound at the Koshien Stadium when he was in high school (Toin Osaka). This time, he threw a fastball with a maximum speed of 150 km/h and a fork in the 130 km/h range. It was exciting to watch.

On the other hand, it is also true that there are those who criticize it as mere fanservice; both of his two appearances were at the end of games in which the teams were losing by large margins (1-8 against Hiroshima and 0-8 against Orix). 8). It was a loss that had little to no effect on the development of the game. If they are serious about developing Neo as a pitcher, they should use him in situations where a single run is at stake and let him gain experience it.

What are the aims of the baseball team and manager Tatsunami?

Neo is a star of the Koshien Stadium, and he is a valuable presence for Chunichi, which has few nationally known players, to attract fans. The baseball team must want him to play more and more games for the first team.

Manager Tatsunami, who is in charge of the field, is probably reluctant to make it that easy. Neo’s defense is first-rate, but his hitting is not strong enough to earn a regular spot. Since this is only his fourth year after graduating from high school, we would like to give him more time to develop his skills in the second team if possible.

The team wants to keep him in the first team, but at present he does not have many opportunities to play in the field. I think they are letting Neo try his hand at playing two different position in order to keep him motivated and not let him rust in the corner.

Manager Tatsunami selected Neo as the MVP at this spring’s camp. He was selected for the award after batting only .083 in an outing.

Tatsunami selected Neo as the MVP not because he appreciated his attitude toward practice, but rather as an encouragement to him to work even harder. At first, Neo insisted on playing at shortstop, his main position. However, he understands that he does not have the ability to win a regular spot. He may have felt a strong desire to play in the game in any way he could.

When asked by manager Tatsunami if he wanted to pitch, he immediately replied, “I want to pitch! I want to pitch! I can’t say I’m a shortstop or an outfielder anymore. “He is just desperate to pitch.

The team, the manager, and the player himself all have their own ideas behind the dual wield approach. As a fielder and a pitcher, Neo’s tough challenge continues.

  • Photo: Jiji Press Jiji Press

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