There is a story in today's Nikkan Sports indicating that the Orix
Blue Wave are trying to aquire
former Blue Jay and Padre Ed Sprague. Club officials anticipate that
Sprague will replace Ichiro as
the team's number four hitter. What they're really hoping for is that
Sprague shows off the same form
in 2001 for the Blue Wave that he showed in Toronto in 1996, when he had
career highs in homers
(36) and RBIs (101).
Oddly, one team official is saying that Sprague doesn't strike out
a lot, but a quick perusal of
his MLB stats
indicates that Sprague whiffed slightly more than 20% of his at bats
lifetime. The same year he
hit the 36 homers, he fanned 146 times in 591 at bats.
Last season, he split time between Boston and San Diego, where he
hit .243 (close to his overall
lifetime average) with 12 dingers and drove in 36 runs in 268 official
at bats. It is expected that it
will cost Orix more than a million dollars to get the 33 year old
Sprague's signature. Orix hasn't said
what position Sprague will play, but he is mostly a corner infielder who
can play catcher in an
emergency. He is only adequate defensively.