The start of spring training for new Cincinnati Reds outfielder Shogo Akiyama could have gone better. He stepped up to the plate this afternoon for batting practice and he swung through the first pitch he saw. He laughed it off in front of several of his new teammates. Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer had the footage.
— Bobby Nightengale (@nightengalejr) February 13, 2020
After the day was over for the first Japanese player in Cincinnati Reds franchise history, he met with the media for a quick interview to talk about the day and how things had gone.
He noted that there wasn’t a specific teammate that he was seeking out to meet, but that he was hoping to get to know everyone. Unlike most other players who are new in camp with a team, for a player coming over from Japan, it’s unlikely he’s interacted with anyone before. Guys that have played in the Major Leagues, or even Minor Leagues usually know a few guys from around the league simply by playing with or against some of them in the past. For Shogo Akiyama, the only Reds player he had ever met before was Eugenio Suarez, who toured with other Major Leaguers in Japan a few offseasons ago as they played in some exhibition games against several Japanese clubs.
Speaking of Eugenio Suarez, his hair game is still on point. Look at that flow.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) February 13, 2020
In non-hair related news with regards to Eugenio Suarez, it was reported earlier today by all of the beat writers that are in Goodyear, though Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer had it out first, that Reds manager David Bell noted that Suarez medical updates were “encouraging” and that “it’s realistic” that he could be ready to play by Opening Day.