Upon the news that Kevin “Pcondoleezza” Price won’t be available to participate in training camp for the Vipers in 2009, the Vipers acted quickly in purchasing the contract of another young catcher/jack-of-all-trades in Yuki Matsumoto.
Kevin “Pcondoleezza” Price hasn’t fully recovered from off-season surgery, so who knows what his status will be in 2009? (He’s currently on the inactive list.) In any regard, he’ll always be remembered for his great act of charity in hitting a foul ball in my general direction – for me to catch – just as I was complaining that I hadn’t had a sniff at a foul ball all season. Here’s hoping Matsumoto fills that role and sends a few my way (he also bats right, so I won’t have to change seats).
Aside from supplying me with souvenirs, Matsumoto has big shoes to fill. As we’ve mentioned previously on this site (check the “kevin price” tag), Kevin “Pcondoleezza” Price really could do it all. From Takasaki, Japan, Matsumoto made 10 starts in 12 games last season – his rookie year – in the ol’ Northern League. He’s considered a “solid contact hitter” who doesn’t strike out much at all. 12 games are not enough from which to draw conclusions, but the news that’s available is encouraging. After a slow start (hitless in his first 3 games), he batted over .400 in late May. However, he was on the DL in early June, and only played one game after he returned.
It’s also worth noting that the Vipers are letting it be known that last year’s bullpen catcher (and good ol’ Canadian kid) Dillon O’Krane also has a chance to grab the catcher/utility spot during training camp.
But can either of them pitch?