Former Baltimore Orioles Adam Jones Expected to Play Soon in Japan

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 30: Adam Jones #10 of the Baltimore Orioles waves to crowd after being pulled from the game in the ninth inning against the Houston Astros at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 30, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 30: Adam Jones #10 of the Baltimore Orioles waves to crowd after being pulled from the game in the ninth inning against the Houston Astros at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 30, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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While we wait with baited breath for word on whether the Baltimore Orioles will play in 2020, Nippon Professional Baseball is scheduled to start on June 19.

This means that you can watch some former Baltimore Orioles players in the shortened season in Japan.

The most notable Oriole who makes his home in Japan is Adam Jones. He plays for the Orix Buffaloes, and signed a two-year, $8 million deal in December 2019. Jones was the face of the Orioles for several years between 2008 and 2018. He received his free agency in October 2018 and was later signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks for one year and $3 million.

In his prime, Jones received a handful of Gold Gloves and played in several All-Star Games – all with the Orioles. Between 2012 and 2014, he received several MVP votes, finishing as high as 6th in 2012.

According to the Kaz Nagatuska with The Japanese Times, Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) will play to empty stadiums. NPB usually plays 143 games, and they are attempting to include 120 in their regular season. To keep the games rolling, NPB is considering limiting games to nine innings or adding a time limit.

Jones is the most notable veteran and former Oriole in the NPB. But, there are other players who were Orioles, or played against them. Pitcher Rick van den Hurk pitched 25.1 innings for the Orioles in 2010 and 2011. The 35-year-old Dutch pitcher is on the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks. His Hawks won the Japan Series in a four-game sweep in 2019.

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Another former Oriole, Tsuyoshi Wada, is pitching for the Hawks, too. The left-handed pitcher was signed by the O’s in 2011. But, he was injured and never toed the rubber. He pitched for two seasons with the Cubs after the O’s let him go.

Dennis Sarfate pitched for two seasons for the Orioles. The 39-year-old right-handed reliever pitched in 2008 and 2009. His career ERA with the O’s was 4.82. After the 2009 season, he never returned to the MLB. He’s like the Mariano Rivera of the NPB. According to MLB Trade Rumors, his stats since 2011 are 1.57 ERA with 234 saves, 11.9 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9.

The Hiroshima Toyo Carp have pitcher Tayler Scott, who pitched 8.2 innings for the Orioles in 2019. In those handful of innings, he earned a 18.69 ERA. His career ERA with the O’s and Mariners in 2019 was an eye-popping 14.33. Scott McGough pitches for the Tokyo Yakult Swallows. The O’s took him off waivers in 2016, and he pitched in the minor league system in ’16 and ’17.

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A few other recognizable players who faced the Orioles are outfielder Leonys Martin, shortstop Alcides Escobar, and pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka. Martin plays for the Chiba Lotte Marines, Escobar for the Tokyo Yakult Swallows, and Matsuzaka pitches for the Saitama Seibu Lions.

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