Nishi to play for Barnstormers

Kyodo News

Former Yokohama BayStars second baseman Toshihisa Nishi has agreed to join the Lancaster Barnstormers of the U.S. independent Atlantic League, according to baseball sources.

“The manager has rated me high. I want to live up to his expectations,” the 38-year-old said Friday, referring to former St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Tom Herr.

Nishi, the 1996 Central League Rookie of the Year with the Yomiuri Giants, was released from the BayStars after being limited to 51 games last season.

He has batted .268 with 154 home runs and 541 RBIs in 14 seasons in Japan.

Nishi was in the United States from mid-February to this past Monday training and looking for a contract offer.

The four-time CL Gold Glove winner will continue his preparations in Japan for the Pennsylvania-based club’s season opener on April 22.