Last week was one of contrasting fortunes for two of the biggest signings of the NPB offseason.

Eric Thames and Justin Smoak finally got on the field for the Yomiuri Giants on April 27, after having their arrival to Japan delayed by coronavirus travel restrictions and then enduring two weeks of isolation. They were both in Yomiuri’s starting lineup against the Tokyo Yakult Swallows, with Smoak getting a hit in his first at-bat.

Then things took a turn for the worse.