The Orix Buffaloes' Fernando Seguignol is looking ahead, but back is the keyword for the slugger these days.
The Panamanian's back with the team that gave him his start in Japan; his bad back is healthy again; and he's ready to contribute to an Orix team that aims to get back to the postseason after missing out last year.
Seguignol could be viewed as the Pacific League's postseason good-luck charm. He won two league titles and a Japan Series championship with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters in 2006 and '07, and helped the Tohoku Rakuten Eagles to their first playoff appearance with a second-place finish last year.
"Definitely, I've got some kind of karma," quipped Seguignol on Thursday at Chiba Marine Stadium before the fourth-place Buffaloes faced the second-place Chiba Lotte Marines.
"They talk about good guys ending up in good situations, and I think that's what it is," said Seguignol, who played in 89 games and had 23 homers for Orix in 2002.
The Buffaloes, whose foreign collection of mostly 30-somethings has had numerous injuries, signed the 35-year-old Seguignol on June 7 to recharge the lineup.
Seguignol was in the U.S. Independent Atlantic League-- in which former Yomiuri Giants infielder Toshihisa Nishi also played--before his return here.
"I went back home to Florida to make sure I got everything right, and get my body right. I chose to play independent ball, where I could get more at-bats."
The switch-hitting Seguignol played with the Newark Bears, but had his eyes focused on playing in Japan.
"These guys came by and needed a left-handed hitter, and I was available and definitely wanted to come back."
Seguignol wasn't able to contribute that much to the Eagles last year, but provided veteran leadership as a calming presence on a young team. He wants to provide some pop on an Orix team loaded with leadership.
"I want to go back to being the player I was back in the day," said Seguignol, who hit .305 and tied for the PL lead with 44 homers in 2004.
"I want to [contribute] on and off the field--you know, not where they say, 'He's a good guy, but I don't know if he still has it.'
"I still feel like I have it and they gave me the chance to be competitive and that's what I want to show on the field."
Seguignol has two hits in four games and is still adjusting, but said he knows what to expect.
"It's a cat-and-mouse game--I know the league, they know me. We have some really good hitters here, so I just want to add to that, not try to do too much," he said.
Tateyama out 3-4 weeks
Tokyo Yakult Swallows right-hander Shohei Tateyama was deactivated on Thursday because of a stress fracture in the fourth metatarsal bone of his right foot.
Tateyama (4-5) is expected to miss three to four weeks after hurting himself while running the bases in Wednesday's 4-3 win over the Yomiuri Giants.
Dragons trade for Mise
The Chunichi Dragons shipped catcher Masaumi Shimizu, 35, to the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks for left-hander Koji Mise, it was learned Thursday.
Mise, 34, was the PL's top rookie in 2004, when he had a career-best 28 saves. Injuries have slowed Mise, who hasn't had a save since 2005.
In other Japanese baseball news:
--Yomiuri Giants slugger Michihiro Ogasawara missed his second straight game with back stiffness.