[12/20/2016] Updates on Ryoji Katsuki, Kenta Kurihara, Katsuhiko Saka, Toshiyuki Yanuki, Atsushi Okamoto

When Ryoji Katsuki’s father passed away on November 20, 2006, he thought about quitting baseball because he was worried about his mother and because he ruptured a ligament in his right elbow. His manager at the time pushed him to keep playing. He had surgery on his elbow and his team, the Golden Larks, made it to the Inter-city Tournament in 2007 and 2008. He later became the first player in Golden Larks’ history to make it to the NPB (2008 draft, sixth round). He was senryokugaied by Lotte on October 1, 2016. He gave himself about a week after the draft on October 20 to find a new team. He received no offers and returned to his former manager on October 29. He was again persuaded to keep playing and agreed to return to the Golden Larks as a player/coach.

Source: Sponichi 12/16/2016

Kenta Kurihara developed chronic pain in his right elbow. He had surgery three times (2008, 2012, 2014) with hopes that his condition would improve. But the pain never fully went away and he was unable to regain the powerful swing he once had. One of the reasons why he retired this year was because he was unable to make the active roster — he had not played in an Ich-gun game since 2013.

Source: Sponichi 12/18/2016

Katsuhiko Saka considered retirement when he was senryokugaied by the Hanshin Tigers, but still felt he was healthy enough to play. He took part in the twelve team tryouts last month and went 2-for-5. He started off with the strong desire to return to the NPB, but without any offers, he expanded his options. He is currently planning to sign with the 06 Bulls as a player/coach.

Source: Sponichi 12/19/2016

Toshiyuki Yanuki is set to join the Yomiuri Giants’ staff, effective January 1, 2017.

Source: Sponichi 12/20/2016

Atsushi Okamoto decided to retire this year because he felt he reached the end of the line. Okamoto was never quite the same after he suffered a stress fracture in his hip in 2010. He also continued to feel pain after he had surgery on his right elbow last year. He slowly started losing stream and made the decision to retire in September this year.

Source: Sponichi 12/20/2016

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NPB Standings [Full]
G W L T
Hiroshima 143 88 51 4
Hanshin 143 78 61 4
Yokohama 143 73 65 5
Yomiuri 143 72 68 3
Chunichi 143 59 79 5
Yakult 143 45 96 2
G W L T
Softbank 143 94 49 0
Seibu 143 79 61 3
Rakuten 143 77 63 3
Orix 143 63 79 1
Nippon Ham 143 60 83 0
Lotte 143 54 87 2
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