Thirty-four-year-old Yasuyuki Kataoka held a press conference at Tokyo Dome early today to announce his decision to retire at the end of the season. He told the media that he decided to retire because he felt his body was no longer able to keep up with the daily grind. He also said he felt recent injuries were slowing him down.
Kataoka has been troubled with leg injuries (hamstring, calf, knee) the last few years. This was the first time in his thirteen-year career that he failed to make an appearance in an Ichi-gun game during a season.
The Seibu Lions selected Kataoka in the third round of the 2004 draft. While with the Lions, he won four stolen bases titles in a row (2007-2010). He made Best Nine at second in 2008, was selected to the All-Star Game in 2008 and 2010, and was part of the 2009 WBC team. Kataoka exercised his free agent option after the 2013 season and signed a two-year deal with the Yomiuri Giants.
[UPDATE 11/24 @ 3:44pm]
The Giants held a retirement ceremony for Kataoka during Fan Festa on November 23.
Source: Yomiuri 11/24/2017