Category: NPB


Munetaka Murakami: Did You Know


Murakami was drafted as a catcher, but the Yakult Swallows are planning to convert him to a third baseman.

Source: Daily Sports 1/9/2018, Sanspo 1/9/2018, Nikkan Sports 1/9/2018


[1/9/2018] Artificial turf for warning track at Koshien Stadium

The red dirt used for the warning track in the outfield at Koshien Stadium will be replaced by artificial turf in the same color. Rain causes the dirt to seep out onto the outfield grass making it difficult to maintain. The change should be complete before the end of January.

Source: Nikkan Sports 1/9/2018, Tokyo Sports 1/9/2018


Hanshin Tigers: 2018 Spring Camp

Hanshin Tigers 2018 Spring Camp Details

Ichi-gun/Ni-gun Camp

February 1 (Thu) – 28 (Wed)
Days Off: February 5 (Mon), 9 (Fri), 14 (Wed), 19 (Mon), 23 (Fri)

Ichi-gun Venue: Kariyushi Hotels Ballpark Ginoza
Ni-gun Venue: Aki Tigers Stadium

Additional information will be added to this post as it becomes available.

Source: Hanshin 1/8/2018


[1/7/2018] Kazuhisa Makita reaches agreement with San Diego Padres

Kazuhisa Makita has apparently signed a two-year deal worth close to four million US dollars with the San Diego Padres, according to Jon Heyman. The Seibu Lions later announced that Makita reached an agreement with San Diego. The Padres also made an official announcement at their site.

Source: San Diego 1/6/2018, FanRag Sports 1/6/2018, Sanspo 1/7/2018, Nikkan Sports 1/7/2018, Daily Sports 1/7/2018, Tokyo Sports 21/7/2018, Sports Hochi 1/7/2018

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[1/6/2018] Nippon Ham Fighters add Nick Martinez

The Nippon Ham Fighters announced today that they reached an agreement with twenty-seven-year-old Nick Martinez. He has not yet been assigned a uniform number. According to media reports, the two sides agreed to a one-year contract worth an estimated 200 million yen plus incentives. The Fighters believe Martinez will be able to compete for a spot in the starting rotation.

Source: Nippon Ham 1/6/2018, Daily Sports 1/6/2018, Nikkan Sports 1/6/2018, Sponichi 1/6/2018, Sanspo 1/6/2018

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[1/6/2018] Yakult Swallows to add Trackman at Jingu Stadium

The Yakult Swallows will become the latest team to add the Trackman system to their home stadium. Seven NPB teams, including Rakuten, Softbank, Yomiuri, and Yokohama, have already started using the system. Hanshin, Chunichi, and Lotte are expected to begin using the system this season.

Source: Sanspo 1/6/2018


[1/6/2018] Senichi Hoshino passes away

The media learned that Rakuten Eagles’ Vice Chairman Senichi Hoshino passed away on January 4. He was seventy years old.

Hoshino apparently fell sick toward the end of last year and canceled plans to spend time with family in Hawaii at the last minute. He did attend Hall of Fame celebrations in Tokyo on November 28, 2017 and in Osaka on December 1 last year.

As a pitcher with the Chunichi Dragons, Hoshino went 146-121 with a 3.60 ERA over 2128.2 innings spanning 500 games between 1969 and 1982. As a manager, he led the Dragons to two first place finishes, the Hanshin Tigers to one first place finish, and the Rakuten Eagles to one first place finish that culminated in his first and only Nippon Series Championship. He was voted into the Hall of Fame last year.

Source: Sponichi 1/6/2018

[UPDATE 1/7 @ 5:19am]

Additional information:

  • Hoshino passed away at 5:25am on January 4 at his daughters house in Mie Prefecture.
  • Hoshino fell in the bathroom and hit his jaw and lower back on January 2, but was able to eat normally the following day. Things took a sudden turn for the worse on the morning of January 4.
  • Hoshino found out he had pancreatic cancer when he developed acute pancreatitis in July 2016. He was apparently told he had three months.

Source: Sanspo 1/7/2018

[UPDATE 1/10 @ 1:51am]

The Hanshin Tigers and Chunichi Dragons scheduled memorial games for Hoshino.

  • Hanshin: exhibition game against Chunichi at Koshien Stadium on March 10 (Sat). Alternate date: exhibition game against Chunichi at Koshien Stadium on March 11 (Sun). Source: Hanshin 1/9/2018
  • Chunichi: exhibition game against Rakuten at Nagoya Dome on March 3 (Sat). Source: Chunichi 1/9/2018

[1/5/2018] Nippon Ham Fighters sign partnership agreement with Texas Rangers

The Nippon Ham Fighters announced today that they signed a partnership agreement with the Texas Rangers. Through the agreement, the two teams will be able to share various information, like scouting reports and coaching methods. They will also be able to set up a personnel exchange program for coaches and staff.

Source: Nippon Ham 1/5/2018, Jiji 1/5/2018, Daily Sports 1/5/2018


[1/4/2018] Chunichi Dragons reach agreement with Dillon Gee

The Chunichi Dragons announced on January 4 that they reached an agreement with thirty-one-year-old pitcher Dillon Gee. He was assigned the uniform number 60. According to media reports, the two sides agreed on a one-year deal worth an estimated 120 million yen plus an estimated 30 million yen in incentives.

Source: Chunichi 1/4/2018, Sports Hochi 1/4/2018, Sanpso 1/4/2018, Tokyo Sports 1/4/2018, Daily Sports 1/4/2018

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[1/4/2018] Chunichi Dragons sign with Mizuno

The Chunichi Dragons announced on January 4 that they signed an official partner contract with Mizuno. The Dragons will begin wearing Mizuno uniforms this season. Designs for their uniform will not change.

Source: Nikkan Sports 1/4/2018

[UPDATE 1/5 @ 9:37pm]

The agreement runs from January 1, 2018 until December 31, 2021. Mizuno joins Edion (helmet) and Chunichi Shimbun (uniform, left sleeve) as official partners.

Source: Chunichi 1/5/2018

NPB Standings [Full]
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
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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