[12/9/2016] Shohei Otani only focused on 2017

Shohei Otani was asked about his thoughts on the MLB’s new collective bargaining agreement on November 9. He told reporters he saw the news on the internet, but had nothing to say and that it did not concern him. He added that he had not yet decided to go and that the only thing he was thinking about right now, was winning next year.

Source: Daily Sports 12/9/2016, Sponichi 12/9/2016, Nikkan Sports 12/9/2016


[12/9/2016] Updates on Satoshi Komatsu, Takanori Sato, Masaru Takeda

Satoshi Komatsu decided to retire because he was unable to help the Orix Buffaloes. He recorded fifteen wins in his first full season, but struggled after that. He suffered a stress fracture in his right rib in 2010 and needed surgery to remove loose cartilage in his right elbow in 2014. Every year, he took the mound thinking it might be his last. He decided it was time to quit this year. He accepted a job as a Ni-gun pitching coach for the Buffaloes.

Takanori Sato spent the last two years playing in the BC League with hopes for another shot at the NPB. He decided to retire and registered as a baseball instructor for Otonano Katekyoshi Try (adult tutoring service).

Masaru Takeda retired and accepted a job with the Nippon Ham Fighters. The team announced on December 9 that he will be assigned to the BC League’s Ishikawa Million Stars.

Source: Sponichi 12/9/2016, Nikkan Sports 12/9/2016, Sponichi 12/9/2016, Ishikawa announcement


[12/9/2016] Taiga Egoshi files marriage papers

The Hanshin Tigers announced today that Taiga Egoshi (23) filed marriage papers with a twenty-four-year-old woman from Kanagawa.

Source: Hanshin announcement, Nikkan Sports 12/9/2016


[12/9/2016] Yokohama Bay Stars to sign Hyeon-Jong Yang

The Yokohama Bay Stars are going to add twenty-eight-year-old left-handed pitcher Hyeon-Jong Yang to their starting rotation next season. No other information is known at this time.

Source: Daily Sports 12/9/2016

[UPDATE 12/11 @ 10:03pm]

The Bay Stars felt they were close to finalizing a deal with Yang, but he backed out at the last minute because he wants to win a championship with KIA.

Source: Daily Sports 12/11/2016, Nikkan Sports 12/11/2016


[12/8/2016] Updates on Toshiyuki Yanuki, Jun Hirose

Yomiuri senryokugai Toshiyuki Yanuki has decided to retire. He attended the twelve team tryouts in November. He faced three hitters, allowed one hit, and topped out at 146km/h. He waited for offers, but did not receive any. He was disappointed, but decided he was going to take it as a sign that he should find a new job while he was still physically strong.

Jun Hirose considered retirement last year because the injuries were starting to take a toll. He decided to give it another try after talking to his old college manager. But then he hurt his right shoulder during a Ni-gun game against Chunichi on August 20 (he was attempting to make a throw from left to home plate and felt pain from his shoulder to his finger tips) and he knew his career was over for sure. He took a lot of pride in his throwing ability. He led the league in assists with ten in 2010. Without his arm, he knew he would never make it back to the active roster.

Source: Nikkan Sports 12/7/2016, Sponichi 12/7/2016Sponichi 12/7/2016, Sponichi 12/8/2016


[12/8/2016] Alfredo Despaigne to sign with Softbank, Lotte to fill opening with Mauro Gomez

According to media reports from this morning, Alfredo Despaigne appears to be headed to the Softbank Hawks. The Chiba Lotte Marines are looking into Mauro Gomez as a possible replacement for Despaigne.

Source: Chunichi Sports 12/8/2016, Daily Sports 12/8/2016

[UPDATE 12/21 @ 12:24am]

The Hawks are the favorites to land Despaigne now that the Marines officially announced their decision not to offer him a contract for the 2017 season. They could offer three years between 1.2 and 1.5 billion yen.

Despaigne is currently spending some time in Japan with his family. He will be here until the end of this week.

Source: Sponichi 12/20/2016, Sponichi 12/20/2016Sports Hochi 12/20/2016, Daily Sports 12/20/2016Nikkan Sports 12/20/2016, Sanspo 12/20/2016

[UPDATE 12/22 @ 11:32pm]

Despaigne became a free agent after Lotte removed him from their reserved list on December 21. The media learned on the same day that the Hawks reached out to Despaigne.

Source: Daily Sports 12/22/2016, Sports Hochi 12/22/2016

See also:


[12/8/2016] Yokohama Stadium approved for 2020 Olympics

Yokohama Stadium has been approved as the primary baseball/softball stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. A number of preliminary-round games could be played in Fukushima in an effort to help revitalize the region. Three stadiums were under consideration, but only one passed the necessary requirements (Azuma Stadium and Koriyama Kaiseizan Stadium failed, Iwaki Green Stadium passed).

Source: Sponichi 12/8/2016, Nikkan Sports 12/8/2016, Sponichi 12/8/2016


[12/8/2016] 2017 College schedule for major tournaments

The Japan Student Baseball Association and All Japan University Baseball Federation held a meeting in Tokyo on December 7 to discuss the 2017 schedule. Among issues that were decided/confirmed:

  • The University Baseball Championship Series usually takes places once every two years. Based on the current  schedule, the next two series would have taken place in 2018 and 2020. To avoid the Tokyo Olympics in 2010, the series will be moved up a year. The next series is set to start on July 12, 2017. Five games are currently on the schedule. There will be a number of locations, including Massachusetts.
  • The preliminary roster for the next Universiade will be trimmed down after a second mini camp in March next year.
  • The Japan National Collegiate Baseball Championship will take place over a seven-day period beginning on June 5 at Jingu Stadium and Tokyo Dome.
  • The Meiji Jingu Tournament will take place over a six-day period beginning on November 10 at Jingu Stadium.

Source: Sponichi 12/8/2016, Yomiuri 12/7/2016


[12/8/2016] Yomiuri Giants interested in Ross Ohlendorf

According to Nikkan Sports, the Yomiuri Giants are interested in thirty-four-year-old pitcher Ross Ohlendorf. They already have five foreign players on their seventy-man roster, but are also looking to add more depth to their bullpen.

Source: Nikkan Sports 12/8/2016

[UPDATE 12/9 @ 12:46pm]

The Giants are looking into a number of options. Twenty-nine-year-old Arquimedes Caminero is also high on their list.

Source: Sponichi 12/9/2016, Daily Sports 12/9/2016

[UPDATE 12/10 @ 9:22pm]

According to media reports from today, the Giants and Caminero are in the final stage of negotiations.

Source: Sponichi 12/10/2016, Daily Sports 12/10/2016, Sanspo 12/10/2016

[UPDATE 12/11 @ 10:05pm]

The Chunichi Dragons are in the market for a late-inning reliever. They are interested in Ohlendorf.

Source: Nikkan Sports 12/11/2016


[12/8/2016] 2016 JABA Awards

Best Nine

Pos Name JPN Name ENG Team Age Times
P 佐竹 功年 Satake, Katsutoshi Toyota Jidosha 33 2
C 山内 佑規 Yamauchi, Yuki Tokyo Gas 28 1
1B 佐藤 二朗 Sato, Tsugio Yamaha 36 2
2B 田中 俊太 Tanaka, Shunta Hitachi Seisakusho 23 1
3B 南 善規 Minami, Yoshiki Toho Gas 32 1
SS 源田 壮亮 Genda, Sosuke Toyota Jidosha 23 1
OF 多木 裕史 Taki, Hiroshi Toyota Jidosha 26 1
OF 矢幡 勇人 Yahata, Hayato Yamaha 26 1
OF 菅野 剛士 Sugano, Tsuyoshi Hitachi Seisakusho 23 1
DH 林 稔幸 Hayashi, Toshiyuki Fuji Jukogyo 36 3

Individual Titles

Award Name JPN Name ENG Team Age Notes
Leading Hitter 東向 誠 Higashimukai, Makoto JR Kyushu 27 .457 (13 G, 21-for-46)
Most Runs Batted In 関本 憲太郎 Sekimoto, Kentaro Nippon Tsuun 27 12 RBI (21 G)
Most Home Runs None
Most Wins 佐竹 功年 Satake, Katsutoshi Toyota Jidosha 33 8-0 (9 G)
Best ERA 佐竹 功年 Satake, Katsutoshi Toyota Jidosha 33 0.81 (9 G, 67 IP, 7 R, 6 ER)
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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