[9/8/2018] Katsuya Kakunaka earns domestic FA option

Katsuya Kakunaka earned his domestic free agent option on September 8 with eight years of service time on the active roster.

Source: Sanspo 9/8/2018, Nikkan Sports 9/8/2018


[9/8/2018] Yamato sits out game with ankle discomfort

Yamato was left out of the starting line-up against Yakult on September 8 because he felt discomfort in his left ankle during pre-game batting practice. He is considered day-to-day.

Source: Daily Sports 9/8/2018, Sanspo 9/8/2018, Sponichi 9/8/2018


[9/8/2018] Norichika Aoki slowed by back tightness

Norichika Aoki felt some tightness during practices before a Yokohama on September 7. The tightness turned to discomfort after he grounded out to third in his first at bat in the first inning. He was replaced on defense in the third inning as a precaution and left out of the starting line-up on September 8. He is considered day-to-day.

Source: Sanspo 9/7/2018, Sanspo 9/8/2018, Nikkan Sports 9/8/2018, Nikkan Sports 9/8/2018, Sponichi 9/8/2018


[9/8/2018] Nippon Ham Fighters games on September 11, 12 postponed

The NPB announced on September 8 that Nippon Ham Fighters games at Sapporo Dome against the Chiba Lotte Marines on September 11 and 12 were postponed due to the Hokkaido earthquake. Make-up dates will be released as they become available.

Source: NPB 9/8/2018, Nippon Ham 9/8/2018


[9/8/2018] Schedule Changes

The following additions were made to the Central League schedule.

  • September 28 – Yokohama Bay Stars vs Yomiuri Giants at Tokyo Dome – 18:00 (September 4 rain out)
  • October 2 – Yokohama Bay Stars vs Yakult Swallows at Jingu Stadium – 18:00 (October 8 rain out)
  • October 6 – Yokohama Bay Stars vs Hanshin Tigers at Koshien Stadium – 14:00 (August 31 rain out)
  • October 7 – Yokohama Bay Stars vs Hiroshima Carp at Mazda Stadium – 14:00 (July 29 rain out)
  • October 8 – Hanshin Tigers vs Yakult Swallows at Jingu Stadium – 18:00 (July 28 rain out)

Alternate dates:

  • October 3 – Yokohama Bay Stars vs Yakult Swallows at Jingu Stadium – 18:00
  • October 4 – Chunichi Dragons vs Yokohama Bay Stars at Yokohama Stadium – 18:00
  • October 5 – Yomiuri Giants vs Hiroshima Carp at Mazda Stadium – 18:00

Source: NPB 9/7/2018, Yomiuri 9/7/2018, Yakult 9/7/2018, Hanshin 9/7/2018, Hiroshima 9/7/2018, Yokohama 9/7/2018


[9/6/2018] Nippon Ham – Rakuten September 7 game postponed

Hokkaido was hit by a magnitude 6.7 earthquake on September 6. At least nine people are dead, thirty-one are missing, and over 150 are injured. The earthquake also caused power outages.

The Nippon Ham Fighters reported that everyone in their organization was safe and accounted for. The Rakuten Eagles and Fighters announced that their game at Rakuten Seimei on September 7 was postponed due to travel issues (the airport in Hokkaido was closed). The game will be played on September 10.

The Pacific League is evaluating the Fighters’ schedule to see if any changes are needed for games beyond September 10.

Source: Rakuten 9/6/2018, Nippon Ham Tweet 9/6/2018, Sponichi 9/6/2018, Daily Sports 9/6/2018


[9/6/2018] Yuya Hasegawa suffers bruised big toe

Yuya Hasegawa hurt his right foot when he hit the wall in left while making a defensive play during the third inning of a game against Lotte at ZOZO Marine September 5. He remained in the game until the seventh inning.

Hasegawa was later taken to a hospital in Narashino, Chiba for tests. He was diagnosed with bruise on his right big toe. He is considered day-to-day.

Source: Sanspo 9/5/2018, Yamagata News 9/6/2018, Nishi Nippon Shimbun 9/6/2018


[9/6/2018] Samurai Japan to play exhibition series against Mexico in March 2019

The media recently learned that Samurai Japan is planning to play an exhibition series against Mexico next year in March.

Source: Daily Sports 9/6/2018, Nikkan Sports 9/7/2018


[9/5/2018] Takahiro Arai to retire after the season

Forty-one-year-old Takahiro Arai held a press conference at Mazda Stadium earlier today to announce his plans to retire after the season. Points taken from his press conference:

  • Arai told the Carp about wanting to retire in early August.
  • The Carp asked him to reconsider and Arai spent the rest of August re-thinking his plans. Nothing changed.
  • There was no one moment that made him consider retirement. He starting thinking about retirement around Inter-league play.
  • When considering the timing, he thought about the current group of young players on the roster and what things would be like three and five years from now.
  • Arai came to the Carp with nothing but a desire to help the team. He wanted to retire the moment he knew he could no longer help.
  • He spoke to Hiroki Kuroda and Yoshiyuki Ishihara.
  • His kids did not want him to retire.
  • He does not consider himself to be a great player, just one that practices a lot and happened to be in the right place at the right time.
  • Arai was okay with making an announcement after the season, but the Carp wanted him to say something sooner to give fans a chance to watch him play.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/5/2018, Tokyo Sports 9/5/2018, Sports Hochi 9/5/2018, Sports Hochi 9/5/2018, Sponichi 9/5/2018, Sponichi 9/5/2018, Daily Sports 9/5/2018, Daily Sports 9/5/2018, Daily Sports 9/5/2018


[9/5/2018] Katsuya Kakunaka on track to earn domestic FA option on September 8

Thirty-one-year-old Katsuya Kakunaka is expected to earn his domestic free agent option on September 8. The media learned on September 4 that the Chiba Lotte Marines might once again offer Kakunaka a multi-year deal. The Marines prepared two contracts last year, a three-year and a one-year deal. Kakunaka turned down the three-year contract and agreed to the one-year contract. Kakunaka later told reporters that he did not find multi-year contracts attractive. He also hinted that he was partially interested in the possibility of using his free agent option before he got too old.

Source: Daily Sports 9/4/2018, Daily Sports 9/5/2018, Sports Hochi 9/5/2018, Sponichi 9/5/2018

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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