[7/9/2018] Takashi Ogino leaves games early

Takashi Ogino took a pitch off his hand when he struck out swinging in the sixth inning of a game against the Seibu Lions at MetLife Dome on July 9. The ball either hit his index finger or his middle finger. He was removed from the game and taken to a hospital for tests. Tadahito Iguchi told reporters he was not sure if Ogino would be able to play in Lotte’s last two games before the All-Star break.

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

[UPDATE 7/11 @ 12:23pm]

Ogino was examined at a hospital in Tachikawa and diagnosed with a fractured proximal phalanx in his index finger. He will need about two months for a full recovery. He will also miss the All-Star series.

Source: Nippon Ham 7/10/2018, Daily Sports 7/10/2018, Nikkan Sports 7/10/2018, Sports Hochi 7/10/2018, Sponichi 7/10/2018


[7/9/2018] Tetsuto Yamada hits for the cycle

Tetsuto Yamada hit for the cycle during a game against the Yomiuri Giants at Shizuoka on July 9.

  • single to left in the first
  • walk in the third
  • two-run home run to left in the fifth
  • double off the fence in left in the seventh
  • RBI triple to right in the ninth

Yamada became the sixty-sixth player (accomplished seventy-one times) in NPB history, thirty-third player (accomplished thirty-six times) in the Central League, to hit for the cycle. He is the first player to hit for the cycle since Yuki Yanagita on April 31 and the first Yakult Swallow since Atsunori Inaba on July 1, 2003.

Source: Sports Hochi 7/9/2018, Daily Sports 7/9/2018, Sponichi 7/9/2018, Nikkan Sports 7/9/2018


[7/9/2018] Taishi Ota suffers fracture in left hand

Taishi Ota was hit by a pitch on his left hand during the sixth inning of a game against the Chiba Lotte Marines at ZOZO Marine on July 8. He was taken out of the game and examined at a hospital in Tokyo on the same day. The Nippon Ham Fighters announced on July 9 that Ota was diagnosed with a fracture in the fifth metacarpal on his left hand. He will most likely require three to four weeks for a full recovery.

Source: Nippon Ham 7/9/2018, Nikkan Sports 7/9/2018, Sponichi 7/9/2018, Daily Sports 7/9/2018


[7/9/2018] Orix Buffaloes and Yokohama Bay Stars agree on two-for-two trade

The Orix Buffaloes and Yokohama Bay Stars announced today that they agreed on a two-for-two player trade. Orix will send twenty-nine-year-old catcher Hikaru Ito and twenty-seven-year-old pitcher Ken Akama to Yokohama for twenty-seven-year-old catcher Shuto Takajo and twenty-five-year-old infielder Hiroyuki Shirasaki.

The Buffaloes also released uniform numbers for their newest additions: Takajo number 22 and Shirasaki number 2.

Source: Orix 7/9/2018, Yokohama 7/9/2018, Sports Hochi 7/9/2018, Nikkan Sports 7/9/2018, Nikkan Sports 7/9/2018, Sanspo 7/9/2018, Sponichi 7/9/2018, Daily Sports 7/9/2018

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[7/9/2018] Hanshin at Hiroshima three-game series canceled

The Hiroshima Carp announced on July 8 that they decided to cancel their three-game home series against the Hanshin Tigers at Mazda Stadium between July 9 (Mon) and 11 (Wed) due to the heavy western Japan rains. In a statement posted at the team website, the Carp explained that they decided to cancel the series after thinking about the many victims of the disaster. They offered their condolences and prayers to those affected by the rains.

Source: Hiroshima 7/8/2018, Hiroshima 7/8/2018


[7/8/2018] Yomiuri Giants add Cristopher Crisostomo Mercedes to their seventy-man roster

The Yomiuri Giants announced today that they added Cristopher Crisostomo Mercedes to their seventy-man roster. His uniform number will change from 026 to 95. According to media reports, Mercedes agreed to a deal worth an estimated 50,000 US dollars that also includes a signing bonus worth an estimated 50,000 US dollars.

Source: Yomiuri 7/8/2018, Nikkan Sports 7/8/2018, Sanspo 7/8/2018, Daily Sports 7/8/2018


[7/7/2018] Yomiuri Giants part ways with Takahiro Kakizawa, suspend Genki Kawano and Shimpei Shinohara

The Yomiuri Giants made two player announcements on July 7.

The Giants announced that they decided to terminate twenty-three-year-old Takahiro Kakizawa’s contract after they found out he stole about 110 pieces of baseball equipment from the Yomiuri Giants Stadium locker rooms (twelve times between May 2 and June 21) and then sold them off at second-hand brand reseller shops (two shops in Tokyo for a total of around one million yen). Among some of the items: about forty bats, including those belonging to Shinnosuke Abe, Hisayoshi Chono, Hayato Sakamoto, Dai-Kang Yoh, and Seiji Kobayashi; around twenty gloves, including those belonging to Tomoyuki Sugano and Kazuma Okamoto; and roughly thirty uniforms, including those belonging to Casey McGehee, Yoshiyuki Kamei, and Seishu Hatake.

The incident came to light when a player found another player’s uniform listed at an online auction in late-June. The Giants followed with an internal investigation and found security camera footage of Kakizawa taking items from the team locker room. When officials confronted him, he admitted to taking the items and said that he took the items because he was having financial problems.

Kakizawa was selected by the Rakuten Eagles in the sixth round of the 2012 draft. He was sent to the Yomiuri Giants in a trade for Yuki Koyama in December 2016.

The Giants also announced that they fined and suspended twenty-seven-year-old Genki Kawano and twenty-eight-year-old Shimpei Shinohara for inappropriate behavior.

Shinohara and Kawano were at a gathering of about ten men and women in a private room at a restaurant in June. Shinohara got drunk and took off almost all of his clothes. Kawano took a video of Shinohara and uploaded it to his Instagram account (restricted to followers only).

Hayato Sakamoto was also at the gathering, but left but Shinohara stripped naked. Sakamoto was issued a stern warning.

Source: Yomiuri (Kakizawa) 7/7/2018, Daily Sports 7/7/2018, Daily Sports 7/7/2018, Tokyo Sports 7/7/2018, Daily Sports 7/7/2018, Sponichi 7/7/2018, Sanspo 7/7/2018, Nikkan Sports 7/7/2018, Yomiuri (Kawano, Shinohara) 7/7/2018, Sanspo 7/7/2018, Tokyo Sports 7/7/2018, Daily Sports 7/7/2018, Daily Sports 7/7/2018, Nikkan Sports 7/7/2018, Nikkan Sports 7/7/2018


[7/7/2018] Orix Buffaloes add former Hanshin Tiger Akira Iwamoto

The Orix Buffaloes announced on July 7 that they signed twenty-five-year-old Akira Iwamoto. He was assigned the uniform number 91.

Iwamoto was drafted by the Hanshin Tigers in 2010 and went 4-2 with a 2.64 ERA in twenty-one Ichi-gun games. He was released in 2016 and signed with the Fukui Miracle Elephants in January 2017. He compiled a 9-9 record and a 2.84 ERA in forty-seven games over two seasons with Fukui.

Source: Orix 7/7/2018, Daily Sports 7/7/2018, Nikkan Sports 7/7/2018, Sports Hochi 7/7/2018

[UPDATE 7/8 @ 5:00pm]

According to media reports, Iwamoto agreed to a deal worth an estimated two million yen. The contract is good for the 2018 season.

Source: Sanspo 7/8/2018, Daily Sports 7/8/2018, Sponichi 7/8/2018, Sports Hochi 7/8/2018


[7/7/2018] Kansas City Royals reach agreement with sixteen-year-old Kaito Yuki

The Kansas City Royals have reportedly agreed to terms on a minor league contract with Kaito Yuki. An official announcement will be made in Osaka on July 8.

Yuki is a sixteen-year-old right-handed pitcher from Habikino, Osaka. He played for Kanan Little Senior and represented Japan at a McHenry County Youth Sports Association International Tournament last year. He stands at around 187 centimeters and throws about 140km/h. A number of top high schools were scouting him with hopes that he would stay in Japan. One of Yuki’s goals is to become a player like Yu Darvish, who is also from Habikino, Osaka.

Source: Daily Sports 7/7/2018, Sanspo 7/7/2018

[UPDATE 7/8 @ 5:33pm]

The Royals held a press conference in Osaka earlier today. Yuki told reporters that he started out wanting to play at the Koshien, but after he experienced baseball in the United States, his desire to play in the US grew stronger than his desire to play at the Koshien.

Source: Sponichi 7/8/2018


[7/7/2018] 100th Summer Koshien: no practices at Koshien Stadium, ceremonial first pitch schedule

The Japan High School Baseball Federation is not planning to schedule pre-tournament practice days at Koshien Stadium this year. Teams will instead get a tour of the facilities and a chance to check the field.

A tournament-high fifty-six high schools will be participating in this year’s 100th anniversary Summer Koshien. The tournament is slated to start on August 5.

Legend Ceremonial First Pitches

  • August 5 – Hideki Matsui, Seiryo
  • August 6 – Takeshi Kimura (Takeshi Kimura), Minoshima
  • August 7 – Shoji Sadaoka, Kagoshima Jitsugyo
  • August 8 – Kazuhiko Ushijima, Namisho
  • August 9 – Masaji Hiramatsu, Okayama Higashi Shogyo
  • August 10 – Masaji Hiramatsu, Go-no Kawa
  • August 11 – Katsuhito Mizuno, Ikeda
  • August 12 – Atsushi Honma, Komazawa University Tomakomai
  • August 13 – Yoshikazu Sakamoto, Toho
  • August 14 – Kiyooki Nakanishi, Kochi Shogyo
  • August 15 – Sohachi Aniya, Okinawa
  • August 16 – Eiji Bando, Tokushima Shogyo
  • August 17 – Yoshiaki Kanemura, Hotoku Gakuen
  • August 18 – Futoshi Nakanishi, Takamatsu Daiichi
  • August 20
    • Game 1 – Masumi Kuwata, PL Gakuen
    • Game 2 – Kazuhiro Sasaki, Tohoku
  • August 21
    • Koji Ota, Misawa
    • Akira Inoue, Matsuyama Shogyo

Source: Sanspo 7/6/2018, Sponichi 7/6/2018, Sponichi 7/7/2018, Daily Sports 7/6/2018, Nikkan Sports 7/6/2018