Thirty-two-year-old Takehiro Donoue announced that he will be retiring this year. He finalized his decision after he was told by the Yomiuri Giants that they were not going to offer him a contract for 2018.
Donoue visited Giants Stadium in Kawasaki today and told teammates and coaches about his decision. He told reporters he appreciated the extra three years the Giants gave him and was able to make the best of each day. He also told reporters a part of him still wanted to keep playing, but that that decision was not his to make.
The Dragons gave Donoue his start after they selected in the sixth round of the 2003 draft. He was released after the 2014 season and attended the joint tryouts. He managed to sign an Ikusei contract with the Giants in November and made it to the seventy-man roster during spring camp.0 Comments
Masayo Uemoto posted an announcement on her blog that her husband, Tatsuyuki Uemoto, was going to retire after a fifteen-year career. She was not sure if it was her place to make the announcement at her blog, but also wanted the opportunity to thank people she met through her husband for their support.
[UPDATE 10/21 @ 4:22pm]
Uemoto has accepted the Seibu Lions’ offer to become a bullpen catcher.
Source: Tokyo Sports 10/19/20170 Comments
Daisuke Fujimura announced on October 14 that he was retiring. He visited Giants Stadium and told reporters of his decision.
The Yomiuri Giants informed Fujimura they were not going to offer him a new contract on October 7. The twenty-eight-year-old considered attending the twelve team tryout, but ultimately wanted to end his career with the Giants. He decided to retire on October 13. Fujimura is slated to get a job in the organization.
Fujimura was selected by the Giants in the first round of the high school draft in 2007. He played in his first Ichi-gun game on May 10, 2011. He went on to lead the league in stolen bases with twenty-eight and won the Rookie of the Year award.0 Comments
The Yokohama Bay Stars announced on October 11 that thirty-two-year-old Tatsuya Shimozono and thirty-one-year-old Yota Kosugi are retiring.
Shimozono got his professional start with the Bay Stars in 2007. He played in a career high 131 games in 2010 and recorded a slash line of .286/.365/.376. Outside of that one season, he never played in more than ninety games in a year. He was the chief player representative between 2013 and 2015. He decided to retire because he wanted to end his career with the Bay Stars.
Kosugi began his professional career with the Bay Stars in 2009. He pitched in eighty-six Ichi-gun games and made fourteen starts over his career. This year was the first time he failed to pitch in an Ichi-gun game. He decided to retire because he was finding in increasingly more difficult to get himself ready to play.0 Comments
The media learned on October 9 that thirty-four-year-old Ryota Arai is planning to retire after the season. A press conference is scheduled for tomorrow (October 11).
Arai began his professional career in 2006 with the Chunichi Dragons. He never played in more than forty-five games in a season while playing for the Dragons. He later had a chance to play alongside his older brother, Takahiro, when he was traded to the Hanshin Tigers for Keisuke Mizuta on December 24, 2010.
The Arai brothers became the first brothers in NPB history to record walk-off hits for the same team in the same year in 2011 (Ryota on April 19, 2010 and Takahiro on April 22, 2010). They also became the third brother combo to hit home runs in the same game on July 29, 2012.
Source: Nikkan Sports 10/10/2017
[UPDATE 10/11 @ 2:51pm]
Arai went 0-for-2 (G6, F7) in the last regular season game of his career on October 10. Teammates tossed him into the air five times after the game.
Source: Daily Sports 10/11/2017
[UPDATE 10/12 @ 12:14am]
Arai held a press conference on October 11 and announced his decision to retire. He told the media he decided to retire because he started the year thinking that this would be his last chance to make it. He thought about a lot of things and ultimately felt this was the right time to retire.
The first person he sought advice from was his brother Takahiro. He talked to him in July. His brother’s advice: it is your life, you make the call.
Source: Hanshin 10/11/20170 Comments
Tetsuya Matsumoto held a press conference on October 6 and announced that this would be his last year. He told reporters that he decided to retire because he was unable to make the active roster this year. He talked things over with his family and made the decision. His last official game will be the Farm Championship on October 7.
Matsumoto began his career when the Yomiuri Giants selected him in the third round of the Ikusei draft in 2006. He quickly made the seventy-man roster before the start of the 2007 regular season, but did not play in any Ichi-gun games until the following year on May 28, 2008. He played his first full season in 2009 and won the Rookie of the Year award. He made the All-Star team in 2010 and helped the Giants win two Nippon Series championships (2009 and 2012).
[UPDATE 10/7 @ 10:39pm]
Matsumoto got some playing time during the Farm Championship game today. He entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the eighth and grounded out to third. He remained in the game and played center in the top of the ninth. Teammates tossed him into the air eight times after the game.
Source: Nikkan Sports 10/7/20170 Comments
The Yokohama Bay Stars announced today that thirty-two-year-old Kentaro Takasaki and thirty-two-year-old Shinji Ohara are retiring.
Takasaki started his career with Yokohama in 2007. He pitched in 178 games and recorded twenty-five wins to forty losses. H also notched a save and eleven holds. He pitched 616.1 innings with a 4.22 ERA and 1.40 WHIP.
Ohara also began his career with Yokohama. He pitched in a career high seventy-one games in his first year. Over his career, he appeared in 243 games, won ten, lost three, saved two, and notched fifty-five holds. He tossed 188.0 innings and finished with a 3.26 ERA and 1.24 WHIP.0 Comments
Thirty-two-year-old Takahiro Imanami was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease last year. He has found it difficult to keep up with other players since then and has decided to retire.
Imanami started his career with the Nippon Ham Fighters in 2007. He was later traded to the Yakult Swallows partway through the 2014 season.0 Comments
Forty-one-year-old Ryoji Aikawa held a press conference at Jingu Stadium before tonight’s Yakult Swallows to announced his decision to retire after the season. He told the media he decided to retire because he realized there was no longer a place for him on the team with the development of Seiji Kobayashi and Shingo Usami. He also told the media that he was offered a job to coach, but he turned it down because he felt he was not yet ready.
Aikawa started his professional career with the Yokohama Bay Stars after he was selected in the fifth round of the 1994 draft. He used his free agent option after the 2008 season and signed with the Yakult Swallows. He again exercised his option after the 2014 season and joined the Yomiuri Giants.
Aikawa made the Olympic team in 2004 and the World Baseball Classic teams in 2006 and 2013. He played in 1,507 games, collected 1,149 hits, and finished with a slash line of .259/.309/.351.
Stats are through October 2, 2017.
[UPDATE 10/3 @ 11:25pm]
Aikawa played in tonight’s game against the Yakult Swallows at Jingu Stadium. He entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning and recorded an infield hit. He turned down a catch to do some catching during the game.
Players from both teams tossed Aikawa into the air eight times.
Source: Sponichi 10/3/20170 Comments
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.0 Comments