Forty-three-year-old Hitoki Iwase held a press conference at Nagoya Dome on October 2 to formally announce his decision to retire after the season.
Notes from the interview:
Hitoki Iwase entered the game in the ninth inning against the Hanshin Tigers at Nagoya Dome on September 28 and became the first pitcher in NPB history to appear in 1,000 games. He also picked up a save, his third of the year and 407th of his career.0 Comments
According to a report by Tokyo Sports, forty-three-year-old Hitoki Iwase and forty-one-year-old Masahiro Araki are planning to retire at the end of the season. Both players are expected to remain in the organization, Iwase as a pitching coach and Araki as an infield/base coach. The Dragons could schedule a retirement game for Araki some time in March next year during an exhibition game at Nagoya Dome. Iwase’s retirement game will most likely come during the last home game of the season on September 30.
Source: Tokyo Sports 9/26/2018
[UPDATE @ 11:16pm]
Nikkan Sports, Daily Sports, and Sanspo have also posted reports about Iwase and Araki retiring after the season.0 Comments
The Chunichi Dragons announced on March 16 that pitcher/pitching coach Hitoki Iwase and infielder/infield coach Masahiro Araki will no longer be coaches. The team made the decision because the Central League agreement only allows up to eight coaches in the dugout. Iwase and Araki will maintain their duties as coaches.0 Comments
The media learned on September 20 that the Chunichi Dragons are planning to offer forty-two-year-old Hitoki Iwase a contract for the 2018 season. They still feel he can make useful contributions to the team.
Iwase picked up an MVP of the Month Award in June after he went 1-0 with a save, ten holds, and a 0.00 ERA over fourteen games. Through September 19, he was 3-6 with two saves, twenty-six holds, and a 4.79 ERA in fifty games.0 Comments
Hitoki Iwase suffered losses in two consecutive appearances (August 16 vs Yokohama and August 20 vs Hanshin). After his loss on August 20, he asked to be taken off the roster for some time to rest and make adjustments. He was taken off the active roster on August 21 and started his workouts today at Nagoya Stadium.
[UPDATE 8/30 @ 1:08pm]
Iwase is currently slated to pitch in a Ni-gun game against Hanshin on August 31.
Source: Sponichi 8/30/2017
[UPDATE 8/31 @ 5:22pm]
Iwase pitched in a Ni-gun game against Hanshin today. He entered the game in the sixth inning and gave up a two runs over an inning of work. He allowed three hits, walked/hit two, and struck out two.
[UPDATE 9/8 @ 2:00am]
Iwase joined the Ichi-gun team for workouts at Nagoya Dome on September 7.
Source: Nikkan Sports 9/7/2017
[UPDATE 9/8 @ 5:41pm]
Iwase told reporters he was able to make the adjustments he wanted to make and was ready to pitch.
[UPDATE 9/10 @ 9:43pm]
Iwase returned to the active roster today.0 Comments
Hitoki Iwase, Chunichi (Second Time)
14 G, 1-0, 1 Sv, 10 HD, 11.2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 11 SO, 0 ER
Iwase won the MVP of the Month Award for the second time during his career. He won his first award in April 2005. He pitched in fourteen games in June and did not allow any runs to score. He led the league with ten holds and he picked up a save against Yomiuri at Tokyo Dome on June 23. The save was his first in three years. A Chunichi player has now won an MVP of the Month award three months straight. Iwase is the first Chunichi pitcher to win the award since Shunta Wakamatsu in August 2015.
Yoshihiro Maru, Hiroshima (First Time)
21 G, .402 AVG, 33 H, 6 HR, 22 RBI
Maru won the award for the first time in his ten-year career. He played in all his teams games in the month of June. He led the league in batting average, hits, and RBI. He blasted home runs in three consecutive plate appearances on June 16 against Softbank at Mazda Stadium. Maru is the first Hiroshima player to win the award since Ryosuke Kikuchi in August 2016.
Ken Togame, Seibu (First Time)
4 G, 3-0, 23.1 IP, 3.09 ERA, 18 SO, 8 ER
Togame pitched in four games in June. His three wins as a started was tied for most in the league. He gave up two runs over six innings against Hiroshima on June 1 and Yomiuri June 8. He did not record a decision when he gave up two runs over 5.1 innings against Hanshin on June 15. He allowed two runs over six innings and picked up his third win of the month on June 24 against Softbank. A Seibu player has won the award seventy-one ties, tied for most in the league with Orix and Nippon Ham.
Yuki Yanagita, Softbank (Fourth Time)
23 G, .363 AVG, 29 H, 12 HR, 31 RBI, 2 SB
Yanagita batted third and fourth and played in all twenty-three of his team’s games. He led the league in home runs, RBI, R, TB (72), SLG (.900), OBP (.480), RISP (.500). Yanagita won the award in May 2014, August 2015, and September 2015.
Source: NPB 7/7/20170 Comments
Hitoki Iwase jammed his left ring finger during fielding practices on January 1. He told reporters he was examined at a hospital and diagnosed with a bruise. He did not do anything throwing on January 2.
[UPDATE 2/3 @ 11:12pm]
Iwase was feeling better today and resumed throwing exercises and played catch at a distance of about forty meters.0 Comments
Iwase will donate the ball, cleats, and cap he wore when he pitched in his 950th career game to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Tokyo. The items will go on display on September 27.
Source: Nikkan Sports 9/26/2017
August 16, 2017 vs Yokohama at Yokohama – Iwase appeared in his forty-eighth game of the year and tied the NPB record for appearances in a season by a pitcher over forty. He tied the record set by Tadashi Wakabayashi in 1948.
Source: Sponichi 8/16/2017
August 20, 2017 vs Hanshin at Nagoya Dome – Iwase pitched in his forty-ninth game of the year and set a new NPB record for most appearances in a season by a pitcher over forty.
Source: Daily Sports 8/20/2017
Forty-one-year-old Hitoki Iwase spoke to reporters about his plans for next season and said that he was keeping an open mind and no longer felt it made sense to worry so much about it. He also said he felt stronger as he slowly increased his workload.
Source: Daily Sports 9/25/20160 Comments