Kenji Akashi was taken to a hospital in an ambulance on February 27 because of back pain. Akashi skipped workouts before a practice game against Lotte because of issues with his lower back. He was planning to leave the stadium during the game, but the condition of his back got worse and he was unable to walk. He was later taken to a hospital in Miyazaki and diagnosed with acute lower back pain.
[UPDATE 3/3 @ 3:15am]
The Softbank Hawks announced on March 2 that Akashi was discharged from the hospital.
Source: Nikkan Sports 3/2/20180 Comments
Kenji Akashi spoke to reporters after fall camp practice on November 13 and indicated that he was not going to use his domestic free agent option. He said even though he wanted to talk to other teams, he decided to stay because he wanted to play for a strong team and felt there was still something for him to accomplish with the Softbank Hawks.
[UPDATE 11/14 @ 3:34pm]
The Softbank Hawks may have offered Akashi a multi-year deal.
Akashi earned his domestic option in May. The Hawks reportedly asked him to stay in June.
[UPDATE 12/20 @ 3:05am]
Akashi signed a three-year contract on December 19 that will be worth an estimated 100 million yen in 2018 (up forty-five million yen from this season).
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Thirty-one-year-old Kenji Akashi earned his domestic free agent option earlier this year in May. The media learned on November 4 that there is a chance he might exercise the option. He is open to staying with the Softbank Hawks, but he is also interested in testing the free agent market. A number of teams, including Lotte, could be interested in his services.
Source: Sponichi 11/5/20170 Comments
Thirty-one-year-old Kenji Akashi earned his domestic free agent option today with eight years of service time on the active roster.0 Comments
Kenji Akashi crashed into teammate Shuhei Fukuda during infield workouts on February 12 and tweaked his neck. He resumed batting practice on February 15. He told reporters his neck felt better and that he was fine.0 Comments
The Softbank Hawks announced the following uniform number changes on December 14:
Source: Softbank announcement0 Comments
Kenji Akashi was taken off the active roster on March 28 because of pain in his right shoulder. He has only played in a handful of Ni-gun games because his shoulder has been slow to recover (his last official Ni-gun game was on April 24). He is scheduled to resume playing at Ni-gun during an upcoming two-game Chunichi series that begins on July 11.
Source: Nikkan Sports 7/10/20160 Comments