Itoi, Yoshio 糸井 嘉男 (いとい・よしお)
Hanshin Tigers | #7 | OF
Born: 07/30/1981 (age 36)
Height: 187cm
Weight: 88kg
Bats: L
Throws: R
Blood Type: A
Hometown: Kyoto
Draft: 2003, Jiyuu
History: 宮津高-近大-日本ハム-オリックス

[9/23/2017] Yoshio Itoi leaves gave after hurting hand

Yoshio Itoi left tonight’s game against the Yakult Swallows at Jingu Stadium after he hurt his right hand. The incident took place in the bottom of the sixth inning when he attempted to catch a ball with a runner on first and two out. Both Itoi and second baseman Kai Ueda raced to catch the ball. Ueda turned away at the last minute. Itoi may have been distracted by Ueda and temporarily took his eye off the ball. Instead of making the catch, the ball hit Itoi directly on his right hand.

Itoi finished out the inning, but was replaced by a pinch-hitter in the top of the seventh. He was taken to a hospital for tests.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/23/2017



[7/17/2017] Yoshio Itoi hurts right side on swing

Yoshio Itoi hurt his right side during an at bat in the fifth inning of tonight’s game against the Hiroshima Carp at Koshien Stadium. Itoi swung and missed at a 2-1 pitch and grabbed his right side. A Hanshin trainer popped out of the dugout to check on the veteran. Itoi left the field for treatment but did not return. He was replaced by Shun Takayama.

Source: Sponichi 7/17/2017, Daily Sports 7/17/2017, Tokyo Sports 7/17/2017, Nikkan Sports 7/17/2017



[6/9/2017] Yoshio Itoi tweaks left hamstring

Yoshio Itoi was replaced by a pinch-runner after he led off the sixth inning with a single to center during tonight’s game against the Softbank Hawks at YafuOku Dome. He and a team trainer were later seen leaving the stadium. He had an ice pack wrapped around his left hamstring.

Source: Nikkan Sports 6/9/2017, Sponichi 6/9/2017, Tokyo Sports 6/9/2017, Sports Hochi 6/9/2017, Daily Sports 6/9/2017

[UPDATE 6/10 @ 10:45pm]

Itoi was diagnosed with a mild strain in his left hamstring. He will remain on the active roster for the time being.

Source: Tokyo Sports 6/10/2017, Nikkan Spor1ts 6/10/207Nikkan Sports 6/10/2017, Daily Sports 6/10/2017, Sponichi 6/10/2017

[UPDATE 6/13 @ 2:36pm]

Itoi might not be ready to return to the starting line-up until after Inter-league play ends. He had a follow-up exam on June 12 to check his progress.

Source: Sanspo 6/13/2017


[5/3/2017] Yoshio Itoi leaves game early as a precaution

Yoshio Itoi banged up his legs while sliding into home plate during today’s game against the Yakult Swallows at Jingu Stadium. The incident took place in the top of the eighth inning. Itoi was a runner at third and slid hard into Yuhei Nakamura. He was removed from the game on defense in the bottom of the eighth as a precaution.

On a side note: Tomoaki Kanemoto felt Nakamura deserved a warning because he unnecessarily blocked home plate.

Source: Tokyo Sports 5/3/2017, Sports Hochi 5/3/2017


Yoshio Itoi: Did You Know

Itoi told a reporter that he tried to skip practices often when he was a student. In college, he tried to skip practices to play Pachinko by saying he was going to get physical therapy. He spent the most amount of time practicing when he converted over from pitcher to position player in 2006.

When Itoi was in elementary school, he enjoyed soccer. He wanted to become a soccer player up until the time his father forced him to join a baseball team when he was in middle school.

Source: Tokyo Sports 4/12/2017


June 2, 2017 vs Nippon Ham at Koshien Stadium – Itoi became the Hanshin Tigers’ ninety-ninth designated hitter in franchise history.

Source: Nikkan Sports 6/2/2017

June 18, 2017 vs Rakuten at Koshien Stadium – Itoi recorded a hit as a pinch-hitter for the first time in his career.

Source: Sponichi 6/19/2017

August 30, 2017 vs Yakult at Koshien Stadium – Itoi recorded the first walk-off home run of his career. He still has not recorded a grand slam or a pinch-hit home run. He and Tommy Cruz (120 home runs) were the only hitters with over 100 home runs not to have a walk-off, bases loaded, or pinch-hit home run during their careers.

Itoi is also the third player to join the Tigers via free agency and hit a walk-off home run in their first year with the team. The other two: Atsushi Kataoka on September 22, 2002 against Hiroshima and Takahiro Arai on April 30, 2008 against Yakult.

Source: Nikkan Sports 8/31/2017, Nikkan Sports 8/31/2017Sponichi 8/31/2017, Sanspo 8/31/2017


[4/2/2017] Yoshio Itoi leaves game early

Yoshio Itoi was hit by a pitch during today’s game against the Hiroshima Carp and was pulled early because of swelling.

With a runner on second and one out in the top of the fifth inning, Hiroshima’s Aren Kuri hit Itoi near his right elbow with a 139 km/h fastball. The thirty-five-year-old stayed in the game for the bottom of the fifth, but did not take the field in the bottom of the sixth.

Tomoaki Kanemoto told reporters after the game that he pulled Itoi because of swelling. The veteran outfielder is considered day-to-day.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/2/2017, Tokyo Sports 4/2/2017


[2/21/2017] Yoshio Itoi hit by a batted ball

Yoshio Itoi suffered a bruise when a batted ball him in the right arm.

Itoi was running poles in the outfield during batting practice on February 21. While he was in right, a ball by Kosuke Fukudome struck him on the right arm. A couple of trainers quickly checked on Itoi. The thirty-five-year-old outfielder did not play catch or take batting practice after the incident. He suffered a minor bruise.

Source: Daily Sports 2/21/2017, Sports Hochi 2/21/2017, Nikkan Sports 2/21/2017



[1/24/2017] Yoshio Itoi has inflamation in right knee

The Hanshin Tigers announced today that Yoshio Itoi developed discomfort in his right knee during his off-season workouts. He was examined by a team doctor and diagnosed with inflammation in his right knee. He is expected to attend Ichi-gun spring camp next month, but will take things slow until he is feeling better.

Source: Tokyo Sports 1/24/2017, Daily Sports 1/24/2017, Sponichi 1/24/2017, Nikkan Sports 1/24/2017

[UPDATE 2/22 @ 11:49pm]

Itoi took thirty-nine swings during live batting practice today and hit nine over the fence, including one to right that traveled about 140 meters. He also played catch at a distance of about fifty meters.

Source: Daily Sports 2/22/2017

[UPDATE 3/11 @ 11:11pm]

Itoi told reporters on March 10 that he thought he could probably go at full speed without experiencing any discomfort. He might be able play in his first game on March 14 against Orix at Kyocera Dome, most likely at designated hitter.

Source: Daily Sports 3/11/2017, Nikkan Sports 3/11/2017

[UPDATE 3/15 @ 1:36am]

Itoi’s first exhibition game of the year was pushed back a day to March 15. It was apparently never his intention to play on March 14.

Source: Sports Hochi 3/14/2017, Tokyo Sports 3/14/2017


[11/21/2016] Yoshio Itoi to sign with the Hanshin Tigers

According to reports by the media, thirty-five-year-old outfielder Yoshio Itoi met Orix Buffaloes’ team official Hiroyuki Nagamura at a hotel in Osaka on November 21. He thanked the organization for the last four years and said he wanted to play for another team.

The Hanshin Tigers announced today that they reached an agreement with Itoi. They released the following comment from him:

After thinking things over, I have decided to join the Hanshin Tigers. I struggled with the decision every day. I grew a lot over the four years I was with Orix. I get emotional when I think about the teammates I played with and the organization that worked hard to create a positive work environment for me. And above all, I am very grateful to the fans that supported me no matter how bad things got. Despite all those things, I still decided [to leave] because I felt the only way I could grow as a baseball player was to change my environment and take on the challenges of playing for a new team. But the biggest factor that pushed me to join the Hanshin Tigers was Tomoaki Kanemoto’s passion. I will do my best to fit in with the Tigers and gain the support of the fans. I will also do my best to help Kanemoto-kanto win a championship.

Source: Hanshin announcement, Sponichi 11/21/2016

[UPDATE 11/22 @ 10:26pm]

The two sides may have agreed to a four-year deal worth a total 1.8 billion yen.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/22/2016

[UPDATE 11/23 @ 11:31am]

Kanemoto is currently planning to use Itoi in center with Kosuke Fukudome in right. Itoi has started 573 games in right and 441 games in center. His last start in center came on June 11, 2015 against Yakult at Kyocera Dome. Fukudome was an option at first, but the veteran wants to focus on playing the outfield.

Source: Daily Sports 11/23/2016

[UPDATE 11/24 @ 1:44am]

The Orix Buffaloes told the media that if they select player plus money as compensation for losing Itoi, they will not be afraid to take a big-name veteran. They did something similar when they selected Takahiro Mahara when they lost Hayato Terahara to the Softbank Hawks.

The Tigers have a lot of young players on their seventy-man roster. If they want to protect their future, they may have to leave veterans like Takashi Toritani, Kosuke Fukudome, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, and Atsushi Nomi on their list of unprotected players.

Source: Daily Sports 11/22/2016, Nikkan Sports 11/22/2016

[UPDATE 11/25 @ 11:00pm]

The Tigers held a press conference for Itoi at a hotel in Osaka earlier today. Eleven television cameras and over 100 members of the media covered the event. Kanemoto also made an appearance.

Itoi was officially assigned the uniform number seven.

Source: Hanshin announcement, Daily Sports 11/25/2016

[UPDATE 11/26 @ 11:38pm]

The NPB official listed the signing on November 25. The Tigers now have until December 9 to submit their list of unprotected players.

The Buffaloes might be looking for a: left-handed pitcher, shortstop, and second baseman. The Buffaloes and Tigers discussed a possible one-for-one trade that would have involved a catcher going to Hanshin in exchange for a left-handed pitcher. If pitchers like Minoru Iwata, Daiki Enokida, and Takumi Akiyama are left unprotected, they might be the perfect target for the Orix.

Source: Sanspo 11/26/2016, ZakZak 11/26/2016

[UPDATE 12/6 @ 6:10pm]

With the Yomiuri Giants interested in Dai-Kang Yoh, the Buffaloes are no longer as sure if they will be able to sign the outfielder. If they miss out on Yoh, they might try to acquire an outfielder through the Tigers.

Source: Daily Sports 12/6/2016, Sponichi 12/6/2016

[UPDATE 12/6 @ 6:21pm]

The Buffaloes received the Tigers’ list of twenty-eight protected players today. They also received news that Yoh will be signing with another team.

Source: Nikkan Sports 12/6/2016Nikkan Sports 12/6/2016

[UPDATE 12/9 @ 9:59pm]

The Buffaloes went over the Tigers’ list during an internal meeting on December 9. They are planning to look into five to six candidates and meet against on December 15.

Source: Daily Sports 12/9/2016

[UPDATE 12/15 @ 3:49pm]

Junichi Fukura told reporters after an organizational meeting today that, based on their current needs, they were probably going to take a pitcher over a position player. He did not mention any names, but did say they were looking at a pitcher in his twenties that can throw in the upper-140s and pitch out of the bullpen.

Source: Sports Hochi 12/15/2016, Daily Sports 12/15/2016

See also:


[2016 Free Agency] Yoshio Itoi Rumors

Date Team Update
@ 04:50
Hanshin The Tigers are reportedly in the final stages of negotiations with Itoi. One of the things still under discussion is where he will be living — his family will remain in Tokyo and he will most likely live out of a hotel. Source: Sanspo 11/18/2016
@ 16:37
If Itoi attends the player’s last meeting of the year on November 21, it could be the perfect time for him to inform his current teammates of his decision. Source: Sports Hochi 11/18/2016
@ 16:33
The Buffaloes have not heard from Itoi, as of November 17. It is uncertain if he has plans to attend the Orix player’s last meeting of the year on November 21. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/18/2016
@ 02:36
Hanshin Tomoaki Kanemoto sees Itoi as a possible number two hitter. Source: Sponichi 11/15/2016, Nikkan Sports 11/15/2016
@ 01:26
Hanshin The Tigers are not planning to provide the media with daily reports on how negotiations with Itoi are going. They will only give updates as needed. Source: Sponichi 11/13/2016
@ 15:48
Hanshin Itoi’s meeting with the Tigers started at noon and lasted about an hour. He was most likely offered a deal similar to the four-years, 1.8 billion made by Orix. Source: Chunichi Sports 11/12/2016
@ 22:42
Hanshin Itoi dyed his hair black when he filed his free agent papers on November 7. He showed up to today’s meeting with Hanshin with his hair a little more brown. The meeting last about fifty-five minutes. Source: Sports Hochi 11/11/2016
@ 22:35
Hanshin Kansai University Professor Emeritus Katsuhiro Miyamoto estimates the economic impact for the Kansai region of Itoi signing with Hanshin to be about 4.93 billion yen over a period of one-year, assuming the team is competitive through to the end of August. Source: Daily Sports 11/11/2016
@ 17:37
Hanshin The Tigers were originally planning to work out an agreement around a three-year contract, but they told reporters on November 10 that they planned to make Itoi a competitive offer, similar to what the Buffaloes proposed. Source: Sanspo 11/11/2016, Sanspo 11/11/2016
@ 14:15
Hanshin The Tigers met Itoi at a hotel in Osaka today. Team official Eiichi Takano and Manager Kanemoto attended the meeting that lasted about an hour. Itoi told reporters he still needed more time to think about his options. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/11/2016
@ 17:30
Hanshin The Tigers contacted Itoi a minute after his name was posted by the commissioner’s office and scheduled a meeting at a hotel in Osaka for November 11. Tomoaki Kanemoto is also scheduled to attend the meeting. Source: Daily Sports 11/10/2016

Orix’s Last Offer: four years 1.8 billion yen
2016 Salary: 280 million yen

See also: