Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles (東北楽天ゴールデンイーグルス)

Rakuten Eagles’ Motohiro Shima likely headed to new team

The media is reporting that there is a good chance thirty-four-year-old catcher Motohiro Shima will be leaving the Rakuten Eagles. General manager Kazuhisa Ishii told reporters that the organization had no choice but to make a low offer based on performance and, perhaps more importantly, would be unable to provide the veteran with an opportunity to become an everyday player. If Shima does end up leaving the Tohoku region, the Eagles are hoping he will consider a return as coach when he retires.

Shima was limited to a career low fifty-seven games this season due to lower back pain and a decision to go with younger players.

Source: Sponichi 10/7/2019, Nikkan Sports 10/7/2019, Daily Sports 10/7/2019, Sports Hochi 10/7/2019

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[3/22/2019] Rakuten Eagles add Luis Jimenez to seventy-man roster

The Rakuten Eagles announced that they added Luis Jimenez to their seventy-man roster. His uniform number will change from 124 to 99.

Source: Rakuten 3/22/2019, Sponichi 3/22/2019, Daily Sports 3/22/2019, Sports Hochi 3/22/2019


[3/8/2019] Takahiro Norimoto to have elbow cleaned out

The Rakuten Eagles announced that Takahiro Norimoto will have his right elbow cleaned out at a hospital in Tokyo on March 11. Norimoto decided to have the surgery after he was examined at a hospital earlier this month. A timetable for his recovery will be released after he goes under the knife.

Source: Sports Hochi 3/8/2019, Nikkan Sports 3/8/2019, Sponichi 3/8/2019, Daily Sports 3/8/2019, Daily Sports 3/8/2019, ZakZak 3/8/2019, Sanspo 3/8/2019

[UPDATE 3/13 @ 11:07am]

The Eagles announced on March 12 that Norimoto had surgery on his elbow on March 11 and will require about four months for a full recovery.

Source: Rakuten 3/12/2019, Daily Sports 3/12/2019, Sponichi 3/13/2019, Nikkan Sports 3/12/2019


[3/2/2019] Kazuki Tanaka twists right ankle during Lamigo game in Taiwan

Kazuki Tanaka hurt his right ankle during an exhibition game against the Lamigo Monkeys (CPBL) on March 1. He was chasing after a ball in right during the sixth inning when he hurt his right ankle. He had difficulty walking and had to be taken off the field on a stretcher. He was able to walk on his own when the team returned to their hotel after the game. The Rakuten Eagles are not too concerned. There is a good chance he will not be able to participate in the upcoming Samurai Japan series against Mexico (March 9, 10).

Source: Daily Sports 3/1/2019, Daily Sports 3/2/2019, Sports Hochi 3/1/2019, Sponichi 3/1/2019, Sponichi 3/1/2019, Nikkan Sports 3/1/2019, Nikkan Sports 3/2/2019

[UPDATE @ 10:42pm]

The NPB announced that Orix’s Koji Oshiro will replace Tanaka on the Samurai Japan roster.

Source: Samurai Japan 3/4/2019, Sponichi 3/4/2019, Sports Hochi 3/4/2019, Daily Sports 3/4/2019, Nikkan Sports 3/4/2019


[2/22/2019] Rakuten Eagles reach Ikusei agreement with Luis Jimenez

The Rakuten Eagles announced that they reached an agreement to sign thirty-one-year-old Luis Jimenez to an Ikusei contract. They also gave him the uniform number 124.

Source: Rakuten 2/22/2019, Nikkan Sports 2/22/2019, Sports Hochi 2/22/2019, Sponichi 2/22/2019, Sanspo 2/22/2019, Daily Sports 2/22/2019

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[2/8/2019] Takero Okaijma to have shoulder surgery

Takero Okaijma is planning to have surgery on his left shoulder some time earlier next week. He will most likely require about six months for a full recovery.

Okajima was examined at a hospital in Chiba on February 6 and joined Ni-gun camp in Kumejima on February 8. He has had problems with his shoulder since he dislocated it during a game against Orix on July 23, 2017.

Source: Sanspo 2/8/2019

[UPDATE 2/13 @ 10:46am]

Okajima went under the knife at a hospital in Chiba on February 12. The procedure lasted about two hours and was complete in the morning. He will most likely require over six months for a full recovery.

Source: Sanspo 2/13/2019, Nikkan Sports 2/13/2019, Sponichi 2/13/2019, Daily Sports 2/13/2019. (added additional sources on 2/14 @ 1:17am)


[2/3/2019] Rakuten Eagles to give Luis Jimenez a look during spring camp

The Rakuten Eagles announced that they are going to take a look at thirty-one-year-old Luis Jimenez during Kumejima spring camp. He joined Ni-gun camp on February 3 and will move to Ichi-gun for two days beginning on February 7. The Eagles see Jimenez as insurance for Zelous Wheeler and Jabari Blash.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/3/2019, Nikkan Sports 2/3/2019, Daily Sports 2/3/2019, Daily Sports 2/3/2019, Sports Hochi 2/3/2019

[UPDATE 2/8 @ 11:36pm]

Jimenez’s tryout ended today. The Eagles are interested but still want more time to evaluate his talent and could offer him an Ikusei contract to start.

Source: Daily Sports 2/8/2019, Sports Hochi 2/8/2019, Sponichi 2/8/2019, Nikkan Sports 2/8/2019


[1/31/2019] Toshiaki Imae diagnosed with central serous chorioretinopathy

Toshiaki Imae was examined at a hospital in Sendai on January 29 after complaining of problems with his right eye. He was later diagnosed with central serous chorioretinopathy. Imae will remain in Sendai until he is ready to join the others in Okinawa.

Source: Sanspo 1/30/2019, Nikkan Sports 1/30/2019, Sponichi 1/30/2019, Daily Sports 1/30/2019


[1/9/2019] Hirohito Shimai to miss three months with tibial stress fracture

The Rakuten Eagles announced that Hirohito Shimai had surgery to treat a stress fracture in his left tibia at a hospital in Chiba on December 10, 2018. He will most likely require about three months for a full recovery.

Source: Nikkan Sports 1/9/2019, Sports Hochi 1/9/2019, Sponichi 1/9/2019


Hiroki Kondo (Rakuten): Did You Know

Relationships & Family


December 26 – The Rakuten Eagles announced that Kondo (23) filed marriage papers with a twenty-three-year-old woman from Kyoto on December 25.

Source: Rakuten 12/26/2018, Sponichi 12/26/2018