Yuki Yanagita hit for the cycle (home run in the first, single in the fourth, double in the fifth, and triple in the eighth) during a game against the Nippon Ham Fighters at Sapporo Dome on April 21. Sixty-five players have now hit for the cycle seventy times in NPB history (thirty-two players and thirty-three times in the Pacific League). Yanagita is the first player in the NPB to hit for the cycle since Kosuke Fukudome on July 30, 2016; the first in the Pacific League since Julio Zuleta on September 22, 2007; and the first Hawk since Arihito Muramatsu on July 1, 2003.
The Softbank Hawks and Nippon Ham Fighters announced on April 18 that they reached an agreement on a trade. The Fighters will send thirty-two-year-old Tomoya Ichikawa to the Hawks for cash considerations.
Softbank assigned Ichikawa the uniform number 30.0 Comments
Seiichi Uchikawa was hit by a pitch near his right knee during his at bat in the seventh inning of a game against the Rakuten Eagles at YafuOku Dome on April 18. He had to be helped off the field and was replaced by a pinch-runner. He is considered day-to-day.0 Comments
Akira Nakamura hurt his right hamstring while running the bases in the sixth inning of a game against the Rakuten Eagles on April 17. He was examined at a hospital in Fukuoka today and diagnosed with a mild injury to his biceps femoris that will require two to three weeks for a full recovery.
[UPDATE 4/18 @ 9:52pm]
Nakamura was taken off the active roster today. He told reporters his goal was to make a return as soon as possible, perhaps even after ten days.0 Comments
Kimiyasu Kudo decided to give Dennis Sarfate the night off on April 17 because the closer was having issues with his legs. There are some questions about when the issues started. Kudo indicated that Sarfate might have developed some tightness in his legs after pitching on a lower and softer mound during a game at a rural stadium on April 15. The closer also missed a game on April 10 for allergies, but someone connected to the team also expressed concern for the veteran’s legs.
[UPDATE 4/18 @ 10:10pm]
Sarafate was taken off the active roster today. He spoke to the media and said that he received permission from the Hawks to return to the US for a second opinion. He is not sure how much time he will miss.
Sarfarte first started feeling some tightness in his hips during a game against the Rakuten Eagles at Rakuten Seimei Park on April 7. It still felt strange when he pitched against on April 8. When he went to the hospital on April 10, the media was informed it was for allergies, even though he was there getting an MRI (he told reporters the misinformation was his idea because he did not want opponents to take advantage of his condition).0 Comments
Thirty-two-year-old Ryuma Kidokoro earned his international free agent option on April 15 with nine years of service time on the active roster. He is in the final year of a two-year contract.0 Comments
Sho Iwasaki has not pitched in a game since April 1 due to problems with his right elbow. Sources close to the situation have told the media that doctors found loose cartilage in his elbow a few years ago. There is now a chance he will need surgery to treat the condition.
Iwasaki visited a hospital in Kanagawa for tests on April 5. He was taken off the active roster on April 9. The Softbank Hawks will wait to see if his condition improves with rest. If there is no change, he will most likely go under the knife.
[UPDATE 4/13 @ 12:49am]
The Hawks announced on April 12 that Iwasaki had surgery on his right elbow at a hospital in Kanagawa. He will most likely require about three months for a full recovery.0 Comments
Kodai Senga was taken off the active roster today with tightness in his right elbow. The Softbank Hawks decided to give him extra rest by skipping him once in the rotation.
[UPDATE 4/9 @ 10:53pm]
Pitching coach Shinji Kurano told reporters today that Senga’s condition was not serious and that they were planning to skip him once in the rotation. He also said that if the team had a full schedule this week (five games instead of six), they might have kept him on the active roster. Senga is currently traveling with the team.0 Comments
Ryuhei Kuki hurt his right hand during a San-gun game against Kochi (Shikoku Island League) on April 1. The Softbank Hawks announced today that Kuki had surgery on his right thumb at a hospital in Fukuoka on April 2. He will remain in the hospital for a week to ten days and will likely require two to three months for a full recovery.0 Comments
The Softbank Hawks announced today that they signed thirty-six-year-old Dennis Sarfate to a three-year contract extension. The extension, including performance bonuses, could be worth around two billion yen.
Sarfate is currently in the final year of a three-year contract. He is set to earn his domestic free agent option some time this season and will turn forty during the final year of his contract. He is twenty-one saves away from 250.0 Comments