The media learned on October 14 that thirty-four-year-old Shinichi Takeuchi is planning to retire. The Yakult Swallows could offer him a job in the organization. An official announcement is expected within the next few days.
Source: Sanspo 10/15/2018, Sponichi 10/15/2018, Nikkan Sports 10/15/2018
[UPDATE 10/16 @ 7:05am]
The Swallows announced on October 15 that Takeuchi is retiring. Takuechi also held a press conference to announce his decision. He will remain in the organization with a staff job.
- This was a difficult year for Takeuchi. He got hurt before opening day and then missed some time around the All-Star break. He had a hard time at Ni-gun because he wanted to stay sharp by practicing, but was also worried about getting hurt. The young players around him also made things difficult for him. All these things combined pushed him toward retirement.
- Takeuchi was unsure about how things were going to turn out the last two or three years.
- Takeuchi jokingly said Norichika Aoki pushed him out of the starting line-up. Aoki’s return meant less time for him at first base because Tomotaka Sakaguchi would also see some playing time at first.
Source: Yakult 10/15/2018, Nikkan Sports 10/15/2018, Daily Sports 10/15/2018, Daily Sports 10/15/2018