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).
[UPDATE @ 10:42pm]
The NPB announced that Orix’s Koji Oshiro will replace Tanaka on the Samurai Japan roster.0 Comments
Lead-off Home Runs
July 21 vs Seibu at MetLife Dome – Tanaka blasted the first grand slam of his career (sixth inning off Shota Takekuma).
August 1 vs Orix at Kyocera Dome – Tanaka joined Eigoro Mogi (seventeen in 2017) and Hiroaki Shimauchi (fourteen in 2017) as the only Rakuten lifers to hit ten or more home runs in a season when he blasted his tenth home run of the year in the third inning off Andrew Albers. He recorded the first two-homer game of his career when he connected in the eighth off Taisuke Kondo.
Tanaka’s two home runs came from different sides of the plate (from the right side off Albers and from the left side off Kondo) and made him the eighteenth player in NPB history (accomplished forty-one times), fourteenth player in Pacific League history (accomplished thirty-four times), and second player in Eagles history (behind Fernando Seguignol in 2008 and 2009) to hit home runs from both sides of the plate in the same game. He also became just the eighth Japanese player to accomplish the feat, behind Hiromi Matsunaga (six times), Yoshihiko Takahashi (one time), Kazuyuki Shirai (one time), Kazuo Matsui (three times), Tatsuhiko Kinjo (three times), and Shogo Akada (one time).
August 28 vs Seibu at Maebashi – Tanaka recorded the second lead-off home run of his career (first inning, off Shinsaburo Tawata).
Source: Sports Hochi 8/28/2018
September 29 vs Nippon Ham at Rakuten Seimei – Tanaka notched the first walk-off hit of his career (tied at one, tenth inning, runners on first and second, two out, RBI single to right Takahiro Fujioka). He was also responsible for tying the game at one in the fifth inning.0 Comments
The Rakuten Eagles announced today that they will send three players and a coach to the Asia Winter Baseball League in Taiwan this year.
Source: Rakuten 10/19/20170 Comments