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

[9/6/2018] Nippon Ham – Rakuten September 7 game postponed

Hokkaido was hit by a magnitude 6.7 earthquake on September 6. At least nine people are dead, thirty-one are missing, and over 150 are injured. The earthquake also caused power outages.

The Nippon Ham Fighters reported that everyone in their organization was safe and accounted for. The Rakuten Eagles and Fighters announced that their game at Rakuten Seimei on September 7 was postponed due to travel issues (the airport in Hokkaido was closed). The game will be played on September 10.

The Pacific League is evaluating the Fighters’ schedule to see if any changes are needed for games beyond September 10.

Source: Rakuten 9/6/2018, Nippon Ham Tweet 9/6/2018, Sponichi 9/6/2018, Daily Sports 9/6/2018


[9/1/2018] Frank Herrmann to miss two weeks with thigh inflammation

Frank Herrmann was examined at a hospital in Sendai on August 30 and diagnosed with inflammation the left adductor longus and semitendinosus muscles. He will need about two weeks for a full recovery.

Source: Nikkan Sports 8/31/2018, Sports Hochi 8/31/2018, Daily Sports 8/31/2018


Kenji Nishimaki: Did You Know



August 28 vs Seibu – Nishimaki recorded the first modasho of his career (3-for-5: 1B9, G6, 1B9, 1B7, Ks).

Source: Daily Sports 8/28/2018, Nikkan Sports 8/28/2018


[8/20/2018] Kazuhisa Ishii joins Rakuten Eagles as General Manager

The Rakuten Eagles announced today that they hired forty-four-year-old Kazuhisa Ishii to be their general manager, effective September 1. Ishii will become the first former player with MLB experience to become a general manager in the NPB. A press conference is scheduled for the 27th.

Source: Rakuten 8/20/2018, Sports Hochi 8/20/2018, Sponichi 8/20/2018, Rakuten 8/20/2018, Daily Sports 8/20/2018


[8/14/2018] Takayuki Kishi taken off active roster with knee inflammation

Takayuki Kishi was pulled from his start on August 11 after just one inning because of discomfort in his leg. Kishi apparently felt the discomfort in his leg before the start.

Kishi was taken to a hospital in Sendai for tests and was diagnosed with a mild case of pes anserinus tendinitis. He was taken off the active roster on August 12.

Source: Sports Hochi 8/11/2018, Sports Hochi 8/12/2018, Nikkan Sports 8/12/2018, Daily Sports 8/12/2018, Sponichi 8/12/2018, Sanspo 8/11/2018, Sanspo 8/12/2018


[8/9/2018] Japhet Amador suspended for six months

The NPB announced that they issued Japhet Amador a six-month suspension for violating their performance-enhancing drug policy.

Amador was part of a group of players that was tested at Rakuten Seimei Park on June 13, 2018. His results tested positive for chlortalidone and furosemide. The drugs are listed under WADA’s prohibited diuretics and masking agents. Amador denied intentionally taking the drugs during an interview with Rakuten personnel on July 30. His samples were retested on August 1 with no change in results.

The Rakuten Eagles notified the NPB of the results and the NPB’s Anti Doping Committee finalized their ruling on August 8.

Amador’s was given a six-month suspension (August 9, 2018 until February 8, 2019). Rakuten is currently awaiting the results of more recent tests to see if there are any changes.

The Eagles released the following statement from Amador:

I have never used performance-enhancing drugs. I have also never intentionally taken any banned substances.

I have never used stimulants or muscle enhancing agents and have never considered using diuretics or masking agents.

I have taken many tests in the past and they were all negative.

I am very surprised at the positive results from this recent test. I am concerned because I have no recollection of taking the drugs.

I am fully cooperating with investigations to discover the cause.

I apologize for worrying everyone.

Source: NPB 8/9/2018, Rakuten 8/9/2018

[UPDATE 8/22 @ 10:40pm]

The media learned today that the Eagles filed an appeal with the NPB because they need more time to complete their investigation (today was the deadline to file). They are in the process of putting together a time line and re-testing Amador to see if they can figure out what exactly happened. The Eagles will have until September 4 to make a case.

Source: ZakZak 8/22/2018, Sports Hochi 8/22/2018, Daily Sports 8/22/2018, Sponichi 8/22/2018, Sanspo 8/22/2018, Nikkan Sports 8/22/2018


[8/4/2018] Kazuya Fujita diagnosed with bruised ribs

Kazuya Fujita banged the left side of his chest while sliding head-first into third base in the eighth inning of a game against the Chiba Lotte Marines on August 3. He was removed from the game and taken to a hospital in Sendai. He was diagnosed with a bruised rib (fifth rib on the left side) and will require about four weeks for a full recovery. He was taken off the active roster on August 4.

Source: Sponichi 8/4/2018, Daily Sports 8/4/2018, Sports Hochi 8/4/2018, Sports Hochi 8/4/2018


[8/3/2018] Manabu Mima taken off active roster with elbow tightness

Manabu Mima is still having problems with his right elbow.  He first developed some tightness in the elbow after a start against Lotte on July 17. His condition was not serious (some inflammation) and the Rakuten Eagles removed him from the active roster and skipped him once in the rotation. Mima’s next start came on August 2 against Orix. He pitched five innings and later complained of a different kind of tightness in the elbow.

The Eagles took Mima off the active roster again on August 3. He is expected to undergo additional tests as a precaution.

Source: Sports Hochi 8/3/2018, Jiji 8/3/2018, Sanspo 8/3/2018, Daily Sports 8/3/2018

[UPDATE 8/16 @ 8:20pm]

Thee Eagles announced today that Mima had his right elbow cleaned at a hospital in Kanagawa. He will require about three months for a full recovery.

Source: Rakuten 8/16/2018, Nikkan Sports 8/16/2018, Sponichi 8/16/2018, Daily Sports 8/16/2018


[8/3/2018] Japhet Amador taken off active roster

Japhet Amador was taken off the active roster on August 3 with pain/discomfort in his right side.

Source: Jiji 8/3/2018, Sports Hochi 8/3/2018, Daily Sports 8/3/2018, Sanspo 8/3/2018


[7/26/2018] Rakuten Eagles agree to add Ryota Ishibashi to seventy-man roster

The Rakuten Eagles announced today that they are going to add twenty-seven-year-old Ikusei pitcher Ryota Ishibashi to their seventy-man roster. His uniform number will change from 028 to 94.

In seventeen Ni-gun games this year, Ishibashi went 1-3 with a 2.09 ERA and thirty-three strikeouts over 51.2 innings of work.

Source: Rakuten 7/26/2018, Sports Hochi 7/26/2018, Sponichi 7/26/2018, Nikkan Sports 7/26/2018