Hiroki Kokubo was taken off the active roster on Saturday because his neck condition wasn't improving.
"I'm in no condition to play right the way I am right now," said Kokubo. "I can't even really swing the bat. It's a really important time for the team, but I can't help [in the condition I'm in]."
Sadaharu Oh was presented with a Sports Merit Award by Waseda University on on Saturday.
Oh is also hoping that Tsuyoshi Wada decides to stay in Japan, although he also did say that if he had such an option, he probably would have exercised it.
Chiba Lotte Marines
The media learned on Saturday that Ni-gun manager Yoshihiko Takahashi will be stepping down after the end of the season. Regarding Takahashi's replacement, Ichi-gun general coach Michio Aoyama appears to be a candidate.
The fine print: Takahashi is in the final year of a 2-year deal. The Marines liked the job Takahashi was doing, but weren't planning on offering him an extension because they're looking to make changes in the coaching staff as part of their rebuilding process.
Takahashi joined the Lotte organization as an Ichi-gun / Ni-gun roving coach partway through the 2004 season. He was the Ichi-gun batting coach between 2008 and 2009 and made Ni-gun manager in 2010.
The media also learned on Saturday that the Marines are thinking about making Makoto Imaoka a player / coach.
Masahiro Tanaka topped 200 strikeouts (206 strikeouts in 191.1 IP) on Saturday for the first time in his career. He also broke his own franchise record for most strikeouts in a season (previous record of 196 was set in 2007).