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[10/13/2015] Hanshin Tigers: Akihito Fujii to retire

by on Oct.13, 2015 @ 4:19 pm, under NPB
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Akihito Fujii held a press conference at the team offices in Nishinomiya, Hyogo ealier today to announce that he was retiring.

Notes from various sources:

  • He felt a little sad after making his announcement in front of the media.
  • The sadness came from failing to win a championship this year and wanting to play more.
  • He started thinking about retirement a year or two ago. He started getting hurt more so he played each day as if it might be his last. Health was a big issue.
  • He thought he might be able to play a little longer, but after talking things over with his family, he felt retiring in a Hanshin uniform might be the best way to end his career.
  • He spoke to someone in the organization about retiring in September.
  • He told Takashi Toritani he was retiring on September 28.
  • He has a lot of memories from all three teams he played for. He remembers the wins and shutouts he caught.
  • He also remembers the last Kintetsu game on September 24, 2004.
  • When he exercised his FA option in 2010, he thought his career might end because no one seemed interested, until Hanshin reached out to him.
  • He was a Hanshin and Akinobu Mayumi fan growing up.
  • He did not tell Randy Messenger he was going to retire, but the pitcher still found out. He could feel the emotion in Messenger's pitchers.
  • He does not think he was a particularly good catcher, but he does take pride in doing whatever it took to make sure balls in the dirt stayed in front of him.
  • He was once told, by then Kintetsu battery coach Kazuhiko Yamashita, that catcher's have three jobs: catch the ball, stop the ball, throw the ball.
  • He feels he may have been able to do more over his career.
  • He wanted to experience a Nippon Series victory beer/champagne fight.
  • He came over from the Pacific League and was surprised at how many people packed Koshien.
  • He currently has nothing planned after retirement.
  • There are people in the Hanshin organization that are interested in bringing him back as a coach.
  • The Tigers offered to hold a retirement ceremony when the team played Hanshin on October 4, but he felt it might make things awkward for the team, since they were still competing for a spot in the Climax Series. He also wanted to play until the very end.
  • He felt his retirement ceremony took place on September 29 when his family and relatives were in the stands. He was extemely happy when he managed to record a hit in his last at bat, in his last regular season game, in front of his daughter.
  • He is listed ta 170 centimeters, but is really 168. He has a height complex.
  • He would like to spend more time with his family.

Source: official announcement, Nikkan Sports 10/13/2015, Sponichi 10/13/2015, Daily Sports 10/13/2015

[UPDATE 11/6 @ 7:03pm]

The Tigers are going to offer Fujii a job in the organization. They also want him to grow as a coach and plan to send him to the BC League's Fukui Miracle Elephants as a coach-in-training.

Source: Daily Sports 11/6/2015

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[7/29/2014] Injury Report: Ryutaro Umeno (Hanshin), Ryosuke Yagi (Yakult)

by on Jul.30, 2014 @ 12:50 am, under NPB
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Hanshin Tigers

  • Akihito Fujii was taken off the active roster on Tuesday with discomfort in his right elbow.  The Tigers are not sure how long he will be out. Source: Sports Hochi 7/29/2014, Sponichi 7/29/2014
  • Ryutaro Umeno missed the last two games with an injury to his left thumb.  Yutaka Wada told reporters Umeno suffered the injury when he took a foul-tip off the thumb during a game against Hiroshima on the 26th.  Tests did not reveal any broken bones, but there was still some swelling. Source: Sports Hochi 7/29/2014

Chunichi Dragons

  • Hector Luna (right elbow) resumed batting practice on Tuesday and could make it back to the active roster sooner than expected.  He told reporters he wanted to get back to Ichi-gun before August 3. Source: Nikkan Sports 7/29/2014
  • Ryosuke Hirata (left ankle) played in his first Ni-gun rehab game on Tuesday.  He might be okay to return to the active roster for the Yakult series that begins on August 1. Source: Nikkan Sports 7/29/2014

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • Yulieski Gourriel (left side) might be able to return to the active roster on August 12.  Gourriel has already resumed batting practice and could play in his first Ni-gun rehab game on August 8. Source: Sports Hochi 7/29/2014

Yakult Swallows

  • Ryosuke Yagi left Tuesday's game against Hanshin in the 9th with a runner and first and no out because he developed a cramp in his left middle finger.  He was planning to return to the mound after some treatment, but Tony Barnette's name was already called. Source: Sanspo 7/29/2014, Nikkan Sports 7/29/2014

Orix Buffaloes

  • Chihiro Kaneko (fatigue) could return to the active roster in early August. Source: Nikkan Sports 7/29/2014 ... August 2 is a possibility. Source: Sponichi 7/29/2014 ... Kaneko tossed fifteen pitches to a standing catcher in the bullpen on Monday.  It was his first session since the start of the season -- he generally does not do a lot of throwing in the bullpen during the season. Source: Daily Sports 7/29/2014
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[6/10/2014] Injury Report: Dai-Kang Yoh (Nippon Ham), Hayato Sakamoto (Yomiuri)

by on Jun.11, 2014 @ 12:42 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Hirokazu Sawamura (right shoulder) started a Ni-gun game against Nippon Ham on Tuesday.  He gave up a run on four hits over seven innings of work.  He threw eighty-nine pitches and topped out at 150km/h.  He is scheduled to make another Ni-gun start on the 17th against Seibu. Source: Sanspo 6/10/2014 ... The one run he allowed was on a solo home run by Ryo Ishikawa in the 2nd inning. Source: Nikkan Sports 6/10/2014
  • Hayato Sakamoto was left out of the starting line-up on Monday because he was having some problems with his right ankle.  He did make it into the game as a pinch-hitter in the 6th because he can swing the bat, but has difficulty on defense.  He is considered day-to-day. Source: Sports Hochi 6/10/2014

Hanshin Tigers

  • Akihito Fujii (right foot) joined the Ichi-gun team for workouts on Tuesday. Source: Sports Hochi 6/10/2014

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • Dai-Kang Yoh was taken off the active roster on Tuesday because of a laceration he suffered during Monday's game against Chunichi.  Eleven stitches were required to close the cut.  He was reexamined at a hospital in Sapporo on Tuesday.  The stitches are set to come out in ten days.  He will resume workouts as soon as he is ready. Source: Sponichi 6/10/2014, Daily Sports 6/10/2014
  • Shohei Otani tossed a bullpen session on Monday for the first time after he sprained in left ankle.  He told reporters the ankle was fine.  He is still slated to start Wednesday's (6/11) game against the Yomiuri Giants. Source: Sanspo 6/10/2014 ... Otani threw fifty-one pitches in the bullpen on Monday. Source: Sports Hochi 6/10/2014
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[6/5/2014] Injury Report: Hayato Sakamoto, Tetsuya Utsumi (Yomiuri)

by on Jun.06, 2014 @ 1:17 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Hayato Sakamoto suffered a broken nose when a ball he tried to catch on Wednesday glanced off his glove and struck him in the face.  He should be okay to play since the break did not require any surgical work. Source: Nikkan Sports 6/5/2014
  • Tetsuya Utsumi was examined at a hospital in Tokyo on Wednesday and diagnosed with inflammation in his left rotator cuff. Source: Nikkan Sports 6/5/2014 ...  Utsumi worked out at the Ni-gun facilities on Thursday.  He told reporters that there were plenty of things for him to do to stay in shape that did not involve using his injured shoulder. Source: Nikkan Sports 6/5/2014

Hanshin Tigers

  • Tsuyoshi Nishioka participated in Ni-gun pre-game practices at Koshien for the second straight day on Thursday. Source: Sanspo 6/5/2014
  • Akihito Fujii (right foot) is close to being ready to play in his first Ni-gun rehab game.  He took situational fielding practice on Tuesday and joined Ni-gun pre-game practices at Koshien Stadium on Wednesday.  He still has some pain in his foot, but nothing bad enough to keep him from playing in a rehab game to see how things feel. Source: Daily Sports 6/5/2014
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[5/7/2014] Injury Report: Hiromi Oka (Nippon Ham), Kenshin Kawakami (Chunichi)

by on May.08, 2014 @ 3:19 am, under NPB
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Hanshin Tigers

  • Hiroki Uemoto (right thumb) continued his rehab at Naruohama on Tuesday.  If things go well, he could begin outdoor workouts within the next few days. Source: Sanpso 5/7/2014
  • Akihito Fujii (right foot) started taking batting practice against a pitching machine at the Naruohama facilities on Wednesday.  He also did some jogging.  He told reporters he was feeling better everyday. Source: Sanspo 5/7/2014

Chunichi Dragons

  • Kenshin Kawakami felt discomfort in his lower back during pre-game practice on Wednesday and was a late scratch from his start.  Tatsuro Hamada got the emergency start.  Kawakami will be taken off the active roster on Thursday. Source: Nikkan Sports 5/7/2014

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • 3rd round draft pick Hiromi Oka hurt his left foot while running the bases during a Ni-gun game on the 2nd.  He was later diagnosed with a ligament tear in his left ankle.  He will have to keep the foot immobile for about a month. Source: Sponichi 5/7/2014
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[5/3/2014] Injury Report: Hiroki Uemoto, Akihito Fujii (Hanshin), Wladimir Balentien (Yakult)

by on May.04, 2014 @ 2:28 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Shinnosuke Abe got an injection to help with the pain in his neck. Source: Sanspo 5/3/2014

Hanshin Tigers

  • Hiroki Uemoto left Saturday's game against Yakult early because he hurt his right hand.  It is not certain when, but it may have been when he tried to field a ball hit by Yuhei in the 4th inning.  Uemoto was replaced on defense in the 5th and headed to the hospital for an examination before the end of the game. Source: Daily Sports 5/3/2014, Sanspo 5/3/2014
  • Akihito Fujii (right foot) began his rehab at the Naruohama training facilities on Friday.  Workouts included the stationary bike, trunk strengthening exercises, and weight training.  He also played catch at a distance of about ten meters.  Fujii told reporters he was still having a hard time putting weight on the right foot. Source: Daily Sports 5/3/2014

Yakult Swallows

  • Wladimir Balentien has some pain in his left Achilles tendon.  Nothing serious enough to keep him out of the line-up, but something the Swallows will be monitoring closely.  They are also thinking about whether it might help to add some extra padding to his cleats to reduce the strain on his legs. Source: Sanspo 5/3/2014, Sponichi 5/3/2014
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[4/30/2014] Injury Report: Akihito Fujii (HAN), Kila Ka’aihue (HIR), Manabu Mima (RAK)

by on May.01, 2014 @ 4:00 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • The Giants announced Ikusei player Makoto Aoyama had reparative surgery for a muscle tear in his right quadriceps.  Aoyama suffered the injury when he crashed into a fence while chasing after a baseball during a Ni-gun exhibition game on the 10th. Source: Nikkan Sports 4/30/2014

Hanshin Tigers

  • Akihito Fujii hurt his right foot while running the bases during a game against Yokohama on the 25th.  He was taken off the active roster on the 26th and examined at a hospital on the 28th.  He was diagnosed with a bruise on his right plantar muscle. Source: Nikkan Sports 4/30/2014 ... Fujii will most likely require more than ten days for a full recovery.  He will also probably play in a few Ni-gun rehab games before returning to the active roster. Source: Sports Hochi 4/30/2014
  • The Tigers announced on Wednesday that Tsuyoshi Nishioka began rehabbing at the team facilities.  His day included walking in a pool and getting various kinds of treatment. Source: Nikkan Sports 4/30/2014

Hiroshima Carp

  • Kila Ka'aihue (spinal cord concussion) played in a Ni-gun rehab game against Hanshin at Naruohama on Wednesday.  He got the start at first and batted fifth.  He went 2-for-3 with three RBI. Source: Sponichi 4/30/2014 ... Ka'aihue could return to the active roster as early as May 3. Source: Sponichi 4/30/2014

Chunichi Dragons

  • Kazuki Yoshimi is scheduled to pitch in a Ni-gun rehab game against Orix at Nagoya Stadium on Thursday.  He will go one inning. Source: Nikkan Sports 4/30/2014

Rakuten Eagles

  • Manabu Mima took a batted ball off his lower abdomen during a game against Lotte on Tuesday.  He was taken off the active roster on Wednesday because of swelling. Source: Sponichi 4/30/2014
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[4/25/2014] Akihito Fujii (Hanshin), Seiichi Uchikawa (Softbank), Jorge Sosa (Yokohama)

by on Apr.26, 2014 @ 2:40 am, under NPB
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Hanshin Tigers

  • Akihito Fujii hurt his right leg during Friday's game against Yokohama.  He hit a ball off the left field wall in the 5th inning and was replaced by a pinch-runner after he tweaked his leg while rounding first.  He was taken to a hospital in Yokohama for an examination. Source: Sponichi 4/25/2014, Nikkan Sports 4/25/2014

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • Kiyoshi Nakahata watched Jorge Sosa (left leg) throw in the bullpen on Friday.  He told reporters that while Sosa's pitches looked better, he was not planning on adding him back to the active roster until he was capable of pitching on consecutive days. Source: Sponichi 4/25/2014

Chiba Lotte Marines

  • Toshiaki Imae (lower back tightness) could play in a Ni-gun rehab game on Saturday.  Depending on how things go, he could make it back to the active roster some time in May.  The Marines are taking their time with Imae because they want to make sure he is 100 percent when he returns. Source: Daily Sports 4/25/2014Sports Hochi 4/25/2014

Softbank Hawks

  • Seiichi Uchikawa made the starting line-up as the designated hitter on Friday because of discomfort near his right buttock.  He was examined at a Fukuoka hospital on Thursday.  There were no significant problems, other than some inflammation.  Source: Nikkan Sports 4/25/2014

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • Atsunori Inaba visited Sapporo Dome on Friday for the first time since he had surgery on his left knee on April 14.  He provided the team with an update on his progress and did some workouts. Source: Nikkan Sports 4/25/2014
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[9/21/2013] Injury Updates: Abe (YOM), K. Maeda (HIR), Fujii, Yamato, Hifumi (HAN), Nakata (HAM), Kikuchi (SEI)

by on Sep.22, 2013 @ 2:01 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

Shinnosuke Abe was scratched from the starting line-up before Saturday's game because he felt discomfort in his back.  He was examined at a hospital and was diagnosed with shingles running from his right side to his back.  He is considered day-to-day.

"There was nothing this morning, but I started feeling pain all of a sudden right before the game.  This was a first for me and it hurt," Abe said to reporters after he returned to the stadium.

Source: Daily Sports 9/21/2013, Sponichi 9/21/2013, Nikkan Sports 9/21/2013

Chunichi Dragons

Doala (left middle finger fracture) is hoping to turn a back-flip during the last home game of the season on October 5 (vs Yokohama) -- his finger is healing well and the pin will likely be removed next week.

Source: Sanspo 9/21/2013

Hiroshima Carp

Kenta Maeda went to the hospital after leaving the Saturday's game against the Yomiuri Giants because he was not feeling well.  He was diagnosed with tonsillitis.  Kenjiro Nomura told reporters Maeda was feeling under the weather before the game and may have had a fever.  Nomura kept Maeda in the game until the 6th because he had a no-hitter through five.

Source: Sports Hochi 9/21/2013, Daily Sports 9/21/2013

Hanshin Tigers

Akihito Fujii (right calf bruise) resumed outdoor batting practice on Friday.  He took forty-eight swings and collected fourteen could-be hits.  He also chased some baseballs in the outfield.  He is scheduled to play in a Ni-gun rehab game on the 22nd against Orix.  He could return to the active roster as early as the 24th (vs Yokohama at Koshien).

Source: Daily Sports 9/21/2013

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Yamato (right pinky fracture) could play in his first rehab game later this month.  There are four Ni-gun games remaining at Naruohama: practice game against Orix on the 26th, games against Softank on the 28th and 29th, and a practice game against Panasonic (Industrial League) on October 2.  He could also play in a few Phoenix League games (begins October 7).  His goal right now is to make it back to the active roster in time for the Climax Series.

He is already playing catch, taking fielding practice, running the bases, and taking batting practice against a machine that throw curves.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/21/2013

===

Shinta Hifumi wants to participate in the Phoenix League that begins on October 7.

Hifumi suffered an avulsion fracture in his left third cuneiform bone when he crashed into a fence while going after a foul ball during a Ni-gun game against Chunichi on July 14.  His cast has since been removed and he is playing catch outdoors.  He has also started to do some jogging.  On Friday, he resumed live indoor batting practice and is close to swinging the bat at full strength.  Assuming no setbacks, he might be ready to play during the second-half of the Pheonix League.

Source: Sponichi 9/21/2013

Nippon Ham Fighters

Sho Nakata joined the Ichi-gun team on Saturday.  He was examined on Friday but did not get the green light to resume batting practice because the fracture in his left pinky has not yet fully healed.  The team should have a better idea of when he will be able to return after his next examination on the 25th.

Source: Sports Hochi 9/21/2013

Seibu Lions

Yusei Kikuchi (left shoulder) pitched in a Ni-gun game against Yakult on Saturday.  He tossed two innings in relief and gave up a run on two hits.  He also walked one, hit one, and struck out two.

The Lions are not planning to call Kikuchi up right away.

Source: Sports Hochi 9/21/2013, Sponichi 9/21/2013

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[9/12/2013] Injury Updates: Fujii, Yamato (HAN), Nakata (HAM), Hosokawa (SOF)

by on Sep.12, 2013 @ 6:37 pm, under NPB
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Hanshin Tigers

Akihito Fujii was taken off the active roster today with a bruise on his right calf.  Fujii suffered the injury in the 8th inning of Wednesday's game against the Chunichi Dragons when a batted ball hit by Ryosuke Hirata struck his right leg.  The team decided to take Fujii off the active roster because he was still feeling some pain.

Source: Daily Sports 9/12/2013

===

Yamato (right pinky) started taking fielding practice in the outfield on Wednesday.  He focused on catching baseball since he still can not do a lot of throwing -- he began playing catch at a distance of about twenty meters after the cast came off.  He is hoping to make it back to the active roster in time for the Climax Series in October.

Source: Sanspo 9/12/2013

Nippon Ham Fighters

Sho Nakata (left pinky fracture) was given the green light to swing the bat with both hands.  If he experiences no problems with swinging-only practices over the next week, he will move on to batting practice.  If everything goes smoothly, he could play in his first rehab game on the 23rd.

Source: Sports Hochi 9/12/2013

Nakata will resume his rehab at the Ni-gun training facilities in Kamagaya on Friday.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/12/2013

Softbank Hawks

Toru Hosokawa (took an HBP off his head on Wednesday) participated in practices as usual today.

"There is still some swelling, but I am ok.  I feel like I have a little whiplash in my neck, so I am going to get a massage for that.  I am ok," said Hosokawa.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/12/2013

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