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Akinori Iwamura posts an update to his blog about his release

by on Oct.08, 2012 @ 2:35 am, under NPB

Akinori Iwamura updated his blog with a message about his release from the Rakuten Eagles:

I think many may already know, but my contract with the Rakuten Eagles is over after the year.

I feel very disappointed/frustrated at how things turned out.

I am full of regret for not being able to perform at the level I was hoping to during my two years in Sendai.  But it was a good experience because I was able to learn a lot over my two-year stay.

Even though I will be leaving Sendai with unfinished business, thank you for all your support.

I feel strongly that I can not let things end like this.  I do not know what will happen next year, but in order to make another strong impression on everyone again...

This will not be the end of me!

I will take that thought and push myself forward.

Senryokugai: Akinori Iwamura (RAK), Cha-Seung Baek (ORI)

by on Oct.07, 2012 @ 5:33 pm, under NPB
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According to Nikkan Sports, the Eagles could inform Akinori Iwamura (33) today that he is no longer a part of the team's plans for the 2013 season. Iwamura believes he can still play and will continue his training as he waits for another offer.  Source: Nikkan Sports 10/7/2012

UPDATE @ 10:53pm - The Eagles announced today that they will not offer Iwamura a contract for the 2013 season.  Source: official announcement

UPDATE @ 11:32pm - Iwamura will wait for domestic offers.  He may also consider heading back to the US.  Source: Daily Sports 10/7/2012


The Buffaloes informed  Cha-Seung Baek (32) on Friday that he is not a part of the team's plans for the 2013 season.  An official announcement has yet to be made.  Source: Nikkan Sports 10/6/2012

Updates on Tamura (Softbank), Iwamura (Rakuten), Iwase (Chunichi) from August 5, 2012

by on Aug.05, 2012 @ 9:08 pm, under NPB
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Softbank Hawks

Hitoshi Tamura sprained his right pinky finger when he slide back into second (on a pick-off) in the bottom of the 4th inning of today's game against the Seibu Lions (he was removed on defense before the top of the 5th).  He will most likely be taken off the active roster on Monday.  Source: Sponichi 8/5/2012

Rakuten Eagles

Akinori Iwamura was taken off the active roster today with pain/discomfort in his left hamstring.  He suffered the injury during Friday's game against the Nippon Ham Fighters.  Source: Sponichi 8/5/2012

Chunichi Dragons

The Dragons announced today that MRIs on Hitoki Iwase's left shoulder and elbow came back negative.  Source: Sponichi 8/5/2012

UPDATE: Iwase will begin Ni-gun workouts at Nagoya Stadium on August 7.  Source: Nikkan Sports 8/5/2012

Rakuten Eagles: Akinori Iwamura out with right calf strain

by on Mar.15, 2012 @ 2:25 pm, under NPB
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Akinori Iwamura injured his right leg during fielding practice and was taken to a hospital in Okayama for an MRI on Wednesday.  He was diagnosed with a strain in his right calf (inner triceps surae muscle) and will require four to six weeks for a full recovery.

The strain itself apparently is not that bad, but since it is a frequently used muscle, it will take some time to fully heal.  Iwamura will return to Sendai today and rest for about three days before beginning a rehab program.

Yosuke Takasu, Ginji, and Daisuke Kusano are amongst possible candidates to replace Iwamura on the roster at third.

Rakuten Eagles: March 5, 2012

by on Mar.05, 2012 @ 11:29 pm, under NPB
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Teppei worked out for about an hour at Hotto Motto Kobe on his day off today.  He and the team traveled from Nagasaki to Kobe after Sunday's game against the Yokohama Bay Stars.


The Eagles announced today that they will be giving away 60,000 team mufflers (scarves) during their home opener (March 30 - April 1 vs Lotte; to the first 20,000 fans each day).


Akinori Iwamura's homer during Sunday's exhibition games against the Yokohama Bay Stars was his first in Japan since 10/10/2006 (vs Hiroshima).


Masahiro Tanaka's next outing will be as a member of Samurai Japan on March 10.

Rakuten Eagles: February 13, 2012

by on Feb.13, 2012 @ 11:59 pm, under NPB
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Bullpen Sessions / Batting Practice


  • James Heuser (tryout) threw about thirty pitches in the bullpen. (Sponichi)
  • 2nd round draft pick Yoshinao Kamata threw fifty pitches, all fastballs, to a standing catcher in the bullpen. (Sanspo)


Senichi Hoshino watched James Heuser toss his bullpen session on Sunday.  The Eagles will most likely make a decision on Heuser after he pitches situational BP on February 14.

====== UPDATE 2/14 @ 1:29am

Akinori Iwamura did not play in Monday's intra-squad game because of tightness in his left hamstring.

"It is not serious.  I would play if this were a regular season game.  But it is not time to push hard.  Things are improving," said Iwamura.


The Eagles announced two changes to their coaching staff on Monday:

Ni-gun OF/base-running coach Osamu Yonemura will become Ichi-gun position player strengthening coach

Ikusei position players coach Yosuke Hiraishi will become Ni-gun OF/base-running coach

Rakuten Eagles: February 11, 2012

by on Feb.11, 2012 @ 11:58 pm, under NPB
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Batting Practice Bullpen Sessions / Batting Practice


  • Luis Terrero took forty-one swings and collected fifteen could-be hits. (Sponichi)


  • James Heuser (tryout) threw about fifty pitches, mostly fastballs, in the bullpen. (Sports Hochi)
  • Wataru Karashima threw 100 pitches in the bullpen.  Afterward, he played the game where he could only stop pitching if he managed to toss eight out of ten pitches for strikes -- he failed seven times (he could only throw seven of ten pitches for strikes) and ended up throwing a total 180 pitches. (Nikkan Sports)


Intra-squad Game info move here.


Luis Terrero will start in right and bat sixth in today's intra-squad game.

Akinori is scheduled to start at third and bat fifth.


1st round draft pick Yoshitaka Muto is expected to pitch in an intra-squad game on Sunday.


6th round draft pick Hiroaki Shimauchi made two errors during joint Ichi-gun/Ni-gun fielding practices on Friday.  He apparently made up for it with a solid outing during batting practice.


Akinori Iwamura dropped over ten kilograms during the off-season.  He attributes part of his success to eating a salad with no oil dressing before dinner.


James Heuser started his tryouts with the team at Ni-gun camp on Friday.  His tryouts at Ni-gun camp will continue through to February 14.


Meiji University manager Tatsuya Yoshinami observed spring camp on Friday.

Rakuten Eagles: February 7, 2012

by on Feb.07, 2012 @ 11:58 pm, under NPB
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Batting Practice Bullpen Sessions


  • Masahiro Tanaka threw 112 pitches.  This was his first 100+ pitch bullpen session during spring camp. (Daily Sports)


  • Kohei Hasebe threw 100 pitches. (Nikkan Sports)
  • 1st round draft pick Yoshitaka Muto threw 63 pitches in the bullpen.  This was his fifth bullpen session since the start of spring camp. (Sanspo)


A 56-year-old woman suffered a fracture in her lumbar vertebrae when Masahiro Tanaka crashed his car into her, she was riding a bicycle, on December 14, 2011.  The incident took place at an intersection that had no traffic light and poor visibility.  Tanaka was on his way to Kleenex Stadium at the time.

Earlier today, Sendai Higashi Police filed charges against Tanaka on suspicion of accidental infliction of injury while driving.


Early morning practice took place indoors today because of the rain.


Ikusei pitcher Takahiro Kato told reporters today he could probably throw 2,500 pitches during spring camp.  So far, he has thrown 818 pitches and is not feeling any pain, though he is feeling some stiffness.  Kato did not toss a bullpen session today.


INF/base-running coach Yasutomo Suzuki hit baseballs to Akinori Iwamura and Kazuo Matsui during extra fielding practice after general workouts on Monday.


Kelvin Jimenez is apparently Senichi Hoshino's current number three starter.


1st round draft pick Yoshitaka Muto is scheduled to pitch in an intra-squad game on February 12.

Tanaka is scheduled to pitch in an intra-squad game on February 13.


Hoshino wants to see the three kids that helped him when he got lost while trying to walk back to the team hotel during spring camp last year.  The team managed to track them down and the three were given a chance to observe players work out at Ichi-gun spring camp today.

Hoshino also told reporters on Monday that he wanted his closer to have starting experience, which could point to Darrell Rasner being the closer this year.  Daisuke Kato and Koji Aoyama are two other possible candidates.

====== UPDATE 2/8 @ 2:28am

Akinori Iwamura has been using a 960 gram Nike-made training bat for all his batting practice sessions during spring camp.


Team chairman Hiroshi Mikitani told reporters on Sunday that he would love to have Hideki Matsui on the team and understands that most likely will not happen because he wants to continue playing in the MLB.

Rakuten Eagles: January 25, 2012

by on Jan.26, 2012 @ 12:13 am, under NPB
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Akinori Iwamura worked out at Kleenex Stadium On Wednesday for the first time this year.  Workouts included playing catch, fielding practice, and BP.


The Eagles announced on Wednesday that Rakuten Eagles Softball School will open in April.


Masahiro Tanaka worked out with Yu Darvish in Miyazaki for about a week (January 6 - January 12).  He then moved on to working out with some teammates in Chiba (January 13) before returning to Sendai on Monday (January 23).

Tanaka also gained 6kg before dropping 3kg and is now at 97kg.

Tanaka's workouts with Darvish:

9am until noon - running, trunk strengthening exercises
noon until 12:30pm - playing catch
12:30pm until after 2:00pm - after lunch, weight training (flip-flopping between upper and lower body)

protein drinks five times a day.