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[1/31/2014] Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hiroyuki Nakajima, Masahiro Tanaka, Brandon Duckworth

by on Jan.31, 2014 @ 11:58 pm, under MLB
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Former Rakuten Eagle Brandon Duckworth has joined the New York Yankees' scouting department.  From MLB.com' Bryan Hoch:

The Yankees on Thursday announced five additions to their Major League and professional scouting department, a group that includes former big league pitchers Brandon Duckworth and Dan Giese.

... Duckworth, 38, concluded a 16-year playing career last season. His playing career spanned eight big league seasons with the Phillies (2001-03), Astros (2004-05) and Royals (2006-08). Duckworth pitched the last two seasons for Japan's Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles as a teammate of right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, completing his career by celebrating the 2013 Japan Series title.

Source: MLB.com 1/30/2014 via Sponichi 1/31/2014


Former Yakult Swallow Chris Leroux has reportedly agreed to a minor league deal with the New York Yankees.  From Sportsnet 590's Alex Seixeiro:

Canadian Chris Leroux (went to my high school in Mississauga) has accepted an offer to join Yankees spring training. Go get 'em Chris.

Source: Tweet 1/28/2014 via Sponichi 1/31/2014

And from MLB.com's Joey Nowak:

The nine players signed to Minor League deals are: right-hander Bruce Billings, infielder Russ Canzler, right-hander Robert Coello, right-hander Brian Gordon, right-hander Chris Leroux, outfielder Antoan Richardson, infielder Scott Sizemore, infielder Yangervis Solarte and infielder Zelous Wheeler.

Source: MLB.com 1/29/2014 via Sponichi 1/31/2014


So Taguchi believes Ichiro Suzuki will have a good season this year.  Taguchi watched Ichiro work out for about three hours in Kobe on Thursday and felt the veteran appeared determined and focused.

Source: Tokyo Sports 1/31/2014


Daisuke Matsuzaka can opt-out in his contract if he does not get promoted by June 1.  From ESPN's Adam Rubin:

Dice-K, because he has six-plus years of MLB service and re-signed with the Mets as what is known as a XX(B) free agent, automatically receives certain rights: The Mets must inform him five days before Opening Day that he has made the team; otherwise, the Mets must release him, or pay him a $100,000 retention bonus to send him to the minors. Dice-K also automatically gets a June 1 "out" in his contract as part of the CBA if he is not promoted to the majors by then and wants free agency.

Source: ESPN 1/30/2014 via Daily Sports 1/31/2014


Mizuno announced that they signed a brand ambassador contract with Hiroyuki Nakajima.  Under the terms of the agreement, Nakajima will use Mizuno gloves, provide advice and opinion on future glove designs, and help with public relations.

Source: official announcement via Sponichi 1/31/2014


Updates on Masahiro Tanaka from Friday, January 31, 2014:

  • Tanaka worked out alone at Kobo Stadium today with all of his former teammates out in Okinawa for the start of spring camp. [Nikkan Sports 1/31/2014]
  • Tanaka threw thirty-one pitches in the bullpen on Thursday.  Senichi Hoshino dropped by the facilities to see his former ace one last time.  The two met for the first time since Tanaka's contract with the Yankees became official. [Sanspo 1/31/2014]
  • A number of former Rakuten teammates, including Motohiro Shima, Shinichiro Koyama, Koji Aoyama, and Manabu Mima, held a small farewell gathering  for Tanaka in Sendai on Wednesday night.  The group presented Tanaka with a Hermes necktie and a tie pin in the shape of a clover.  He plans to wear both during his press conference in New York. [Nikkan Sports 1/31/2014]
  • About ten former teammates were at the gathering.  Tanaka was also given a card case. [Sponichi 1/31/2014]
  • Tanaka will most likely head to New York some time early next week for a press conference at Yankee Stadium. [Sanspo 1/31/2014]
  • Tanaka's travel schedule to New York will be finalized once his visa clears.  [Sponichi 1/31/2014]
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[9/1/2013] Injury Updates: Fujii (CHU), Hiyane, Leroux (YAK), Fukudome (HAN), Nakata (SEI), Kimura, Kikuchi (SEI)

by on Sep.01, 2013 @ 11:24 pm, under NPB
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Chunichi Dragons

Atsushi Fujii hurt his left hamstring while sliding into second on a stolen base attempt in the top of 7th inning.  He had to be helped off the field and was taken out of the game on defense in the bottom-half of the inning.  He will most likely be taken off the active roster.

Source: Sponichi 9/1/2013

Yakult Swallows

Wataru Hiyane hurt his left arm when he ran into Tetsuto Yamada while playing defense in the 2nd inning of Saturday's game against the Yokohama Bay Stars.  He was pulled from the game on defense in the 3rd and taken to a local hospital for x-rays.  He was diagnosed with a bruise on his upper left arm.  He is considered day-to-day.

Source: Sanspo 9/1/2013

Hiyane made it into today's game against Yokohama as a pinch-runner in the bottom of the 9th.


Chris Leroux left for the US on Saturday to get a second opinion on his right shoulder.  Chances are good the Swallows will not exercise his option for the 2014 season.

Source: Sanspo 9/1/2013

Hanshin Tigers

Kosuke Fukudome was taken off the active roster today with tightness in his left calf.

"Running was a problem.  Hitting was not, just when he gets on base and has to run.  We thought about what had to be done to get him back into the starting line-up as soon as possible," said Yutaka Wada about the decision to take Fukudome off the active roster.

Source: Sports Hochi 9/1/2013, Nikkan Sports 9/1/2013, Daily Sports 9/1/2013

Nippon Ham Fighters

Sho Nakata (left pinky) used a six-five centimeter Mizuno bat during one-handed batting practice on Saturday (about two-hundred swings with his right hand).

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/1/2013

Seibu Lions

Fumikazu Kimura was taken off the active roster today with lower back pain.  Kimura attempted to play through the pain by taking pain-killers before pre-game workouts today, but could not make it through soft-toss batting practice.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/1/2013


Yusei Kikuchi tossed a bullpen session on Saturday for the first time since he hurt his left shoulder.  He threw twenty-one pitches to a standing catcher at seventy to eighty percent strength.  He told reporters the session went well and that he felt no pain.

Source: Sanspo 8/31/2013

Kikuchi tossed another bullpen session today.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/1/2013

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[8/13/2013] Injury Updates: Leroux (YAK), Fukudome (HAN), Kikuchi (SEI), Honda (SOF), S. Watanabe (LOT)

by on Aug.13, 2013 @ 4:59 pm, under NPB
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Yakult Swallows

Chris Leroux began feeling discomfort in his right shoulder on the 10th.  He complained of the discomfort after he started a game against Yokohama on the 11th and gave up eight runs over three plus innings of work.  He is getting the shoulder examined today at a hospital in Tokyo.

Source: Sponichi 8/13/2013

Hanshin Tigers

Kosuke Fukudome (left knee) returned to the active roster today.  He is not quite game ready yet and will most likely have to battle for playing time with players like Ryota Imanari and Shunsuke.

Source: Sports Hochi 8/13/2013

The Tigers will most likely take things slow with Fukudome and ease him back in by using him as a bat off the bench.

Source: Sponichi 8/13/2013

Seibu Lions

Yusei Kikuchi will most likely spend the rest of this month nursing his left shoulder back full strength and will focus on a return to the active roster some time in mid-September.

Kikuchi was taken off the active roster on the 7th after he was diagnosed with left shoulder inflammation.

Source: Sponichi 8/13/2013

Softbank Hawks

Yuichi Honda (left lower back pain) returned to the active roster.  He is expected to make the starting line-up tonight.

Source: Nikkan Sports 8/13/2013, Sponichi 8/13/2013

Chiba Lotte Marines

Shunsuke Watanabe is scheduled to start a game on the 15th against the Rakuten Eagles -- he will take Yuji Nishino's turn in the rotation.

Watanabe took a batted ball of his right leg during his last Ichi-gun start on April 20 and was removed from the active roster the following day.  The injury took longer than expected to heal and there were even times during the recovery process when the thirty-six-year-old veteran considered retirement.

Source: Sports Hochi 8/13/2013, Sponichi 8/13/2013

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[5/2/2013] Yakult Swallows announce Chris Leroux signing

by on May.02, 2013 @ 6:45 pm, under NPB
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The Yakult Swallows announced today that they formally signed twenty-nine-year-old pitcher Chris Leroux.  A number of sources are reporting that the two sides agreed to a one-year deal worth an estimated fifty million yen plus incentives.  The contract also includes a club option for the 2014 season.  Leroux has been assigned the number seventeen.

Source: official announcement, Sponichi 5/2/2013, Nikkan Sports 5/2/2013

See also:

Sanspo: Yakult Swallows working on deal with Chris Leroux (UPDATE)

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Sanspo: Yakult Swallows working on deal with Chris Leroux (UPDATE)

by on Apr.22, 2013 @ 6:13 am, under NPB
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According to Sanspo, the Yakult Swallows are looking into Chris Leroux (29).  With both Shohei Tateyama and Tony Barnette hurt, the Swallows have both an opening in the starting rotation and room for one foreign player on the active roster.

If negotiations go smoothly, Yakult could potentially make an announcement of an agreement some time later this week.

Source: Sanspo 4/21/2013


UPDATE 4/23 @ 1:33pm -

According to Sponichi, Leroux is scheduled to arrive in Japan on the 25th to finalize details on the contract and to take a physical.  If there are no problems, the Swallows could make an announcement of a deal some time in early May.

Source: Sponichi 4/23/2013

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