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[7/28/2015] Rakuten Eagles: Kazuo Matsui notches 2,000th career hit

by on Jul.28, 2015 @ 9:39 pm, under NPB
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Kazuo Matsui recorded the 2,000th hit of his career tonight during a game against the Softbank Hawks at Akita Stadium. The hit came in the 1st inning off Kenichi Nakata. He became the forty-sixth player in NPB history (second switch-hitter) to reach the milestone. The 2,000 hits in 1,742 games was sixth fastest among the forty-six players.

Other notes about the milestone:

  • Of the forty-six players that have recorded 2,000 hits, twenty-five were right-handed, nineteen left-handed, and two switch-hitters (Isao Shibata and Matsui).
  • Alex Ramirez (86 MLB hits and 2,017 NPB hits), Norihiro Nakamura (5 MLB hits and 2,101 NPB hits), and Matsui (615 MLB hits and 2,000 NPB hits) are the only players to reach 2,000 NPB hits with at least one MLB hit.
  • Among Japanese players with NPB and MLB hits, only Ichiro Suzuki (4,176) and Hideki Matsui (2,643 hits) have more combined hits than Matsui.
  • Matsui is one of six players in NPB history to record 2,000 hits and steal 350 bases.
  • Breakdown of hits for Matsui: zero hits in 487 games, one hit in 701 games, two hits in 381 games, three hits in 156 games, four hits in 15 games, five hits in two games.

Source: Nikkan Sports 7/29/2015, Sponichi 7/29/2015

Road to 2,000 Hits

Hit Game # Date Opponent Pitcher Venue
1   04/09/1995 Nippon Ham Shibakusa, Hiroshi Lions Stadium
1,000 818 07/08/2001 Orix Tamura, Tsutomu Green Stadium
1,500 1233 07/26/2011 Softbank Houlton, Dennis Yahoo Dome
2,000 1742 07/28/2015 Softbank Nakata, Kenichi Akita Stadium

[11/11/2014] Free agency file period ended on Tuesday

by on Nov.12, 2014 @ 4:54 am, under NPB
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The free agency filing period ended on Tuesday (11/11). The NPB will release a full list of players that exercised their options on Wednesday (11/12). Teams will be allowed to approach players on Thursday (11/13).

Chihiro Kaneko (31) filed his FA option on Tuesday. "I decided to exercise my FA option. As I said before, I would like to consider all options, that is why I made this decision. I now want to focus on Japan vs MLB baseball," said Kaneko. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/11/2014, Sponichi 11/11/2014 ... The Softbank Hawks are interested in Kaneko. Source: Sanspo 11/11/2014 ... According to Daily Sports, Kaneko could be trying to force Orix's hand by exercising his option: if it is the difference between compensation for losing him through free agency (either 100 million yen and a player or 160 million yen) and posting (roughly 2.3 billion yen), it would make more sense to post him. If Orix is still not interested in posting Kaneko, the righty could still leave via free agency and try to work out an agreement with whichever new team he signs with. Source: Daily Sports 11/11/2014

Takashi Toritani (33) filed his FA option. The Hanshin Tigers have not given up on Toritani and will try their best to persuade him to stay. Source: Sponichi 11/11/2014, Nikkan Sports 11/11/2014, Daily Sports 11/11/2014

Atsushi Nomi filed his FA option, but only as a formality as he has already agreed to stay with the Hanshin Tigers. Source: Daily Sports 11/11/2014

Eiichi Koyano (34) held a press conference at a hotel in Tokyo on Tuesday and announced his decision to exercise his FA option. Source: Daily Sports 11/11/2014, Daily Sports 11/11/2014 ... A number of teams, including the Seibu Lions and Orix Buffaloes, are looking into Koyano. The veteran may have a preference for the Kanto region since he grew up in Tokyo and has a house in the area. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/11/2014

Kazuo Matsui (39) wants to retire an Eagle and is not planning to exercise his FA option. He met with team official Yozo Tachibana twice after the season for contract negotiations. He is expected to sign a multi-year deal. Source: Sanspo 11/11/2014, Daily Sports 11/11/2014

Kentaro Sekimoto (36) will not be exercising his FA option. He is close to finalizing a deal with the Hanshin Tigers. Source: Sponichi 11/11/2014

Hiroyasu Tanaka (32) will not exercise his FA option. He told reporters on Monday that he wanted to win a championship with the Yakult Swallows. Source: Sanspo 11/11/2014, Daily Sports 11/11/2014 ... Tanaka may have been offered a one-year deal worth seventy-five million yen. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/11/2014

The Swallows are hoping to schedule meetings with Yoshihisa Naruse (29) and Keiji Obiki (30) on the 13th. They plan to call Mitsuru Manaka back to Tokyo if they can. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/11/2014

[9/15/2014] Injury Report: Wladimir Balentien (Yakult), Kazuo Matsui (Rakuten)

by on Sep.16, 2014 @ 3:58 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Shinnosuke Abe fouled a pitch off his right ankle during an at bat in the 4th inning of Saturday's game against the Yokohama Bay Stars at Tokyo Dome. Abe was left out of the line-up on Sunday as a precaution. Source: Sanspo 9/15/2014, Daily Sports 9/15/2014

Yakult Swallows

  • Wladimir Balentien will undergo tests on his left Achilles in the United States on the 30th. He will most likely leave the team for the US some time around the 25th. He should be okay for the start of next season, even if he requires surgery. Source: Sponichi 9/15/2014

Rakuten Eagles

  • Kazuo Matsui was removed from Saturday's game against the Seibu Lions at Seibu Dome with pain in his lower back. He was feeling discomfort in his lower back during pre-game practices and was replaced after striking out in the top of the 1st as a precaution. Source: Sanspo 9/15/2014

[8/19/2014] Rakuten Eagles: Shima, K. Matsui earn FA options

by on Aug.19, 2014 @ 8:30 pm, under NPB
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Motohiro Shima earned his domestic FA option today with eight years of service time on the active roster.  He signed a four-year contract in December 2013.  When asked if he might consider exercising the option down the road, he said he wanted discuss things with the organization first.

Kazuo Matsui earned his option for the second time.  "I didn't think I'd be able to earn it a second time, so it hasn't really sunk in.  An option is an option and I am happy about it, but right now, I want to focus on the current season."

Source: Sports Hochi 8/16/2014

[7/16/2013] Injury Updates: Yamato, Hifumi (HAN), Arima (SOF), Iguchi (LOT), Matsui (RAK)

by on Jul.16, 2013 @ 11:29 pm, under NPB
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Hanshin Tigers

Yamato hurt his right hand when he attempted to bunt a ball during his at bat in the 1st inning of tonight's game against the Yomiuri Giants -- when he squared around to bunt, the pitched ball hit off his right middle finger.  Reporters spotted some blood on a gauze that was wrapped around his finger as he made his way back to he locker room with the team trainer.

Yamato was pulled in the middle of the at bat.

Source: Daily Sports 7/16/2013

Yamato was reportedly diagnosed with a bruise.  There was no damage to the bones.  He will not be taken off the active roster for the time being.

Source: Nikkan Sports 7/16/2013


Shinta Hifumi will miss the Fresh All-Star game with a left ankle sprain.  He will be replaced by Masahiro Nakatani.  Source: Sponichi 7/16/2013

Softbank Hawks

Sho Arima will miss the Fresh All-Star game with osteoarthrosis in his left elbow.  He will be replaced by Yuya Iida.  Source: Sponichi 7/16/2013

Chiba Lotte Marines

Tadahito Iguchi took an HBP off his right calf during his at bat in the 8th inning of tonight's game against the Softbank Hawks and was replaced by a pinch-runner.  There was some internal bleeding and swelling.

"It does hurt.  I will not know about tomorrow until tomorrow," said Iguchi.

Source: Sponichi 7/16/2013

Rakuten Eagles

Kazuo Matsui was back in the starting line-up tonight after sitting out about a week with a right hamstring injury.  He should be fine for the All-Star series.

Source: Sanspo 7/16/2013

[7/10/2013] Injury Updates: Luna (CHU), Balentien (YAK), Nakata (HAM), Matsui (RAK), Gonzalez, Whitesell (LOT)

by on Jul.10, 2013 @ 11:50 pm, under NPB
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Chunichi Dragons

Hector Luna had his left knee examined today and diagnosed with runner's knee (腸脛靱帯炎).  No problems were detected with his tendons or ligaments.  The inflammation is already starting to go away.

Source: Sponichi 7/10/2013, Nikkan Sports 7/10/2013

Yakult Swallows

Wladimir Balentien felt discomfort in his left ankle while running the bases in the 1st inning.  He remained in the game, but was pulled on defense in the 4th as a precaution.

Source: Sports Hochi 7/10/2013

Nippon Ham Fighters

Sho Nakata reportedly tweaked his right hand during a game against Rakuten on the 9th.  He pushed to the make tonight's starting line-up.

Source: Nikkan Sports 7/10/2013

Rakuten Eagles

Kazuo Matsui felt some pain in his right hamstring while running the bases on Tuesday.  He was held out of the starting line-up tonight as a precaution and given time to get some treatment on his hamstring.  He is still considered day-to-day.

Source: Nikkan Sports 7/10/2013

Chiba Lotte Marines

Dicky Gonzalez started a Ni-gun game against Yakult on Tuesday and gave up five runs over two innings of work.  He was later treated for heatstroke.

Source: Sanspo 7/10/2013


Josh Whitesell was in the US getting a second opinion on his right wrist.  He received the same diagnosis (right wrist sprain) and returned to Japan.  He is scheduled to report to Ni-gun on Thursday.

Source: Sports Hochi 7//10/2013

[7/9/2013] Injury Updates: Lopez (YOM), Luna (CHU), Matsui (RAK)

by on Jul.09, 2013 @ 11:55 pm, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

Jose Lopez (left side) started taking batting practice against a pitching machine (fastballs and curves) today.

"I feel no pain, I am good.  I swung the bat at eighty to ninety percent," said Lopez.

Source: Nikkan Sports 7/9/2013

Chunichi Dragons

Hector Luna (left knee) did not participate in workouts at Okinawa on Monday.  The team announced today that he will have the knee examined at a hospital in Nagoya on Wednesday.  He did not make the starting line-up against the Hanshin Tigers tonight, but was listed as being available on the bench.

Source: Sanspo 7/9/2013, Nikkan Sports 7/9/2013

Rakuten Eagles

Kazuo Matsui was removed on defense in the 9th inning of tonight's game against Nippon Ham after he tweaked his right hamstring while trying to stretch a single out to a double in the bottom of the 8th -- Shohei Otani threw out Matsui at second.  He is considered day-to-day.

Source: Sports Hochi 7/9/2013

[6/29/2013] Injury Updates: Utsumi (YOM), Kubo, Enokida (HAN), Matsui (RAK), Iguchi (LOT)

by on Jun.29, 2013 @ 11:43 pm, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

Tetsuya Utsumi sprained his right ankle during practices on the 25th.  He resumed outdoor workouts on Friday and should be ok to make a start on July 3 against Hanshin at Koshien.

Source: Sanspo 6/29/2013, Daily Sports 6/29/2013

Hanshin Tigers

Yasutomo Kubo hurt his right hamstring while running on Thursday.  He was examined at a hospital on Friday and diagnosed with a muscle strain.  He began his rehab today.

Source: Nikkan Sorts 6/29/2013


Daiki Enokida felt some discomfort in his left elbow while pitching in a Ni-gun game on the 27th.  The injury does not appear to be serious -- he tossed thirty-two pitches in the bullpen on Friday and was able to throw the ball normally.  He told reporters that he left his last start early because the mound was slippery from the rain.

Enokida will most likely be scratched from his next start on July 3.  Depending on his condition, he could get a start on July 6.

Source: Sanspo 6/29/2013, Daily Sports 6/29/2013

Rakuten Eagles

Kazuo Matsui hurt his right hamstring while running the bases in a game against Softbank on the 22nd.  He sat out four straight games and returned to the line-up on Friday and went 2-for-3 with a home run.  He told reporters after the game that he was now fine.

Source: Sports Hochi 6/29/2013

Chiba Lotte Marines

Tadahito Iguchi was replaced by a pinch-hitter for his at bat in the 2nd inning of tonight's game against the Softbank Hawks after he took an HBP off his left arm during his first at bat in the 1st inning.  He did not go to the hospital but did receive treatment (like ice).

"There was some swelling.  He should be fine for tomorrow," said Tsutomu Ito to reporters.

Source: Sponichi 6/29/2013

Rakuten Eagles News and Notes: February 5, 2013

by on Feb.05, 2013 @ 11:31 pm, under NPB
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Batting Practice Bullpen Sessions / Batting Practice


  • Andruw Jones: off Wataru Karashima, two over the fence

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/5/2013


  • Masahiro Tanaka: bullpen, fifty-one pitches, including curve, slider, change, split, and two-seamer, fourth session in five days

Source: Daily Sports 2/5/2013


Kazuya Fujita tweaked the left side of his abdomen during fielding practice today.  He was evaluated at a hospital in Kumejima today, but there was no word on how much time he might miss.  He is scheduled to visit another hospital in Naha tomorrow for a more detailed examination.

Source: Sanspo 2/5/2013


Kazuo Matsui has been taking grounders at both short and second in preparation for the WBC.

Source: Sanspo 2/5/2013

Rakuten Eagles: Kazuo Matsui taken off active roster with dizziness

by on Jul.16, 2012 @ 5:32 pm, under NPB
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Kazuo Matsui was taken off the active roster today with unexplained dizziness.  Matsui first experienced the dizziness after waking up on Sunday.

Said Matsui, "I have never experienced anything like this before.  I still feel a little weird when I look up."

Batting coach Koichi Tabuchi told reporters he thought it might be something similar to what women's soccer player Homare Sawa experienced earlier this year year.

Matsui is scheduled to undergo an evaluation on Tuesday.

Source: Daily Sports 7/16/2012, Sponichi 7/16/2012