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[10/20/2015] Chunichi Dragons: Kenshin Kawakami wants to continue playing

by on Oct.20, 2015 @ 10:47 pm, under NPB
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Kenshin Kawakami held a press conference in Nagoya and told the media that he does not want to retire because he still wants to play baseball. The Chunichi Dragons have already informed the forty-year-old pitcher that they will not be offering him a contract for the 2016 season. Kawakami had problems with his right shoulder (tendon transfer from the right thig) this year and did not get to pitch in any games. He had shoulder surgery in November and will most likely require about six months for a full recovery. His goal is to make it back to the NPB (he does not appear to have interest in other leagues, domestic or otherwise).

Source: official announcementNikkan Sports 10/20/2015, Sponichi 10/20/2015, Daily Sports 10/20/2015, Sports Hochi 10/20/2015, Tokyo Sports 10/20/2015

[5/31/2014] Injury Report: Masahiro Araki, Kazuki Yoshimi (Chunichi)

by on Jun.01, 2014 @ 2:56 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Leslie Anderson (right thigh) is expected to be ready to play in some rehab games at Ni-gun beginning on June 7.  He told reporters on Friday he was at about eighty percent.  He has already resumed batting practice, but has not done any running or hitting with cleats. Source: Sanspo 5/31/2014

Hanshin Tigers

  • Shinobu Fukuhara (right adductor) could join the team as early as June 2.  Tomoyuki Kubota (right elbow) is scheduled to pitch in another Ni-gun game next week. Source: Sanspo 5/31/2014
  • Kazunari Tsuruoka (right side) played some catch at a distance of about fifty meters at Naruohama on Friday for the first time since he was taken off the active roster on the 27th.  He told reporters on Thursday he had more problems swinging the bat than throwing the ball. Source: Sanspo 5/31/2014

Hiroshima Carp

  • Kam Mickolio (left adductor) is scheduled to pitch in another Ni-gun game on June 1 against Orix.  If he experiences no problems after the outing, he could return to the active roster on June 3. Source: Daily Sports 5/31/2014

Chunichi Dragons

  • Junki Ito (right elbow) started a Ni-gun rehab game against Softbank at Nagoya Stadium on Saturday.  With two outs in the 7th inning, catcher Iori Katsura tried to throw out a base-stealer at second.  The throw was low and hit Ito in the head.  He was bleeding and in pain.  He was removed from the game and taken to the hospital.  Brain tests did not reveal any problems.  He required stitches to close a cut on his right ear. Source: Nikkan Sports 5/31/2014
  • Kenshin Kawakami (lower back) started a Ni-gun game against Softbank on Friday.  He gave up three runs on six hits over three innings of work.  He faced fourteen hitters, struck out one, hit one, and topped out at 142km/h.  It was his first game in about a month. Source: Nikkan Sports 5/31/2014
  • Masahiro Araki was hit by a pitch in a game against Orix at Nagoya Dome on the 29th and diagnosed with a fracture in his right index finger.  It could take a month and a half to two months for a full recovery.  However, Araki is hoping to make it back when the regular season resumes on June 27. Source: Sports Hochi 5/31/2014
  • Kazuki Yoshimi (lower back) could pitch in a Ni-gun rehab game against Hanshin on June 11.  He resumed pitching practices on the 29th.  He would like to pitch in at least three Ni-gun rehab games.  That could put his first Ichi-gun start on July 4 against Yomiuri at Tokyo Dome. Source: Sports Hochi 5/31/2014

[5/28/2014] Injury Report: Orlando Roman (Yakult), Hirokazu Sawamura (Yomiuri)

by on May.29, 2014 @ 4:50 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Hirokazu Sawamura (right shoulder) pitched in a Ni-gun game against Yakult on Wednesday.  He entered the game in the 6th and tossed three shutout innings while giving up four hits.  It was his second Ni-gun outing of the season. Source: Nikkan Sports 5/28/2014

Hanshin Tigers

  • Shinobu Fukuhara (right adductor) pitched in a Ni-gun rehab game against Softbank on Tuesday.  He entered the game in the 6th and did not allow any runs.  He gave up a hit and struck out one. Source: Sanspo 5/28/2014
  • Tomoyuki Kubota (right elbow) pitched in a Ni-gun game against Softbank on Tuesday.  He entered the game in the 8th and got three hitters out on nine pitches.  He topped out at 145km/h.  It was his first game of the season. Source: Sponichi 5/28/2014
  • Tsuyoshi Nishioka took outdoor batting practice at Naruohama on Tuesday.  He took thirty-six swings from the left side.  He also took grounders outdoors at second for about fifteen minutes.  It was the first time Nishioka took batting and fielding practice outdoors at Naruohama since he suffered multiple injuries on a collision play while playing defense in a game against the Yomiuri Giants on March 30. Source: Sanspo 5/28/2014

Hiroshima Carp

  • Kam Mickolio (left adductor) joined Ichi-gun workouts on Wednesday.  The Carp will decide when to call him up after they see him pitch at Ni-gun on May 30 and June 1. Source: Sanspo 5/28/2014, Daily Sports 5/28/2014

Chunichi Dragons

  • Motonobu Tanishige tweaked his left thigh while running the bases during Monday's game against Softbank.  He was at Nagoya Stadium on Tuesday checking on player workouts.  He had a slight limp.  He is considered day-to-day. Source: Daily Sports 5/28/2014
  • Takuya Asao (right elbow) is scheduled to pitch in another Ni-gun rehab game on the 29th against Hiroshima. Source: Nikkan Sports 5/28/2014
  • Kenshin Kawakami (back) is scheduled to pitch in a Ni-gun rehab game against Softbank on the 30th.  He is expected to go three innings. Source: Nikkan Sports 5/28/2014

Yakult Swallows

  • Yuhei Nakamura was hit by a pitch in the 8th inning of Wednesday's game against Nipppon Ham and replaced by a pinch-hitter in the 9th.  He was taken to a hospital and diagnosed with a bruise on his right wrist.  He is considered day-to-day. Source: Sponichi 5/28/2014
  • Orlando Roman was examined at a hospital in Tatebayashi, Gunma on Wednesday and was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in his right elbow (変形性肘関節症).  This was a preexisting condition that got worse.  The Swallows do not know how long Roman will be out.  They will see how he responds after getting shots to deal with the inflammation. Source: Sanspo 5/28/2014, Daily Sports 5/28/2014
  • Yasuhiro Ogawa resumed playing catch on Tuesday for the first time since he suffered a fracture in his right hand on April 18.  He played catch at a distance of about thirty meters for roughly twenty minutes.  He hopes to play in a rehab game some time in July. Source: Sanspo 5/28/2014, Nikkan Sports 5/28/2014

[5/26/2014] Injury Report: Yuichi Matsumoto (Yakult), Shota Takeda (Softbank)

by on May.27, 2014 @ 1:46 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Toshiya Sugiuchi took a ball hit by Kensuke Kondo off the area above his left knee/thigh while pitching with the bases loaded and two out in the 6th against the Nippon Ham Fighters on Monday.  He had to be carried off the field.  He was seen walking around on his own after the game. Source: Nikkan Sports 5/26/2014, Sponichi 5/26/2014

Hanshin Tigers

  • Tsuyoshi Nishioka worked out at the indoor training facilities at Koshien on Monday, next to the Ichi-gun team.  His schedule included playing catch at a distance of around fifty meters and taking batting practice (soft-toss and against a machine).  He was also seen chatting with some of his former Lotte teammates. Source: Nikkan Sports 5/26/2014, Sponichi 5/26/2014

Chunichi Dragons

  • Motonobu Tanishige pulled himself out of Monday's game against Softbank after he tweaked the back of his left thigh while running the bases in the 7th inning -- he was on second with two out and was thinking about scoring on a single to center by Yohei Oshima, but had to put on the breaks when he got the signal to stop at third base. Source: Sanspo 5/26/2014 ... Tanishige did not go to the hospital.  The injury does not appear to be serious.  He is considered day-to-day. Source: Nikkan Sports 5/26/2014, Sports Hochi 5/26/2014
  • Kenshin Kawakami (lower back) pitched in a batting practice scrimmage at Nagoya Stadium on Sunday.  He faced some Ikusei players and threw twenty pitches.  It was the first time he faced hitters since his injury. Source: Nikkan Sports 5/26/2014

Yakult Swallows

  • Yuichi Matsumoto was taken off the active roster on Monday with a strain in his right abdominal oblique muscle.  He will require about three to four weeks for a full recovery. Source: Sponichi 5/26/2014, Daily Sports 5/26/2014

Softbank Hawks

  • Shota Takeda (right shoulder) pitched in a San-gun game against the Ehime Mandarin Pirates (Shikoku Island League) on Sunday.  He gave up two runs on three hits over two innings.  He threw thirty-seven pitches and topped out at 153km/h. It was his first game in about a six months. Source: Nikkan Sports 5/26/2014

Orix Buffaloes

  • Keiichi Hirano was removed from Monday's game against Yokohama after he took an HBP off his right calf during his at bat in the 3rd inning.  Hirano took an HBP off the same area on the 14th and had been close to a full recovery. Source: Daily Sports 5/26/2014, Nikkan Sports 5/26/2014

[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

[2/5/2014] Chunichi Dragons News and Notes

by on Feb.06, 2014 @ 12:53 am, under NPB
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Name Type Date NP Notes
Masahiro Yamamoto Bullpen 2/5 40 Five to a squatting catcher partway through; first session during camp.  Nikkan Sports 2/5/2014, Sponichi 2/5/2014


General Manager Hiromitsu Ochiai stopped to give Masahiro Araki some advice during soft-toss batting practice on Wednesday.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/5/2014


Hector Luna took some fielding practice at third and first on Wednesday.  Michihiro Ogasawara also spent some time at first as well.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/5/2014


Masahiro Yamamoto told reporters on Tuesday that he wanted to face live batters before the end of camp, perhaps some time after the 20th.  He also said that he wanted to prepare by throwing about 1,200 pitches.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/5/2014


Kenshin Kawakami complained of minor tightness in his back and was given the day off on Wednesday as a precaution.  He is considered day-to-day.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/5/2014, Nikkan Sports 2/5/2014


Ni-gun manager Takahiro Saeki ended workouts after the morning session on Tuesday to give players a bit of a break.  Ni-gun camp is in the middle of a nine-day workweek.  Workouts have been starting at 8:30am and ending at 8:30pm (includes early and late sessions).

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/5/2014, Sponichi 2/5/2014


Samurai Japan Hiroki Kokubo visited Chatan camp on Wednesday.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/5/2014

[11/19/2013] Chunichi Dragons re-sign Kenshin Kawakami

by on Nov.19, 2013 @ 7:37 pm, under NPB
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The Chunichi Dragons announced today that they re-signed Kenshin Kawakami (38).  They posted the following statement from Kawakami:

It is a little embarrassing, but I am back with the Dragons.  GM Hiromitsu Ochiai and manager Motonobu Tanishige contacted me and I re-signed.  It was just a short while ago, and then two years ago that I had a press conference like this.  It feels a bit strange.  I never thought I would return to the Dragons, never imagined it.  GM Ochiai told me he was glad that I returned and that really made me happy, more than anything else.  I do not want to get a late start at spring camp and will do my best to make sure I am prepared to compete for a starting job.  Next year, I want to find a spot in the starting rotation and stay there the entire year.  If I can do that, I will be fully satisified.

Source: official announcement

Reports place the value of the contract at an estimated thirty million yen.

Source: Daily Sports 11/19/2013


See also:

[10/4/2013] Rumors: Yokohama Bay Stars, Casey McGehee

by on Oct.05, 2013 @ 1:46 am, under NPB
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Yokohama Bay Stars

The Bay Stars will be keeping their eye on several pitchers this winter, including Kenshin Kawakami, Hisanori Takahashi (if he decides to return), Brian Wolfe, and Hideaki Wakui.

Source: Sponichi 10/4/2013

Rakuten Eagles

SportsNet's Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that Casey McGehee will explore potential MLB opportunities during the upcoming off-season.  A snip:

In his first season overseas, the 30-year-old infielder hit 27 home runs while driving in 90 and posting an .883 OPS for the Eagles. He isn't ruling out staying in Japan, but he plans to explore a return to MLB in the coming months.

[...] "It has been a great season in Japan and at the end of the season he will decide whether to continue in Japan or return here," agent Barry Meister said.

Source: SportsNet 10/2/2013

[10/3/2013] Chunichi Dragons Senryokugai: Kenshin Kawakami

by on Oct.03, 2013 @ 12:35 pm, under NPB
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The media learned today that the Chunichi Dragons informed Kenshin Kawakami on Wednesday that they will not offer him a contract for the 2014 season.  An official announcement has yet to be made.

The Dragons reportedly offered him a position as a coach next season and a retirement game on the last home game of the season (October 5), but he declined because he wants to play next season.  The organization decided to part ways with the thirty-eight-year-old veteran because they want to get younger.

A number of teams, including Yakult, Yokohama, Rakuten, and Hanshin, could be interested in the right-handed veteran.  However, there are concerns about his health, including the condition of his right shoulder.  Whether he finds another suitor will likely depend on that.

Source: Daily Sports 10/3/2013, Daily Sports 10/3/2013, Daily Sports 10/3/2013Sports Hochi 10/3/2013, Nikkan Sports 10/3/2013, Sponichi 10/3/2013

UPDATE @ 2:50pm -

Kawakami worked out at Nagoya Stadium today.  He spoke to reporters and said, "I have spoke to team officials.  I was surprised [at the decision] because I was planning on returning next season to play."

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/3/2013

UPDATE 10/4 @ 6:23pm -

The Dragons made an official announcement on Thursday.

Source: official announcement


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[8/20/2013] Injury Updates: Kawakami (CHU), Balentien (YAK), Hidaka, Uemoto (HAN), Nakamura (SEI), Falkenborg (SOF), Nishino (LOT)

by on Aug.20, 2013 @ 8:26 pm, under NPB
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Chunichi Dragons

Kenshin Kawakami (right shoulder) is ready for Ichi-gun.  He will get his first start of the year on the 22nd against Hiroshia at Nagoya Dome.  This could be a make or break game for the veteran.

"This is not about expectations, but rather about whether or not he can still play.  Everything is on the line.  If he does poorly, he probably will not get another chance," said Morimichi Takagi.

Source: Nikkan Sports 8/20/2013, Sponichi 8/20/2013

Yakult Swallows

The Swallows are a little concerned about Wladimir Balentien's left ankle (tweaked it during a game against Hanshin on the 18th) and will likely keep a close eye on it.  He did make it into the starting line-up against Yomiuri tonight.

Source: Sanpso 8/20/2013

Hanshin Tigers

There is a chance Takeshi Hidaka (left hamstring) and Hiroki Uemoto (left ankle) could rejoin the Ichi-gun team in time for the Chunichi series that begins on the 23rd.

Source: Sanspo 8/20/2013

Seibu Lions

Takeya Nakamura's return to the active roster has been delayed after he missed a rehab Ni-gun game on the 18th with discomfort in his left shoulder.

Source: Daily Sports 8/20/2013

Softbank Hawks

Brian Falkenborg (tightness in neck and back) is expected to join the Ichi-gun team on Wednesday.  Whether or not he will be added back to the active roster is not yet known and will depend on how he is feeling and whether or not the team needs him right away.

Source: Nikkan Sports 8/20/2013

Chiba Lotte Marines

Yuji Nishino (right shoulder) is currently scheduled to face Masahiro Tanaka during his next start on the 23rd.  Nishino was taken off the active roster on the 10th.  He rejoined the Ichi-gun team for workouts on Monday and was cleared for a return.

Takuya Furuya was originally penciled in for the start.

Source: Sports Hochi 8/20/2013, Sponichi 8/20/2013