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[9/16/2015] Chunichi Dragons: Kenta Asakura to retire after the season

by on Sep.17, 2015 @ 6:01 am, under NPB
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Kenta Asakura announced his decision to retire after the season during a press conference at Nagoya Stadium on September 16.

A few notes taken from various sources:

  • He started struggling with his pitches four to five years ago.
  • He began joking with his family about wanting to retire about two to three years ago. It was not until late-August this year that he told his family he really wanted to quit.
  • He confirmed his feelings about retiring when he realized he did not feel upset or frustrated after giving up a home run to Yakult's Tetsuto Yamada on August 22.
  • His career changing moment may have been when he developed blood flow problems in his right hand in 2008. If not for that, he may not have decided to retire now.
  • His memorable moment may have been when he helped the Dragons win a Nippon Series in 2007.
  • He is interested in staying in baseball, but it is something that is beyond his control.
  • He is satisfied with his career and has no regrets.

Source: official announcement, Nikkan Sports 9/16/2015, Daily Sports 9/16/2015, Sports Hochi 9/16/2015

[UPDATE 9/21 @ 6:18pm]

The Dragons held a retirement ceremony for Asakura during a Yomiuri game on September 20. He entered the game in the 8th with one out and faced one hitter, former teammate Takehiro Donoue. He got Donoue to foul out to the catcher on one pitch. Yomiuri's Hayato Sakamoto and his children presented him with flowers. He was tossed into the air by his teammates five times after the game.

Asakura was taken off the active roster on September 21.

Source: Chunichi BlogSponichi 9/20/2015, Nikkan Sports 9/20/2015

(continue reading...)

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[9/5/2014] Injury Report: Tsuyoshi Nishioka (Hanshin), Kenta Asakura (Chunichi)

by on Sep.06, 2014 @ 2:28 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Tomoyuki Sugano (right middle finger) could return to the active roster in time for a start against Hanshin at Koshien on the 11th. Source: Sanspo 9/5/2014

Hanshin Tigers

  • Tsuyoshi Nishioka will most likely appear in two to three rehab games at Ni-gun as a designated hitter before he gets to play defense. Source: Sponichi 9/5/2014 ... Nishioka practiced at Naruohama on Thursday. His workouts included taking batting practice from both side of the plate and playing catch at a distance of about fifteen meters. Source: Sanspo 9/5/2014 ... Nishioka played in a Ni-gun rehab game against Hiroshima on Friday. He was the starting designated hitter and batted lead-off. He went 0-for-3: G3, Kl, G3. It was his first game since July 21. He is scheduled to make the starting line-up at DH on Saturday as well. Depending on his progress, he could play some defense beginning on the 9th. Source: Sports Hochi 9/5/2014, Nikkan Sports 9/5/2014

Chunichi Dragons

  • Kenta Asakura was taken off the active roster on Thursday with pain in his right elbow. Pitching coach Yui Tomori told reporters Asakura hurt the elbow on the last pitch he threw during his start against the Yakult Swallows on the 3rd. The Dragons are not planning to rush him. Source: Nikkan Sports 9/5/2014

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • Yoshitomo Tsutsugo practiced at Yokohama Stadium with the Ichi-gun team on Friday. He is slated to return to the active roster on Saturday. Source: Daily Sports 9/5/2014, Sponichi 9/5/2014
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[9/4/2014] Injury Report: Kenta Asakura (Chunichi), Tomoyuki Sugano (Yomiuri)

by on Sep.05, 2014 @ 12:56 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Tomoyuki Sugano (right middle finger) pitched in his first rehab game on Thursday. He started a Ni-gun game against Lotte and gave up three runs on seven hits over two innings of work. He threw forty-nine pitches, walked/hit none, and topped out at 149km/h. He was originally scheduled to pitch three innings, but his day was cut short because of his pitch count. This was his first game in about a month. He could make his next start at Ichi-gun during a three-game series against Hanshin that begins on the 9th. Source: Nikkan Sports 9/4/2014, Sponichi 9/4/2014

Chunichi Dragons

  • Kenta Asakura left his start against the Yakult Swallows on Wednesday after only five innings. He was taken off the active roster on Thursday. Head coach Shigekazu Mori hinted at a possible injury when he said to reporters, "We're taking him off the active roster because he can't throw. Injuries don't stop for weak teams." Source: Nikkan Sports 9/4/2014

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • Aarom Baldiris still has some tightness in his lower back, but it is not giving him any problems when he swings the bat. Source: Sponichi 9/3/2014
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11/9/2012: Motonobu Tanishige, Kenta Asakura, Keiichi Hirano, Taiyo Fujita, Brian Sikorski

by on Nov.09, 2012 @ 11:49 pm, under NPB
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The Dragons announced today that Motonobu Tanishige (41) he will not exercise his FA option and will remain with the Chunichi Dragons.  Source: Sponichi 11/9/2012

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Kenta Asakura (31) told reporters on Thursday he does not plan to exercise his FA option and will stay with the Chunichi Dragons.  Kohei Oda (35) will also most likely stay put.  Source: Nikkan Sports 11/9/2012

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Keiichi Hirano sat down with the Hanshin Tigers today.  They asked him to remain with the team but he decided to hold off on making a decision.  It seems negotiations have not gone particularly well so far.  Source: Sports Hochi 11/9/2012

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The Yakult Swallows announced that they agreed to basic terms with Seibu senryokugai Taiyo Fujita (33).  Source: Nikkan Sports 11/9/2012official announcement

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The Hiroshima Carp announced that they signed Chunichi senryokugai Yuichi Hisamoto.  A press conference is scheduled for the 12th.  Of the sixty-one victories the Carp recorded last season, only four were won by left-handed pitchers.  Source: Nikkan Sports 11/9/2012

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The Seibu Lions are planning to offer Brian Sikorski a contract.  Source: Sponichi 11/9/2012

Sikorski gave up a run on one hit over two innings during an intra-squad outing today.  His fastball was consistently above 140km/h.  The Lions will likely make an announcement on Sikorski after he gets a physical.  Source: Nikkan Sports 11/9/2012

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Free Agent News and Notes: November 5, 2012

by on Nov.05, 2012 @ 11:24 pm, under NPB
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Takeshi Hidaka and Hayato Terahara submitted paperwork to the Orix Buffaloes to exercise their options.  Source: Sports Hochi 11/5/2012

The Tigers could offer Hidaka a two-year deal.  Source: Sanspo 11/5/2012

The Hawks are interested in Terahara.  Source: Sponichi 11/5/2012

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Toshiaki Imae (LOT) has not yet decided what he wants to do with his domestic FA option.  He is expected to make a decision soon.  Source: Sanspo 11/5/2012

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Kenta Asakura (CHU) has not yet decided.  Source: Sports Hochi Osaka 11/5/2012

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There may be a gap in between what the Keiichi Hirano wants and what the Hanshin Tigers are willing to give.  Source: Sanspo 11/5/2012

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Kyuji Fujikawa (HAN) is in Los Angeles.  His rep in Japan is expected to submit the necessary international FA option paperwork.  The Angels, Rangers, Dodgers, and Diamondbacks are among teams that are said to be interested in Fujikawa.  Source: Sanspo 11/5/2012, Sponichi 11/5/2012

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Shinjiro Hiyama (international), Yuya Ando (domestic), and Ryo Asai (domestic) will not be exercising their FA options and will remain with the Hanshin Tigers.  Source: Sponichi 11/5/2012

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Chunichi Dragons: Kenta Asakura earns domestic FA option

by on Jun.11, 2012 @ 5:49 pm, under NPB
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Kenta Asakura earned his domestic FA option today with eight years of service time on the active roster.

Source: Sponichi 6/11/2012

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Career Stats

Year Team G W L SV CG SHO BF IP   H HR BB HB SO WP BK R ER ERA
2000 Chunichi 9 0 1 0 0 0 95 17 .1 36 5 7 2 9 1 0 32 27 14.02
2001 Chunichi 15 0 5 0 0 0 236 49 .2 60 4 34 1 31 4 1 33 30 5.44
2002 Chunichi 31 11 11 0 7 1 843 200 .1 193 10 63 4 149 7 1 71 58 2.61
2003 Chunichi 6 1 4 0 1 0 153 29 .2 48 5 16 0 23 0 1 31 26 7.89
2004 Chunichi 14 3 3 0 0 0 238 53   64 7 21 2 38 7 0 27 24 4.08
2005 Chunichi 16 5 7 0 2 0 439 98 .1 123 4 40 2 65 4 0 49 43 3.94
2006 Chunichi 25 13 6 0 2 1 636 154 .2 155 12 33 3 107 6 0 51 48 2.79
2007 Chunichi 29 12 7 0 3 0 717 171 .2 173 9 50 4 105 5 0 67 64 3.36
2008 Chunichi 12 3 4 0 1 0 255 56 .1 67 5 20 1 30 2 0 27 21 3.36
2009 Chunichi 24 10 8 0 0 0 655 151 .1 159 14 45 9 83 7 0 78 68 4.04
2010 Chunichi 9 3 6 0 0 0 195 41 .1 56 8 13 2 31 0 0 29 26 5.66
2011 Chunichi 2 0 1 0 0 0 34 7   10 2 4 0 4 0 0 8 7 9.00
2012 Chunichi 3 0 0 0 0 0 14 3   6 0 0 0 1 1 0 4 4 12.00
  Totals 195 61 63 0 16 2 4510 1033 .2 1150 85 346 30 676 44 3 507 446 3.88
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Chunichi Dragons: Kenta Asakura to undergo right elbow surgery

by on Aug.09, 2011 @ 2:08 pm, under NPB
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The media learned yesterday that Kenta Asakura will undergo surgery on his right elbow to remove loose cartilage at some point this week.  Asakura will probably miss the rest of the season.

Asakura started the season at Ichi-gun before he was demoted to Ni-gun on 7/10 and made his last appearance during a Ni-gun game on 7/27.

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Chunichi Dragons Spring Camp News and Notes: February 21, 2011

by on Feb.21, 2011 @ 2:33 pm, under NPB
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This post will be updated throughout the day.

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The Dragons have the day off today.

===== 2/21 @ 10:51pm

Kenta Asakura worked out on his day off today (practice included 30 minutes of catch).  When the media tried to approach Asakura, he turned them away by suggesting that they also take the day off.

Asakura is currently scheduled to pitch against the Hanwha Eagles tomorrow.

===== 2/21 @ 9:08pm

Wei-Ying Chen worked out on his day off today -- he spent some time in the weight room.

Chen - "I really can't do any practicing right now.  I don't really want to think about it.  I just need to do whatever I can and get back to being able to throw as soon as possible."

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The Dragons announced today that actress Emi Takei will be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at Nagoya Dome on Opening Day (3/25).

===== 2/21 @ 2:33pm

Kazuki Yoshimi told reporters that he's still holding out on hope that he'll be ready for opening day.

Yoshimi - "I think it's only natural to shoot for opening day if you have even just 1% of a chance.  I'm planning on pitching in the bullpen during the next block of camp.  Once I do that, I'll have a better idea of what I need to work on.  I can't say things have gone according to plan, but I am making progress."

Yoshimi is making his way back from right elbow surgery.

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Masahiro Yamamoto played catch (about 30 tosses) at a max distance of about 50 meters yesterday.  Since the field was wet, he played catch in the parking lot.  He later told reporters that he wouldn't toss any bullpen sessions until he has had a chance to run some sprints and do some long tosses.

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Chunichi Dragons Spring Camp News and Notes: February 7, 2011

by on Feb.07, 2011 @ 4:45 pm, under NPB
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This post will be updated throughout the day.

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The Dragons have the day off today.

===== 2/8 @ 1:00am

Ibata went 3-for-4 during situational BP yesterday.  He hit a single to center off Asakura for his first hit; a single to center off Yuichi Hisamoto for his second; and a single to right off Ryosuke Oguma for his third hit.

===== 2/7 @ 4:45pm

Kenta Asakura tossed 2 shutout innings during a simulated game yesterday and gave up  3 hits.  He also faced batters like Masahiro Araki, Hirokazu Ibata, Masahiko Morino, and Tony Blanco.

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The Dragons were surprised to hear the news that a foreigner was killed in his apartment, located just 20 meters away from the secondary field.

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Chunichi Dragons Spring Camp News and Notes: February 5, 2011

by on Feb.05, 2011 @ 3:31 pm, under NPB
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This post will be updated throughout the day.

===== 2/5 @ 11:05pm

Ochiai gave Guzman some fielding advice while Guzman was taking fielding practice out in right today.  During indoor fielding practice he worked as a first baseman.  Guzman later told reporters that he was told to work out at third as well.  Seems all the hard work during camp is leaving Guzman completely drained after practice.

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Kenta Asakura threw 58 pitches (mostly fastballs) in the bullpen today.  He also worked on hitting spots set by the catcher.

===== 2/5 @ 3:31pm

Wei-Ying Chen threw 80 pitches in the bullpen today and told reporters that he still had a long way to go and that there were a  lot of things he still needed to work on.

Special temporary coach Shigeru Sugishita also recently conveyed to Chen the importance of the fork, especially if he wants to play in the majors.

Said Chen, "He told me to learn how to throw a pitch that drops if I want to pitch in the majors.  He said that I'll get beat if I go in with only a change-up.  And that the pitch I was throwing right now isn't a fork.  Instead of dropping, it's just sinking. ... He told me that if I wanted to become a better pitcher, I would need to work on my fork more.  He didn't give me any advice on how, but there's still a month so I'd like to work on my fork as much as possible."

Sugishita then apparently listed Kazuhiro Sasaki and Takashi Saito as perfect examples of pitchers with good forks that found success in the majors and Kei Igawa as an example for a pitcher that hasn't made it because he doesn't have a fork and instead relies on a change.

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More on Hitoki Iwase's 47-pitch BP appearance yesterday: they were all fastballs and he allowed 4 could-be hits.  Iwase was probably throwing in the early to mid 130km/h range.

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Hiromitsu Ochiai worked with Tony Blanco, Joel Guzman, and Felix Carrasco at first base yesterday.  Since the Dragons will likely carry two foreign pitchers (Chen and Maximo Nelson), they will only have room for 2 position players.

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