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[9/30/2015] Hanshin Tigers: Kentaro Sekimoto announces his decision to retire

by on Sep.30, 2015 @ 8:07 pm, under NPB
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Kentaro Sekimoto held a press conference at the team office in Nishinomiya, Hyogo earlier today to formally announce his decision to retire at the end of the year.

A few notes from various sources:

  • He felt he had a pretty good career, considering his abilities.
  • He started thinking this might be his last year after he got hurt for a second time this year.
  • He got into baseball as a kid because he loved it. He did not want to stick around until he could not hit anymore and started to hate baseball. He wanted to quit on his own terms.
  • There are a lot of things he wishes could have been, particularly winning a Nippon Series.
  • He was confident when he first joined the team and thought he would easily make it. He remembers being surprised (and humbled) when it took him three years to make it to Ichi-gun.
  • He feels he was able to have a long career because he learned how to adjust his expectations and goals.
  • He did not particularly enjoy with responsibilities that came with being the team's top bat off the bench. There were times he wished the team would win before his turn came around.
  • He was so focused on his at bats that he would not hear the cheers until after he stepped on first base on a hit.
  • Memorable moment: striking out against Daisuke Miura in his first trip to the plate.
  • A retirement ceremony will take place after a game against Hiroshima on October 4.

Source: official announcement, official announcement (retirement ceremony), Daily Sports 9/30/2015, Daily Sports 9/30/2015, Sponichi 9/30/2015, Nikkan Sports 9/30/2015

[UPDATE 10/5 @ 9:41am]

Sekimoto played in his last game on October 4. He entered the game against Hiroshima as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the 8th and grounded out to the pitcher. He remained in the game as the third base man in the top of the 9th. The Tigers held a retirement ceremony for the veteran after the game. Takahiro Arai, Takashi Toritani, and his two sons presented him with flowers. Teammates tossed him into the air three times.

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/4/2015, Daily Sports 10/4/2015, Daily Sports 10/4/2015Sponichi 10/4/2015

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[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

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[8/19/2014] Hanshin Tigers: Kentaro Sekimoto earns FA option

by on Aug.19, 2014 @ 8:07 pm, under NPB
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Kentaro Sekimoto (35) re-earned his FA option today.  Sekimoto earned his original domestic option in 2010.  He exercised and remained with the Tigers.  He told reporters he was not thinking about anything past this season, but was surprised that he managed to log twelve years at Ichi-gun.

Source: Daily Sports 8/19/2014

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[9/28/2013] Injury Updates: Abe (YOM), Oshima, Ito (CHU), Sekimoto (HAN), Naruse (LOT)

by on Sep.29, 2013 @ 1:58 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

Shinnosuke Abe made it into Satuday's game as a catcher in the 7th.  He was forced to the bench because of a shingle outbreak on the 21st.  His condition has improved to the point where he might be able to return to the starting line-up on Sunday.

Source: Sponichi 9/28/2013

Chunichi Dragons

Yohei Oshima and Junki Ito will go under the knife next month -- Oshima will get his left elbowed cleaned out on the 12th and Ito will have surgery on his right elbow (synovial fold - 滑膜ひだ) on the 26th.

Oshima should be able to resume workouts before the end of the year.  He is hoping to be at one-hundred percent for spring camp.

Ito will likely require about two months before he is able to return to workouts.

Source: Daily Sports 9/28/2013

Hanshin Tigers

Kentaro Sekimoto was taken off the active roster on Friday with tightness running from his lower back to his glutes.  It is uncertain if he will be able to return to the active roster in time for the First Stage of the Climax Series.

Source: Daily Sports 9/28/2013

Chiba Lotte Marines

Yoshihisa Naruse (left shoulder) started a Ni-gun game against Yomiuri on Saturday and gave up two runs on six hits over five innings of work.  He threw eighty-six pitches, walked three, fanned three.  Assuming no setbacks, he could return to the active roster in time for a start against Orix on October 6.

Source: Sports Hochi 9/28/2013, Nikkan Sports 9/28/2013

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[5/16/2013] Injury Updates: Yamamoto (CHU), Tanaka (YAK), Sekimoto (HAN), Duckworth (RAK)

by on May.16, 2013 @ 10:42 pm, under NPB
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Chunichi Dragons

Masahiro Yamamoto was taken off the active roster today with a bruise on his left shin -- he took a batted ball off his left leg during his start against Nippon Ham on Wednesday.  The injury is not considered serious.  There were already plans to give him an extended rest.

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/16/2013, Sports Hochi 5/16/2013

Yakult Swallows

Masahiko Tanaka has decided not to go under the knife after suffering a fracture in his left collarbone during a game against Hanshin on the 12th.  He will likely require two to three months for a full recovery.

Source: Sanspo 5/16/2013

Hanshin Tigers

Kentaro Sekimoto was taken off the active roster today with pain in his left calf.  He reportedly suffered the injury during a game on the 12th.

Source: Sports Hochi 5/16/2013

Rakuten Eagles

Brandon Duckworth hurt his left hamstring during his start against Yokohama on Wednesday and was taken off the active roster today.  The injury does not appear to be severe.

Source: Sponichi 5/16/2013

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Hanshin Tigers News and Notes: November 24, 2010

by on Nov.24, 2010 @ 10:17 am, under NPB
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Next year will be Shinjiro Hiyama's 20th season with the Hanshin Tigers.  He will join Goro Toi (1958-1977) as players that have spent the most time with the club.  Hiyama will also be shooting to break Akinobu Mayumi's single season record of 30 pinch-hit RBIs (set in 1994).

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Kentaro Sekimoto will apparently ride his bike a total 2,400km before the end of the year.  Sekimoto is currently riding his bike to and from the place where he's training for a total 40km a day.  Seems he recently purchased a road bike in order to work on his lower body during the off-season.

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Takashi Toritani will continue to lead the team as chief player rep next season with his performance on the field (since he's not good with words).  Toritani is also set to earn his domestic FA next season.

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The Tigers are planning on carrying four catchers during spring camp next year.  Current candidates: Akihito Fujii, Taichi Okazaki, Takashi Shimizu, and Shinji Komiyama.

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It appears as though Kenji Jojima's recovery from left knee surgery is going quite well (perhaps quicker than expected, but it's still too early to say).  Jojiima is expected to spend most of the off-season rehabbing his knee in Fukuoka and has already rounded up all kinds of exercise equipment to help him out.

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Hiyama took part in a Tigers' charity event on Tuesday.  As did Sekimoto, Toritani, and Kyuji Fujikawa.

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Hanshin Tigers News and Notes: November 17, 2010

by on Nov.17, 2010 @ 12:46 pm, under NPB
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Kazuhito Futagami tossed 30 pitches (just fastballs) to a squatting catcher on Tuesday.  It was the first time Futagami threw to a squatting catcher since hurting his right elbow.

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Yusuke Kawasaki faced lefties during a simulated game on Tuesday (18 in all) and gave up 5 hits and struck out 1.

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Robert Zarate apparently caught a cold and spent the day getting checked out a hospital on Tuesday.  Seems he doesn't have a fever but does have a sore throat.

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Since being discharged from the hospital on the 12th (after surgery on the 9th), Kenji Jojima has been rehabbing his left knee in a "secret" location -- seems the club even asked Jojima to keep his rehab work outs and training location a secret.  But according to an unnamed source, Jojima is apparently working out in Kyushu.

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Now that Kentaro Sekimoto has a 3-year deal, Akinobu Mayumi issued a challenge to Sekimoto to win the starting second base job (or any starting position).

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The Tigers held a 5,000m run during practice on Tuesday.  Naoto Tsuru finished in first with a time of 19m 3s, 19 seconds faster than the second place finisher, Takumi Akiyama.

Incidentally, it seems Akiyama is a candidate for opening day starter.  If Akiyama does end up the opening day starter, that would make him the 5th pitcher under 20 in club history to get the opening day start and the first pitcher under 20 to get the job since Kazunori Nishimura in 1955.  Seems Daisuke Matsuzaka was the last pitcher under 20 in the NPB to get an opening day start (2000).

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As expected, Yuya Ando will not be exercising his FA option.

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Hanshin Tigers News and Notes: November 16, 2010

by on Nov.16, 2010 @ 11:23 am, under NPB
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It appears Kodai Sakurai will have surgery on his right elbow at some point within the next few days.  According to an unnamed source close to the situation, while Sakurai is able to play through the pain (using pain killers and other forms of treatment), it made more sense for him to have the surgery and get back to playing without any pain.

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Minoru Iwata did some running and weight training on Monday, a day after a simulated game outing, and told reports that he felt no pain in his left elbow.

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Yasutomo Kubo started his training for the 2011 season on Monday.  His first day of training entailed about 3-4 hours of running and trunk muscle strengthening exercises.  Kubo plans on training on his own until the start of spring camp on 2/1.

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The Tigers will continue to put Tomoaki Kanemoto in the starting line-up next year, but not at the expense of maintaining a record.

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Kosuke Kato tossed 54 pitches in the bullpen on Monday under the watchful eye of Mayumi.

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According to Sanspo, Kentaro Sekimoto met with the Hanshin Tigers yesterday but was not able to an agreement with the club.  But Daily Sports is carrying a report that says that there will be a press conference today to announce that Sekimoto will be staying with the club.  According to the Daily Sports report, the two sides may have agreed on a three year deal worth 75M yen (plus incentives) next year.

Yuya Ando's agent also met with the Tigers yesterday and while Ando's camp also couldn't commit, it seems they are further along in the negotiation process and could be close finalizing a deal.

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It appears the Tigers will indeed be going after Akihito Fujii (RAK) once he hits the FA market.

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The Tigers announced they will be selling advance order ticket packs (6, 10, and 12 packs) for the 2011 season between 11/18/2010 and 1/26/2011. (via Daily Sports)

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