Messenger to bow out

The Daily Sports reported Friday that veteran Hanshin Tigers hurler Randy Messenger told the Central League club he will retire. The Tigers released that news on Saturday morning.

The 38-year-old right-hander, who joined the Tigers in 2010, has a career record of 98-84 over 10 seasons with a 3.13 ERA. He has struggled with fitness this season, in which he has posted a 3-7 record with a 4.69 ERA.

Messenger pitched in 173 major league games before arriving in Japan. Prior to the Tigers, he pitched in the big leagues with the Florida Marlins, San Francisco Giants and Seattle Mariners.

From 2013, Messenger led the CL in strikeouts for two straight years, and led the league in wins as well the following year.

Among foreign registered pitchers, Messenger ranks fifth in wins. The top two on the list were contemporaries from Taiwan in the 1980s and 90s, the second two American contemporaries from the 1960s:

  • Kuo Yuen-chih (Genji Kaku) 117
  • Kuo Tai-yuan (Taigen Kaku) 106
  • (tie) Joe Stanka 100, Gene Bacque
  • Randy Messenger 98

Messenger returned to the United States at the end of July for treatment on his right shoulder, and returned to Japan on Aug. 8. On Thursday, he pitched for the farm team against the Tokushima Indigo Sox of the independent Shikoku Island League. He worked four scoreless innings before allowing four runs in the fifth.

Jim Allen

sports editor for a wire service in Tokyo

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