Kodai Senga

Senga deactivated

SoftBank Hawks ace Kodai Senga was deactivated Saturday, due to minor tightness in his right elbow following his start on Friday against the Lotte Marines, Nishinihon Sports reported.

The 29-year-old, who aspires to pitch in MLB next season, was pulled from his starts after allowing four runs over four innings, although Hawks skipper Hiroshi Fujimoto indicated the reason for his exit — and that of catcher Takuya Kai — was not a physical issue but the battery’s unwillingness to make use of Senga’s fastball.

The four runs were the most Senga had given up this season, while his exit was the earliest, but Fujimoto said it was a minor issue.

“Because it’s just a little tight, it will probably only cause him to miss one turn (in the rotation),” Fujimoto said. “It’s not a serious injury. It’s to the extent where when he says he’ll pitch, I’ll put him on the mound.”

“I’m guessing he should be back for start of the (interleague) games in Nagoya (between June 3 and 6).”

Senga is 3-2 this season in nine starts with a 1.74 ERA and 64 strikeouts.

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