It was Pacific League Thursday, and with each of the top-three teams playing a second-division club, there was, like in interleague, a chance for some real shift in the standings. Roki Sasaki, who was pulled after throwing 58 pitches in five innings on Wednesday, apparently did not recover sufficiently overnight to make Lotte think he would be able to make his next start, and was deactivated.
This is the 20-year-old’s first season in the rotation. In 2020, his first season, Sasaki didn’t pitch in a single official game at any level, with the team explaining that he was unable to recover quickly enough from his bullpens and simulated games.
Thursday also gave us the next Tiger – or former Tiger – to announce the end was near. This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering how old Hanshin’s roster was a few years back, when Takashi Toritani, Kosuke Fukudome, Yoshio Itoi and Atsushi Nomi were all together in pinstripes.
Fukudome, who turned 45 in April, entered the season as Japan’s oldest active player, followed by Nomi, who turned 43 in May. On Thursday, the lefty, currently with the Orix Buffaloes as a player coach, announced that he didn’t want to be next season’s oldest.
The former Tigers ace has a career record of 104-93 with four saves and a 3.35 ERA over 473 career games.
The games:Continue reading NPB news: Sept. 15, 2022