Injury Updates: Saito, Otsuka, Ishii, Williams
by Patrick Newman (Jan 31, 2010)
A few updates on the guys who have been rehabbing for years, plus
- Kazumi Saito is headed for the operating table yet
again, this time to have
his rotator cuff repaired. Saito last saw game action in 2007, and
we can probably rule him out for this season too. In Saito's three
healthy seasons, he is a combined 54-9.
- Like Saito, Akinori Otsuka hasn't pitched since
2007, but he isn't hanging up his cleats either. Otsuka had his third
elbow surgery on January 20th, with the intent of returning as an
active pitcher. Like Saito, if he's just had surgery, he's probably
looking at a 2011 return at best, at which time he'll be 39.
- Hirotoshi Ishii has been on the shelf since 2006,
following a shoulder injury suffered during the '06 WBC. Unlike Saito an
Otsuka, Ishii actually pitched in games in 2008 and 2009, though for
Yakult's farm team. Ishii was one of the hardest throwing lefthanders
ever in Japan, and he and former teammate Ryota Igarashi
were known as the "Rocket Boys". Ishii said early in the winter that he
didn't want to "lose to Igarashi".
- I don't have much news on Jeff Williams, but according
to Sanspo, Hanshin's management is considering the situation a
"blank page" and willing to give him a look when he's ready. Jeff is not
under contract with Hanshin, but has made it known that he wants to
return to the team.