Thursday, November 17, 2016

Report: Seibu Lions sign Shogo Kimura to ikusei contract, change two jersey numbers

The Saitama Seibu Lions announced they signed infielder Shogo Kimura to an ikusei contract on Friday afternoon.

Kimura, 36, will be rehabbing as he is recovering from a torn ACL, which he suffered on June 22. Having him under an ikusei contract will be a road to recovery, according to Senior Director Hisanobu "Nabe-Q" Watanabe.

In a limited time in 2016, Kimura had a slashline of .221/.262/.263 in 38 games and 95 at bats.  He only had three extra base hits for the entire season. Kimura spent time as a reserve infielder for both 3B and shortstop

This is the first time the Lions have used ikusei since 2015..Previously, he was with the Hiroshima Carp and Yokohama DeNA Baystars.  As an ikusei, he will be eligible to play in ni-gun games and will wear a triple-digit jersey number in No. 121.

In 2015, the Lions had 67 players on their 70-man roster with three players under ikusei contracts. Assuming that Kimura could earn an in-season promotion for 2017 and that they don't max out their roster, the Lions will have four roster spots available after the loss of Takayuki Kishi.


Other note: The Lions announced that Hideto Asamura will be wearing No. 3 after having No. 32 for his entire career with the team. Nabe-Q said he suggested the change as Asamura earned his way through a strong 2016 season. Infielder Kyohei Nagae will be switching from No. 59 to No. 32.

The last Seibu Lions player to wear No. 3 was Hiroyuki Nakajima from 2004-2012. Kazuhiro Kiyohara also wore this number from 1986-1996.  


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