Orix Buffaloes center fielder and leadoff man Tomotaka Sakaguchi will be out for about 10 weeks with a dislocated right shoulder, the team announced Friday.
Sakaguchi, who last year won his fourth straight Golden Glove, made a tumbling catch on a short fly in the first inning of Thursday’s interleague game against the Yomiuri Giants at Tokyo Dome. He was deactivated later in the evening.
His loss will be a blow to the Buffaloes, who bring up the rear in the Pacific League and were swept in their first two interleague games.
Sakaguchi finished second in batting in interleague play in 2010 with a .389 average and won the event’s batting title last season, when he hit .412.
“We’ll just use different player every day in center, because we don’t have anyone who can both hit and field,” Orix manager Akinobu Okada said.
The player is expected to undergo treatment and rehab at the team’s facility in Kobe.
Kubo awaits surgery
Yomiuri Giants reliever Yuya Kubo will undergo season-ending elbow surgery, a team executive said Friday.
Kubo, who saved 20 games despite not becoming the team’s regular closer until the end of July, has pitched in just two games this season. He will undergo ligament-reconstruction surgery on his right arm this month.
“It would be difficult for him to contribute this season,” team representative Atsushi Harasawa said.
Kubo’s preparations for the season were delayed due to his having surgery on his groin during the offseason. He was deactivated on April 6 due to pain in his right elbow.
“I told him he should just have the spirit to start from scratch all over again,” Harasawa said.