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Earlier this year, 24-year-old Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles pitcher Wataru Karashima said he’d retire if he failed to reach 10 wins this season. Karashima has pitched in NPB for five seasons, and was used out of the bullpen over the first two, making 14 appearances as a reliever. Since becoming a starter in 2012, Karashima has won eight games twice, in 2012 and 2014, and three games in 2013. He’s a decent pitcher, not a particularly hard thrower but a player who will show flashes of good command and had a great showing for himself in the 2013 postseason. So a double-digit win season isn’t out of the question. Still, it’s probably for the best he laid his cards on the table in a tongue-in-cheek fashion.

Karashima’s future career prospects notwithstanding, it’s important for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles that the left-hander have a good season in 2015. The same also holds true for 19-year-old left-hander Yuki Matsui.

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