OSAKA – The Orix Buffaloes’ Keiichi Hirano, a Best Nine and Golden Glove award winner who has spent a career shifting between center field and second base, is poised to retire at the end of this season, a team source revealed Saturday.
Hirano, a speedy left-handed hitter, has been plagued by injuries the past three seasons and has appeared in just 29 games for Orix this year. The 36-year-old was the Central League’s Best Nine and Golden Glove winner at second base in 2010 and 2011, when he was with the Hanshin Tigers.
A premium pre-draft signing of Orix in 2001, Hirano was traded to the Tigers after the 2007 season, but filed for free agency in 2012 and returned to the Pacific League with Orix.
Hirano has a career batting average of .279 over 1,260 games.
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