Relief pitcher Kyosuke Takagi has told the Yomiuri Giants that he wants to return to baseball following his one-year suspension for gambling, the Central League club announced Wednesday.
The Giants could file an application for his reinstatement with Nippon Professional Baseball’s commissioner as early as Thursday. If the team’s request is accepted, the 27-year-old lefty would be signed to a developmental contract. According to NPB, no player suspended for betting on baseball has ever resumed his pro career.
Takagi was found to have bet on a handful of baseball games for a brief period of time at the urging of a Giants teammate and received a one-year suspension last March 22. He was immediately fired by the Giants.
Kiyoshi Morita, the team’s general affairs director, interviewed Takagi last March after his punishment was handed down and told him that his grasping the scope of his actions and adopting a serious stance could allow him to return.
“He deeply regrets his acts and wants to get a second chance,” Morita said.
According to Morita, Takagi said, “Those who have taught me and my former colleagues have supported me as I struggled to come back. I continued practicing to repay them. The only way to repay my debt of gratitude is to make a comeback.”
The pitcher has played in 139 career games with six wins, no losses, one save and a 3.03 earned run average.