• Kyodo


Munenori Kawasaki has been promoted to the top team for this weekend’s three-game series against the Orix Buffaloes, Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks manager Kimiyasu Kudo said Thursday.

Kudo said he will play the 35-year-old infielder, who signed a one-year deal with the Pacific League club earlier this month, in Friday’s game at Kyocera Dome, ahead of his initial plan to wait until the following weekend.

“I expect him to do well in everything — hitting, running, defending. I’ll decide tomorrow whether he’ll be in the starting lineup or play as a sub,” Kudo said.

“I was thinking of (promoting him) around May 3 or May 4, but our situation has changed. He is in good shape.”

Kawasaki rejoined the Hawks after five years in the major and minor leagues.

In 13 farm team appearances since returning to Japan, Kawasaki batted .441 with one homer and 10 RBIs.

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