FUKUOKA – Right-handers Kodai Senga and Shota Takeda are poised to return to the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks’ injury-plagued starting rotation, pitching coach Shinji Kurano said Wednesday.
The Hawks are looking at a return in time for a three-game series with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters in Fukuoka from June 27 to June 29.
“We have a rough idea about Senga and Takeda is building up so he’ll be ready for us,” Kurano said.
Senga, one of the stars of March’s World Baseball Classic, was deactivated on June 8 with back stiffness. Takeda has not pitched since April 12 due to inflammation in his right shoulder.
The Hawks have also been without veteran lefty Tsuyoshi Wada since April 7 due to elbow inflammation. Daisuke Matsuzaka, in the final year of his three-year Hawks’ contract, appeared to be on the verge of helping out on the first team but has continued to be held back by nagging injuries.
Despite their starting pitching issues, the Hawks have asserted themselves into the Pacific League pennant race.