SENDAI - Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles head coach and interim manager Yosuke Hiraishi was named the club’s skipper for next season, it was announced on Friday.
Hiraishi took over when veteran skipper Masataka Nashida stepped down on June 16.
The 38-year-old Hiraishi becomes the first former Eagles player to manage the team, which began competing as an expansion franchise in 2005. Hiraishi joined Rakuten out of the corporate leagues as a seventh-round pick in the 2004 draft.
A utility man, Hiraishi played in just 122 first-team games before retiring after the 2011 season. He managed the Eagles farm team in 2016 and 2017, before being named head coach for this season.