NISHINOMIYA – The Hanshin Tigers have asked their minor league manager, Akihiro Yano, to take over as their top manager for next year, an informed source said Saturday.
The Tigers are seeking a replacement for Tomoaki Kanemoto who on Thursday refused to accept a contract extension after Hanshin finished last in the Central League for the first time since 2001.
On Saturday, team president Kenji Ageshio visited the 49-year-old Yano in Miyazaki, where he is managing Tigers prospects in the Phoenix League, Japan’s autumn instructional league. The two spoke for an hour and a half and did not speak to reporters afterward.
Under Yano, the Tigers’ farm team won the Western League and Japan’s farm championship.
Like the outgoing Kanemoto, Yano attended Sendai’s Tohoku Fukushi University and was a star on the Tigers’ last two CL pennant-winning teams in 2003 and 2005.