The Tokyo Yakult Swallows promoted Shingo Takatsu from farm manager to replace Junji Ogawa as the top team manager on Tuesday.
The 50-year-old former pitcher, who had been managing the Swallows’ Eastern League farm team since 2017, saved 286 games over his career in Japan, the second most in NPB history.
Takatsu played most of his pro career with Yakult. The sidearm pitched in two major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets before returning for two more with the Swallows. He also pitched in South Korea and Taiwan.
The Swallows have been managed the past two seasons by Ogawa, who stepped down after the club finished last in the Central League this year.
After starting his coaching career as player-manager for Niigata Albirex in the independent Baseball Challenge League in 2012, Takatsu joined Yakult in 2014 as the top team pitching coach.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5