Both Imanaga and Bauer will leave…DeNA is in danger of losing a significant amount of strength next season, and the next manager is rumored to be in trouble. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Both Imanaga and Bauer will leave…DeNA is in danger of losing a significant amount of strength next season, and the next manager is rumored to be in trouble.

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Bauer (right) and Miura, who has exceeded expectations. If the outflow occurs, the team’s strength will inevitably decline (PHOTO: Jiji Press).

The news will not be pleasant for DeNA.

On September 7, the MLB’s official website reported that ace Shota Imanaga is expected to challenge for a major league contract this offseason through the posting system. Imanaga made a strong impact in the U.S. by pitching in the WBC finals in March. The Yankees, Dodgers, Cardinals, and other teams have already been named as possible destinations.

He has been very consistent this season, going 7-3 with a 2.00 ERA and leading both leagues in strikeouts with 152 (as of September 11, 2009). He said at his contract renewal in the off-season of 2009, “To be honest, I am interested in joining the Majors. If the information were to leak out, it would be a considerable blow to DeNA.

Imanaga’s attempt to play in the Majors is not the only concern for DeNA. Bauer, who has won 10 games so far and is out due to injury, could also leave the team. Although there were concerns about his behavior at first, he has exceeded expectations with his bare fighting spirit. It is said that DeNA was able to acquire him at a low price because the Dodgers, who had signed him to a three-year contract, covered most of his salary (about 3 billion yen) this season. Next season, several teams, including those in the majors, are expected to offer favorable terms to acquire him.

Before the season started, the team was a favorite to win the championship, but it was in danger of being in the B class.

In addition, Kenta Ishida, who is 4-8 but still holds a spot in the rotation, has acquired FA rights in Japan. DeNA is in danger of losing all of its core players next season.

This season’s DeNA pitching staff includes Imanaga and Bauer, and the batting lineup features strong hitters such as Shugo Maki, Keita Sano, and Toshiro Miyazaki. Before the opening of the season, there were calls for them to be the top contender for the championship. However, when the season started, they were far behind the leader, Hanshin, and there was a possibility that they would fall to the B class. If the team’s strength declines significantly next season and it slumps to the bottom for the second year in a row, Daisuke Miura, the manager of the team, could be held responsible.

Fans are already naming candidates for the “next manager. Ramirez, who has experience as a manager, and Toshihisa Hitoshi, who leads the second team (……). Among them, the most highly anticipated name is a surprising one.

He is Tomio Tashiro, the traveling hitting coach. The current DeNA team, centered on the 1998 championship-winning team, has a lineup of coaches with name value, including manager Miura, Naonori Suzuki, Takashi Saito, and Takuro Ishii. Mr. Tashiro is the one who brings together these coaches with their strong personalities, and although he is 69 years old and not glamorous, he is an important figure at the core of the organization.

He has a mild-mannered personality and is known by the nickname “Obaku Q.” He never looks down on his players, and he is always ready to help them. He never coaches the players from a superior position. He is trusted by core players such as Maki and Miyazaki. He has the kindness to say to retiring players, “I want you to leave with your heart in your chest that you were a professional baseball player.

DeNA is likely to face an uphill battle next season, and a drastic appointment of new talent may be necessary to break out of its current predicament.

  • PHOTO Jiji Press

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