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Akinori Otsuka | Relief Pitcher

Team: Texas Rangers
Age / DOB:  (42) / 1/13/1972
Ht / Wt:  6'0' / 210
Bats / Throws: Right / Right
Contract: view contract details
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Free agent Akinori Otsuka, who missed last season following elbow surgery, plans to throw for teams next month.
Otsuka's former teams, the Padres and Rangers, both figure to be interested, and they won't be the only ones if Otsuka comes out throwing close to 100 percent. The soon-to-be 37-year-old right-hander has a 2.44 ERA in 236 appearances as a major leaguer. Sat, Dec 27, 2008 02:43:00 PM

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Free agent Akinori Otsuka will undergo elbow surgery Wednesday, he reported on his blog.

Otsuka didn't say whether it'd be Tommy John surgery or something less severe. We're guessing he'll need to have the ligament replaced. If it was a lesser problem, he should have had it taken care of months ago.
Source: Kyodo News
Thu, Jan 10, 2008 01:43:00 PM

The Phillies may be interested in Akinori Otsuka, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.

Non-tendered by the Rangers earlier this week, Otsuka figures to be a popular target if teams are confident that he's healthy after missing the second half with arm problems.
Fri, Dec 14, 2007 09:57:00 AM

Rangers non-tendered RHP Akinori Otsuka and outfielder Nick Gorneault.

The Rangers are setting Otsuka free even though the reports back from his rehabilitation have been positive. With the way the relief market has blown up, it would have been worth the risk to pay Otsuka $4 million, especially since they still would have had him under control for 2009. This makes C.J. Wilson the current favorite to close for the Rangers, though the team figures to consider Octavio Dotel and maybe a couple of other options.
Thu, Dec 13, 2007 12:29:00 AM

General manager Jon Daniels said Monday that Akinori Otsuka (elbow) has begun throwing for the first time in two months.

"It's been encouraging," Daniels said. "Everything has been going well. Really, since mid-September, it's all been positive. It was just so late in the season that we wanted to be extra cautious." Otsuka remains one setback away from possibly needing Tommy John surgery, but if healthy could emerge as the Rangers' closer.
Tue, Nov 6, 2007 10:50:00 AM

Rangers activated RHP Akinori Otsuka, SS Joaquin Arias and RHP Josh Rupe from the 60-day disabled list

Otsuka, a candidate for Tommy John surgery, will resume throwing at the Rangers spring training facility. The Rangers want to see if his arm is healthy before tendering him a contract prior to the December deadline.
Tue, Oct 16, 2007 11:18:00 AM

Akinori Otsuka (elbow) says he's not trying to throw anymore.

He's officially done for the season, and should surgery be required, Otsuka could very well be done as a Ranger.
Fri, Sep 21, 2007 07:34:00 AM

Akinori Otsuka (elbow), who said he was feeling better Wednesday, plans to make a decision regarding surgery within the next weeks.

Any operation -- regardless of the level of damage discovered -- will likely knock him out for at least eight months, putting him at risk of being non-tendered by Texas.
Thu, Sep 6, 2007 09:00:00 AM

Rangers transferred RHP Akinori Otsuka from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list.

Otsuka (elbow) will be eligible to come off the DL on Sept. 15, and there's still a chance that he will pitch in the majors again this season.
Wed, Sep 5, 2007 03:19:00 PM

Akinori Otsuka (arm), who threw on Monday for about five minutes from 30 feet, believes he will return to the team this season.

He's been out since July 19 because of forearm inflammation, but he wants to return for the final few games to prove to the team he's healthy. The problem is, he simply may not be healthy, and, in fact, Tommy John surgery has been discussed as a possibility. But until he has exploratory surgery, we won't know what Otsuka's ultimate prognosis is.
Tue, Sep 4, 2007 09:35:00 AM

Akinori Otsuka (arm) will begin a throwing program Monday.

This is his last try to stave off exploratory surgery that could result in something as simple as a clean-up to revealing he requires Tommy John surgery. The Rangers are holding out hope that simple rest will allow Otsuka to retake the mound this year.
Mon, Sep 3, 2007 09:03:00 AM

Akinori Otsuka is going to rest his sore elbow for three weeks, making it unlikely that he'll pitch again this season.

Otsuka was told that he doesn't require surgery for his elbow. Still, he's nowhere near being ready to pitch. "If he can get through that, then he'll just rest over the winter. If not, surgery is a possibility," GM Jon Daniels said. "The reality is he probably won't pitch again this year."
Thu, Aug 23, 2007 09:45:00 PM

Dr. James Andrews declined to recommend surgery following an examination of Akinori Otsuka's elbow on Wednesday.

Otsuka may still end up having a procedure, as the pain has persisted for months. "There is some wear and tear that is consistent with a pitcher of his age," assistant GM Thad Levine said. "There is no structural issue that should prevent him from pitching through this. It's a matter of pain threshold and what he feels comfortable with." If Otsuka does undergo surgery, it'd likely be a cleanup procedure, not something that would knock him out for 2008.
Wed, Aug 22, 2007 11:50:00 PM

Akinori Otsuka will go see Dr. James Andrews because of continued soreness in his right forearm.

Gulp. The Rangers were hoping to get Otsuka back for the final month of the season, but that seems unlikely. There's no reason to take any chances with him, not when he's under control through 2009.
Mon, Aug 20, 2007 06:01:00 PM

Akinori Otsuka (forearm) threw off flat ground Tuesday, but remains unlikely to return before September.

Pitching coach Mark Connor said there's still hope that Otsuka will pitch again this season. "I sure hope he comes back," Connor said. "For him, it's about his confidence and showing people he's healthy going into the off-season."
Wed, Aug 15, 2007 10:50:00 AM

Depth Charts

Batters
PosRoleName
C1Geovany Soto
2Robinson Chirinos
3Chris Gimenez
1B1J.P. Arencibia
2Prince Fielder
2B1Rougned Odor
2Jurickson Profar
SS1Elvis Andrus
3B1Adrian Beltre
2Kevin Kouzmanoff
LF1Shin-Soo Choo
2Jake Smolinski
3Jim Adduci
CF1Leonys Martin
2Engel Beltre
RF1Alex Rios
2Daniel Robertson
DH1Mitch Moreland
Starting Pitcher
PosRoleName
S1Yu Darvish
2Derek Holland
3Matt Harrison
4Colby Lewis
5Nick Tepesch
6Scott Baker
7Nick Martinez
8Miles Mikolas
9Martin Perez
Relief Pitcher
PosRoleName
R1Joakim Soria
2Alexi Ogando
3Neal Cotts
4Tanner Scheppers
5Shawn Tolleson
6Neftali Feliz
7Ryan Feierabend
8Roman Mendez
9Joseph Ortiz
10Pedro Figueroa