Hitting coach Kazuya Fukuura becomes head coach and hitting coach
Lotte announced on the 7th that Rihito Yoshii has been appointed as the first commander of the army next season. Mr. Yoshii has been Lotte’s pitching coach since 2019 and served as “pitching coordinator” this season.
Through the team, Mr. Yoshii, “I am surprised at the request for an appointment. Until now, I have been studying as a coach, but from now on, I will be in a position to be in charge in general. Basically, I want to raise the performance of the players and improve the human power. And finally, I will aim to win and stand on the big stage in October,” he said.
He also worked hard to develop pitcher Aki Sasaki, who won the 1st place in the 2019 draft. This season ended in Class B for the first time in three years, and manager Tadahito Iguchi resigned after five years at the helm. Mr. Yoshii, who has a lot of experience in Japan and the United States during his playing days and has a wealth of training experience, was entrusted with the rebuilding.
It was also announced that Kazuya Fukuura will be appointed as the head coach and batting coach of 1st Army.
○ Masato Yoshii
Born April 20, 1965. Born in Wakayama Prefecture. He joined Kintetsu at 2nd overall in the 1983 draft from Minoshima High School. In 1988, he won the title of best relief pitcher as a catching pitcher. In 1995, he was traded to Yakult. In 1997, he transferred to the American Major League Mets as a free agent. After that, he played for the Rockies and the Expos. He returned to Japan in 2003 with Orix. Played for Lotte in 2007 and retired. After retirement, he worked as a pitching coach at Nippon-Ham and Softbank, and since 2019 he has been a pitching coach at Lotte. Since 2010, he has been Lotte’s pitching coordinator, and since last year he has been the pitching coach for Japan’s Samurai Top Team.
(Full Account editorial section)