GERMANY – After Nils Hartkopf returned to the Solingen Alligators and Raef Hobbs Brown joined the Saarlouis Hornets for the 2010 season, the Mainz Athletics were looking for a shortstop for the upcoming season.
The 2007 German champion filled the vacant position with Daisuke Ikenaga from Japan.
Ikenaga, 29, played for the Athletics in 2006, where he had a batting average of .233 and a fielding average of .946.
After 2006 he played in the Golden League in the United States for one season and went on to play in Australia. Most recently he played in an independent league in Japan.
“We are happy to have Daisuke back in Mainz,” said sports director and assistant coach Ulli Wermuth. “He is a great Shortstop with an outstanding work ethic, that our young player can learn a lot from. Daisuke also pitched when he played in Australia where he did not walk anybody in 10.2 Innings, which gives us hope that he will be able to support our young pitching staff around veteran Manuel Möller.”
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Two more additions, Julius Spann and Christian Decher from the farm team of the Athletics, will complete the roster.
Decher was a member of the German junior national team last year and the winning pitcher of the final of the German junior championship. The 19-year-old is currently injured with a broken hand, but will be back for the start of the season.
The 20-year-old Spann is a pitcher/outfielder that mainly played high school baseball in Philadelphia last season.
The well-structured farm system of the Athletics has paid off with 12 of the 17 players on the roster making their way into the Bundesliga through the farm teams.
2010 MAINZ ATHLETICS ROSTER:
Kevin Kotowski, Shu Sasaki (Japan) and Andreas Lastinger.
Max Boldt, Martin Kipphan, Daisuke Ikenaga (Japan), Tim Stahlmann, Janni Stöcklin and Nici Weichert.
Kevin Kotowski, Mike Larson (Canada), Enzo Muschik, Hendrick Schewe and Julius Spann
Max Boldt, Christian Decher, Max Doll, Daisuke Ikenaga (Japan), Daniel Klein, Manuel Möller, Enzo Muschik, Julius Spann, Tim Stahlmann and Janni Stöcklin.
Cae Santos, Head Coach, United States
Ulli Wermuth, Assistant Coach, Germany
Janucz Radicke, Assistant Coach, Germany
Ulrich Marth, Physio, Germany
Photo by Mark Mauno
Source: Mainz Athletics
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