...Edgardo Alfonzo is slowly starting to heat up. He went 2-for-3 with a solo homer against the Orix Buffaloes earlier today.
Seung-Yeop Lee has also started to turn things up. He went 1-for-2 with a 2-run home run and a walk in yesterday's game against the Orix Buffaloes and 1-for-3 in today's game.
...Alex Ramirez started in left field for the first time in his career yesterday against the Orix Buffaloes.
...Yuki Furukawa and Wirfin Obispo were sent down to Ni-gun on the 13th. Marc Kroon was called up to Ichi-gun on the 14th.
...Yuya Ando gave up 5 runs over 4 innings of work against the the Lions. He tossed 88 pitches to 23 batters and gave up 9 hits and 2 walks while striking out 2. Ando is in the running to be the opening day starter for the Tigers.
...John Wasdin has been lights out. He has now tossed 11 consecutive innings of shutout ball.
Said Wasdin, "Japanese players are pretty good at making contact. That's why it's really important to keep the ball down. Right now, I want to see how long I can keep this scoreless streak going."
...G.G. Sato started in his first Ichi-gun game since September of last season (he batted fifth and played right). He went 1-for-4 with 2 RBIs.
NIPPON HAM FIGHTERS
...Tomohiro Nioka entered today's game against the Chunichi Dragons as a pinch hitter in the 6th and struck out looking. He has been battling various leg injuries and finally joined the Ichi-gun club yesterday.
...The Dragons are hoping that Tony Blanco will be able to fill in the hole left by Tyrone Woods' departure. So far, it seems as though he just might be able to do that -- he is batting .286 with 3 homers over 11 exhibition games.
...Hei-Chun Lee tossed 5 innings against the Hiroshima Carp while giving up a run (in the first inning) on 4 hits. He faced 21 batters, threw 74 pitches, walked 2, and struck 3.
...The Buffaloes announced that Hiroyuki Oze suffered a left pinky-toe bone fracture on the 11th when he fouled a ball off his foot. While it appears as though he'll be able to continue practicing, it will probably take at least 3 weeks for a full recovery.
...Hirotoshi Kitagawa is competing against Greg LaRocca and Jose Fernandez for a spot in the infield. Kitagawa has done a pretty solid job so far, going 7-for-20 with 3 RBI. 2 of those hits (which including a triple) came in the game yesterday against the Giants.
...The foreigner trio of Tuffy Rhodes, Alex Cabrera, and Jose Fernandez have been struggling a bit as of late. The three combined for 1 hit in 8 trips to the plate against the Giants today. Cabrera is hitless in his last 7 at bats and Fernandez is hitless in his last 13.
...Tickets for the Opening Day game against the Chunichi Dragons at the new Mazda Stadium go on sale tomorrow and already people are lining up to buy tickets. Immediately after an exhibition game at the old stadium, fans started lining up to buy opening day tickets. By 6pm, about 1,000 people were in line.