CHIBA LOTTE MARINES
...Lotte Marines owner Akio Shigemitsu told reporters today that even if Bobby Valentine manages to win it all this year, he will not be asked to return next season. It was the first time the owner spoke about "the Valentine situation."
There was also a meeting prior to the game that the front office will be responisble for finding a new manager after the season.
...Yuki Karakawa faced Sho Nakata in a Spring Instructional League game between the Lotte Marines and Nippon Ham Fighters.
In two at bats against Karakawa, Nakata struck out twice. The two players (plus Yoshinori Sato) are considered the "High School Big 3" because they were drafted directly out of high school in the same year.
...Koshien Stadium field dimensions are now slightly smaller.
Center field: 120m -> 118m
Right / Left field: 96m -> 95m
...Takahiro Arai could start hitting off a tee as early as the 16th.
...By 8am this morning, about 4,000 people were waiting in line to purchase tickets to Opening Day at the new Mazda Stadium.
...Colby Lewis tossed 4 perfect innings earlier today against the Yakult Swallows. He faced 12 batters, tossed 48 pitches, and struck out 7.
NIPPON HAM FIGHTERS
...Ryan Wing was diagnosed with a bruised right latissimus dorsi muscle. It will takes about 3 weeks for a full recovery.
...The Buffaloes launched 5 home runs against the Yokohama Bay Stars today. Three of those home runs came from the slumping trio of Alex Cabrera, Jose Fernandez, and Tuffy Rhodes.
...Norihiro Nakamura continues to swing a hot bat for the Eagles. He went 2-for-2 against the Seibu Lions today while driving in a run. Nakamura now owns a spring training .417 batting average during.
...Pitching in his first start since 2/28 (practice game against Samurai Japan), Takayuki Kishi struggled, but managed 4 innings while giving up 2 runs on 6 hits and a walk. He faced 18 batters and threw 60 pitches while striking out 3.
Kishi hadn't made any starts since 2/28 due to a nagging cold that wouldn't go away.
YOKOHAMA BAY STARS
...Dan Johnson hit a pinch hit, 2-run home run against the Orix Buffaloes yesterday. There's a lot of hope riding on Johnson to help provide an offensive spark to the Bay Stars lineup.
...Taishi Ohta finally hit his first home run after turning pro -- it came against the Shonan Searex earlier today (Spring Instructional League).