...Tigers manager Akinobu Mayumi hopes he'll be able to use his "best" roster from the 28th, when the Tigers begin a 2-game exhibition series against the Orix Buffaloes.
Players like Tomoaki Kanemoto, Akihiro Yano, and Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi have been rehabbing after their surgeries during the off-season.
NIPPON HAM FIGHTERS
...Pitchers Yachiho Hoshino and Akiyoshi Toyoshima are being demoted to Ni-gun.
...In a starting against the Nippon Ham Fighters, Yoshihisa Hirano gave up 6 runs (all earned) on 10 hits over 5 innings of work; he also struck out 6. While Hirano is coming off right elbow surgery, it appears as though his elbow is fine.
Said Hirano, "There's nothing wrong with my elbow so my next start is going to be really important. I want to prove that I belong here."
...Shinichiro Koyama was brought in to close-out the game against the Yokohama Bay Stars but ended up blowing the save and losing the game by giving up 2 runs on 4 hits. The Eagles are taking a look at Koyama for the closer role, but an outing like this isn't going to win over any hearts.
...Tough outing for Kazuhisa Ishii against the Yakult Swallows. He gave up 8 runs (7 earned) on 11 hits and 2 walks over 5 innings of work; he did strike out 2.
Said Ishii, "I don't really care about winning exhibition games. What I do care about is winning during the regular season."
Spoke like a true veteran.
...Kentaro Nishimura is auditioning for a spot in the rotation, but his second start, just like his first start, did not go well. Against the Swallows on the 17th, Nishimura gave up 6 runs (all earned) on 8 hits and 3 walks over 4.2 innings of work; he also struck out 4.
Said Nishimura, "I had a tough time right out of the gate. I left pitches up high, my breaking pitches weren't going over for strikes, it was just like my last start. I think I need to go back and re-work how I use my pitches."
...Taishi Ohta is 4-for-25 in 6 games with the Ni-gun Giants. He went 0-for-5 in his latest game against Rakuten on the 17th. The Eastern League season begins on the 20th.
...Yuki Saito will appear in a promotional video that hopes to get baseball back in the Olympics. Masahiro Tanaka will also make an appearance in the video.