...Takahiro Arai took 109 cuts in the batting cages against a pitching machine on the 19th and didn't feel any pain. He plans on taking batting practice outside on the 20th. Arai still hasn't tried to do any throwing since it appears as though his back isn't quite ready for that yet.
If this continue to go well, he could start in an exhibition game as early as the 24th against the Softbank Hawks.
...Aarom Baldiris could also be making a return to the field soon as well. He is slated to start in a Instructional League game against Hiroshima on the 20th.
NIPPON HAM FIGHTERS
...Makoto Kaneko isn't about to give up the short stop position to Tomohiro Nioka just yet. Kaneko struggled with some injuries last season and finished the year with a .216 batting average (63-for-291).
Against the Giants on the 19th, Kaneko went yard for a 2-run homer and currently owns a .444 spring training batting average.
...Despite hitting a home run against the Yakult Swallows and going 3-for-4 with 3 RBIs, Takeya Nakamura wasn't feeling particular happy about his day. Why? Because he slept in and arrived at the stadium almost an hour late.
Nakamura is currently trying to secure the clean-up spot in the lineup but had been struggling at the plate as of late. Prior to the game he had collected only 2 hits in his last 15 at bats. He has also struck out 16 times in 36 spring training at bats.
...Yoshinori Sato suffered a minor setback yesterday when he gave up 4 runs (all earned) on 8 hits and 4 walks over 6 innings of work; he also struck out 3. He did also manage to his 156 km/h on the radar gun twice during the second inning.
Sato has a start or two before the season starts to make whatever adjustments he needs.
...Jamie D'Antona appeared in his first exhibition game on the 18th as a DH. He went 2-for-4 with a double and struck out once.
Said D'Antona, "I'm glad I was able to start off on a positive note. My left elbow is also feeling great after having surgery in October."
...Shun Tono is trying to secure a spot in the rotation, but he suffered his second straight bad outing. Pitching against the Nippon Ham Fighters, Tono tossed 4 innings while giving up 4 runs (3 earned) on 8 hits and 3 walks; he also struck out 3.
Tono's last two outings combined:
4 IP, 15 H, 4 BB, 7 R, 6 ER
...The Giants are looking for big things from Hayato Sakamoto this year. He went 4-for-4 with 2 doubles and 3 RBIs against the Fighters on the 19th. Sakamoto is now batting .414 during exhibition play.