...Motonobu Tanishige took outdoor batting practice on the 20th. According to a source connected to the team, Tanishige could be ready for a return by as early as May 2nd.
Tanishige suffered a right leg injury in a game against the Swallows on the 7th and was removed from the active rosters the following day. The Dragons have gone 2-8 since then.
...Tomoaki Kanemoto has 8 home runs through 14 games. If he hits out 2 tonight that would tie him with Koichi Tabuchi (HAN) as the quickest Japanese player to reach 10 home runs (set in 1975). The quickest player ever to reach 10 home runs in the NPB was Adrian Garrett (HIR) -- he did it in 13 games.
...Hajima Matsuda (owner) revealed that the team will be adding special touches to the park that will require fans to "go out and search" for them.
Said Matsuda, "The history we create here, I'd like to carve these into the new stadium. But I also want fans to come here and find these little tidbits, instead of telling them where they can find the special exhibits. ... It's another way to communicate with our fans."
NIPPON HAM FIGHTERS
...Tomohiro Nioka should be back in the starting line-up after missing 3 straight games due to tightness in his left leg.
...Hisashi Iwakuma has been signed on to star in commercials for a famous rice bowl chain of restaurants called Sukiya (すき家). The TV commercials will begin to air on the 30th. This will be his first national TV commercials.
...The Lions' bullpen is so banged up right now that bullpen pitching coach Tetsuya Shiozaki is hoping Hideaki Wakui and Takayuki Kishi pitch complete games.
Said Shiozaki, "The middle relief isn't doing so great right now. And losing Graman doesn't help. I'd like Wakui and Kishi to throw complete games. I want them to have the type of games that can help save / conserve the bullpen."
...Looks like the popped blister is fine. Yoshinori Sato is slated to make his next start on the 25th against the Yokohama Bay Stars.
...Seth Greisinger will be making the start tonight against the Yakult Swallows. He is currently riding a 6-game winning streak against his former team.
YOKOHAMA BAY STARS
...It was learned on the 20th that Kimiyasu Kudo will begin working out of the pen at Ni-gun. It will be the first time in 20 years that he's been used as a reliever. Kudo will most likely spend a few more days at Ni-gun making further adjustments before being called up to the parent club.
...Tohoku Gakuin University third year ace Abe Hirofumi won his 15th game by beating Tohoku University, 6-1. He went the distance for the win, giving up 4 hits, 2 walks, and a run; he also struck out 8.
Seibu Lions Takayuki Kishi's record of 23 career college wins (good for 6th) is within reach.