...If Tomoyasu Kubo beats the Chunichi Dragons tonight, he'll become the youngest pitcher to record a win against all 12 teams in the NPB (he started his pro career with the Marines in 2005). 6 pitchers have accomplished the feat in NPB history.
...Akihiro Yano could be back with the parent club as early as tomorrow, assuming he's ok after his start against Ni-gun Softbank today. Jeff Williams and Norihiro Akahoshi could be joining Yano in joining the parent club tomorrow.
This after Tomoyuki Kubota was penciled in to start the Dragons game on the 16th.
The next 9 games will be very important for the Tigers as they face the Dragons, Giants, and Swallows.
...Sanspo outlines 4 major issues with the Tigers this year.
- Bad FA season where they lost Daisuke Miura.
- Choice in foreign players wasn't particularly good (Kevin Mench).
- Bad planning. Takahiro Arai hasn't been very good this season after returning to third -- he played first last season and won a golden glove. And the trio of Takashi Toritano, Kodai Sakurai, and Weichu Lin haven't panned out as well as they team had hoped they would.
- Age. Many of their key players are over 40: Akihiro Yano, Tomoaki Kanemoto and Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi. Jeff Williams is 37.
...Two new items will be on the menu at Koshien Stadium:
- Akahoshi Ramen Cold Ume Version (700yen)
- Shimoyanagai Goto Udon - Tuna and Mentaiko Salad (750yen)
NIPPON HAM FIGHTERS
...Yu Darvish will most likely get two more starts in before the All-Star break: the 15th against the Softbank Hawks and the 22nd against the Chiba Lotte Marines. Game 1 of this year's All-Star game (Sapporo Dome) will be on the 24th. Both Masataka Nashida (manager) and Masato Yoshii (pitching coach) are saying that anything more than an inning might be too much for Darvish.
...Satoshi Komatsu will likely get the start against the Chiba Lotte Marines on Wednesday (7/15). He will be going for his first win of the season -- he's currently 0-5 in 8 starts.
...If the Lions need some help in the closing department, they might be willing to turn to newly acquired pitcher Taiyo Fujita for some help. But before that can happen, the Lions will test him out at a Ni-gun game against Rakuten on the 15th.
YOKOHAMA BAY STARS
...It appears as though the Bay Stars are set on finishing off the rest of this season without any major changes to the roster. The Bay Stars lost out on the chance to add Ryan Sadowski to the roster last month because the two sides couldn't agree on a salary.
...Marc Kroon should be back with the parent club on the 18th, just in time for the second game of a three game set against the Hanshin Tigers at Tokyo Dome.
Kroon will likely replace Dicky Gonzalez on the roster as the he won't have another start prior to the All-Star break after his start on the 17th.
...With Seung-Yeop Lee being demoted to Ni-gun, Yoshiyuki Kamei will likely continue getting looks at first base. Michihiro Ogasawara and Masakuni Odajima (he will be getting promoted today) will also be available to play first as well, but Kamei.