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Around the NPB Horn: Teams getting ready for Battle of the Standings

by on Sep.25, 2009 @ 2:06 pm, under NPB

Chiba Lotte Marines

...The Marines apparently have ideas of asking Chiba Prefectural Governor, Kensaku Morita, to become an "idea" advisor for the team.  Morita does have some experience as he was the general manager for the Industrial League Chiba Nekketsu Making in 2005.

Chunichi Dragons

...The Dragons have hinted at a pitching plan that involves starting Wei-Ying Chen on short innings and then having Kazuki Yoshimi follow-up in relief.

Hanshin Tigers

...Takashi Toritani hopes to get a hit in each of the team's remaining 11 games.  Toritani is currently in the middle of a 12-game hitting streak (his career high is 15).

...Norihiro Akahoshi got his neck checked out at a hospital on Thursday.  Akahoshi has been recovering from neck pains by resting at his home.

...The Tigers appear to be interested in keeping Shinjiro Hiyama for the 2010 season.  Hiyama has been a big presence off the bench of the Tigers this season.

...The Tigers announced that they will be adding a new department devoted towards developing Ikusei players.  Along with the new department, the team will likely add a number of new coaches, including Fumitaka Ito, to help with player development.

...While Craig Brazell's knee appears to be doing better, but the team still feels it isn't good enough to a point where they can rely on him to play a full game.  But they also believe it would be a waste to start him on the bench.  For the time being, they'll probably pencil him into the starting line-up and switch him out for a defensive replacement later in the game (most likely around the 7th).

...The Tigers will likely go with Atsushi Noumi, Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi, and Kai-Wen Cheng against the Dragons.

Hiroshima Carp

...The Carp will likely go with Colby Lewis, Kenta Maeda, and Kan Ohtake for the Yomiuri Giants series that begins tonight.

Nippon Ham Fighters

...Human ping-pong ball Sho Nakata is back up with the parent club again.  He'll serve as "insurance" for the hurting Eiichi Koyano (left shoulder) and Shinji Takahashi (back).  This will be Nakata's last chance to show the team that he belongs at Ichi-gun.

...The Fighters will likely go with Shugo Fujii, Tomoya Yagi, and Masaru Takeda for their upcoming three game series against the Softbank Hawks.

Orix Buffaloes

...The Buffaloes announced that they will be sending Greg LaRocca and Jon Leicester to participate in the Pheonix League that begins in October.  The team will use this opportunity to take another look at both players as neither really had much of a chance to play this season due to injuries.

Rakuten Eagles

...Hisashi Iwakuma will likely get a start against the Softbank Hawks on the 29th.

...The Eagles will have a public viewing of their game on October 1st against the Softbank Hawks at a Warner Mycal Cinema in Fukushima Prefecture.  The public viewing will open at 5:30pm and run until the end of the game.  It will be first come, first serve with no entrance fee.

...The Eagles have started outlining their tickets plans for their possible entry in the Climax Series.  If the Eagles make it into second place, they'll begin selling CS tickets on 10/13.  If they happen to overtake the Fighters, they'll begin selling CS tickets on the 16th.

Seibu Lions

...The Lions announced that Takayuki Kishi will be shifted into the bullpen after his start against the Rakuten Eagles on the 26th.  The Lions' bullpen has been a weakness this season and they hope that Kishi will be able to provide them with some consistency out of the pen.

Yakult Swallows

...The Swallows announced the anticipated pitching schedules for Shohei Tateyama and Masanori Ishikawa for the rest of the season.

Tateyama - 25th vs YOK, 10/2 vs HIR, 10/8 vs HAN
Ishikawa - 27th vs YOK, 10/3 vs HAN, 10/9 HAN

Yomiuri Giants

...Just how bad is Seth Greisinger's right elbow?  Apparently bad enough that the Giants probably won't use him over the remainder of the season.

...TV ratings for Wednesday's afternoon game against the Dragons topped out at 16.6% (which happened to be around 4:35pm when the team was throwing Hara up into the air in celebration).

...Tetsuya Utsumi, Hisanori Takahashi, and Shun Tono will be auditioning for a spot in the post-season rotation.  Each pitcher should get 2 more starts before the end of the season and their performances will be key in determining who'll get a spot in the post-season rotation.

At this point it looks like Dicky Gonzalez, Greisinger, and Wirfrin Obispo for the top 3 spots.  That leaves anywhere from 1-2 spots open.

Incidentally, in the club's 75-year history, they have never had 1 season where a Japanese pitcher didn't end up with at least 10 wins.  Utsumi, Takahashi, and Tono all have 8.  Reliever Tetsuya Yamaguchi leads all Japanese pitchers on the team with 9 victories.

...Yoshinobu Takahashi started up his rehab program today at the Kawasaki training facilities.  He did some walking and some light jogging over a 30-minute period.