=== 9:09pm JST
...Shugo Fujii is scheduled to start Tuesday's exhibition game against the Hiroshima Carp.
=== 3/8/2010 12:19pm JST
...Masahide Kobayashi appears to be struggling a bit. He has now given up 6 runs (all earned) on 8 hits over 2 innings of work. He has faced a total 14 batters and thrown 46 pitches.
...Kyohei Tsuchimoto continues to impress the coaches with his fastball (topped out at 148km/h on Sunday) and fork. Head coach Haruki Ihara told reporters that he's likely to make the opening day roster.
...The adjustments Tetsuya Utsumi was working on with Ni-gun pitching coach Tadakatsu Kotani on the third appear to be helping -- he ended up striking out 8 over 5 innings of work on Sunday. The two apparently worked on how he threw his fastball and change.
...With men in scoring position, Hisayoshi Chono is batting 6-for-10 with 9 RBIs and 8-for-20 overall. According to TV Asahi's Get Sports program on Sunday, the Giants really worked Chono had during Spring camp, completely taking apart his swing and working on how he shifts his weight, particularly with the balance on his back leg. At one point, the coaches even had Chono stand on one leg (his right) from on top of a big crate in order to build muscle memory.
...Despite making an error on a grounder in the 2nd on Sunday, and having trouble getting on the same page with Utsumi during pick-off plays, Takahashi Yoshinobu appears to have a slight edge over Seung-Yeop Lee for the starting job at first base.
...Tetsuya Yamaguchi has been working his way back from tonsillitis. He'll have a chance to pitch in an Ikusei League game against the Seibu Lions on Tuesday. That also happens to be the game that Yusei Kikuchi will be starting.
...TBS's J-Spo interviewed Tatsunori Hara for a segment on their Sunday program. During the interview, he basically said that Alex Ramirez, Michihiro Ogasawara, and Shinnosuke Abe all had starting jobs. Hara also spoke extremely highly of Tetsuya Matsumoto. That could mean there's only one more outfield spot available in an extremely crowded outfield that includes players like Chono, Yoshiyuki Kamei, Yoshitomo Tani, and Takahiro Suzuki.