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Hanshin Tigers: Another bad start and Casey Fossum to head to Ni-gun?

by on Mar.16, 2010 @ 3:56 pm, under NPB, Spring Camp

=== 11:36pm JST

...Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi was hit by a comebacker to the mound during Tuesday's game against the Yomiuri Giants.  Shimoyanagi had just given up a 2-run homer to Alex Ramirez in the first inning with 2 outs when the next batter, Yoshiyuki Kamei, nailed a pitch back up the middle that hit Shimoyanagi on the left knee.

Shimoyanagi was able to walk off the field on his own.  He did not go to the hospital and instead returned to the hotel for rest.  He joked with reporters and said that his knee must have been harder than the baseball.

...It was home run derby time for the Tigers on Tuesday against the Yomiuri Giants: Takashi Toritani hit a solo homer in the first off Tetsuya Yamaguchi; Kenji Johjima hit a solo homer off Yamaguchi in the second; Craig Brazell hit a home run of Micheal Nakamura in the 6th; and Toritani hit his second home run of the game, a 3-run shot, off Nakamura, also in the 6th.

...Ryuji Wakatake hurt his left knee while pitching on the 14th.  He had the knee checked out on the 15th and was diagnosed with what I think is a minor medial collateral ligament injury (左ひざ内側側副靱帯損傷).  The Tigers announced on Tuesday that he will be out for at least one week.

...Masanori Fujihara received word that he will be receiving the President's (Dean's?) Award during his graduation from Ritsumei University on the 3/21.  The award is given to students with top grades and / or to students that excel in extracurricular activities during their college years.

=== 3:56pm JST

...Akihiro Yano selected Funky Monkey Babys' Hero for his batter walk-up this season.

...On Monday, the Tigers decided to keep Shunsuke Fujikawa on the Ichi-gun roster over the remaining 5 exhibition games on the schedule.  He will then likely stay with the Ichi-gun team for opening day.  Fujikawa could become the first rookie outfielder to make the opening day roster since Norhihiro Akahoshi in 2001.

Kodai Sakurai, Wei-Chu Lin, Shinji Komiyama, and Kenichi Tagami were recently demoted to Ni-gun.

...Casey Fossum apparently has one last chance to prove that he belongs in the starting rotation.  His next scheduled start will likely be against the Yakult Swallows on Wednesday (Sanspo mentions Thursday against the Yokohama Bay Stars).  And it seems the team has no intention of using him out of the bullpen, so that means if he doesn't pitch well during his next outing, he could start the year at Ni-gun.

...Kenji Johjima will likely be the starting catcher for all five of the remaining exhibition games on the schedule.

...Tomoaki Kanemoto will begin playing the outfield on Tuesday.  He'll likely play out a full game during the team's last exhibition game on the 21st.

...Akinobu Okada told reporters that the team will take the Yakult Swallows more seriously this year and will focus on stopping their running game.  Last year, the Swallows were 24 out of 27 in stolen base attempts.

...Minoru Iwata likely won't be ready for the start of the regular season.  On Monday, Iwata told reporters that his elbow is getting close to being ready but that he wasn't in any position to say anything further.  He also added that nothing has been decided yet.  Iwata will likely get his left elbow checked out again some time in the near future.

...Team owner Shinya Sakai apologized to guests for his and the front offices mistakes last season during Monday's pep rally.