...Akihiro Higashide is working his way back from tightness in his left hamstring. If everything goes according to plan, he should be back in the line-up on Sunday against the Hanshin Tigers.
Higashide felt tightness in his left hamstring while playing in an exhibition game against the Yomiuri Giants on the 17th and has been held out of the line-up on Thursday and Saturday.
...Junpei Shinoda worked out in the bullpen on Friday under the watchful eyes of coaches. The coaches are trying to get the pitchers to think more on the mound, and as such, they shouted out questions and situations to Shinoda as he threw his bullpen.
...Fans that purchase tickets to specially marked seating areas for the opening series at Mazda Stadium will get some Carp Boy Bread (カープ選手坊やパン). There are a total 13 different designs (13 players, 13 designs), but only 5 will be available at each game (fans will not be able to pick which design they get).
Interested parties can get more information at the official Carp site (there are also images of the bread as well).