...Masahiro Yamamoto is currently working his way back from a left shoulder injury. He is hoping to starting throwing a bullpen session this month and get back to pitching in real games some time in mid-April. After a light round of practice on Monday, he told reporters that he's at about 70-80%.
...According to Ni-gun officials, Kenta Asakura could be ready to start throwing BP sometime this week. After that, he could pitch an inning or two in one of the three Ni-gun games against the Hanshin Tigers that begins on the 30th. His first "real" start could come in a Ni-gun game around the 10th.
Asakura initially hurt his right shoulder during the second round of the Climax Series last year and started the year at Ni-gun Spring camp. To make matters worse, he started experiencing lower back pains during camp, forcing a delay in his return.
He started throwing bullpen again on the 5th and has thrown about 600 pitches since then. Asakura is also tweaking his delivery so that he using his lower body more.
If everything goes smoothly, he might be ready to rejoin the Ichi-gun roster some time in April.
...Kenichi Nakata (right arm) has started throwing again at Ni-gun and is currently at about 70-80%.
Daisuke Yamai (back) should begin throwing again sometime later this month.
...Hirokazu Ibata will be aiming hit at least .330 and collect at least 90 RBI from the 6 spot in the lineup.
Ibata also started using a new bat partway through exhibition play with a slightly thinner grip (thicker than his bat last season, but thinner than the new bat he originally started with this year).
...Fans that attend opening day on 3/26 will be given cheer flags.