...The Tigers rotation over the next couple of series:
vs the Rakuten Eagles - Casey Fossum and Jason Standridge
vs the Softbank Hawks - Keiji Uezono and Yasutomo Kubo
vs the Orix Buffaloes - Naoto Tsuru and likely back to Fossum
vs the Chiba Lotte Marines - Standridge and Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi (?)
...Shinjiro Hiyama is just one hit away from tying Goro Toi's franchise record of 108 pinch-hit hits.
...Randy Messenger started a Ni-gun game against Industrial League Total Hanshin on Friday -- he tossed three perfect innings and struck out 6 batters. Messengers will likely make another start on the 20th against Ni-gun Hiroshima.
...Shimoyanagi was taken off the active roster on Friday. He will not be physically sent down to Ni-gun and will instead travel with the team as he make adjustments to his delivery.
...Tomoaki Kanemoto will be back in the starting line-up as the DH beginning on the 18th (vs Softbank Hawks at Yahoo Dome). And assuming his right shoulder continues to heal, he should be back in left when Inter-league play ends (6/18 vs Yokohama Bay Stars).
Kanemoto starting up a throwing program on the 13th and had his shoulder checked out by the team trainer during practice at Koshien Stadium on Friday.
...With Tomoyuki Kubota struggling, the Tigers may turn to a trio of pitchers to act as a set-up unit (set-up by committee), dubbed NEW: Ken Nishimura, Hirotaka Egusa, and Ryo Watanabe.
...Craig Brazell went 14-for-44 with 5 homers and 11 RBI during 12 Inter-league games last season.