...The Tigers hold Matt Murton's option for the 2011 season. And as long as he stays healthy, the Tigers are expected to exercise the option. They may even approach Murton at some point during the season.
...Akinobu Mayumi told reporters that he has no intention of moving Takashi Toritani out of the lead-off spot at this time. Since returning to the lead-off spot full-time after a finger injury, Toritani has just 6 hits in 43 at bats (.140 / .224 / .186 / .411).
....Yasutomo Kubo worked out for about two hours at the Koshien indoor training facilities on Monday. Kubo's next start could come on the 18th against the Yokohama Bay Stars. Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi will likely also pitch during the Yokohama series. According to Daily Sports Online, the two pitchers are expected to follow a rotation schedule that will also allow them to make starts during a three game series against the Yomiuri Giants that begins on 7/2.
...If Tomoaki Kanemoto isn't ready to return to the field yet, it seems the Tigers might be willing to go with Wei-Chu Lin. With Kanemoto, it isn't about whether he'll be able to swing the bat, but rather if he's able to play the field. Whether or not he's ready to play the field will likely be decided at some point over the next 2-3 days --he'll work out in left during practice to see if he's ok to go.
...The Tigers will likely place a one inning limit on Kyuji Fujikawa from here on out.
...According to Nikkan Sports, Ryunosuke Yokoyama decision to switch to a side-arm delivery last fall is paying of this year. Yokoyama's Ni-gun numbers so far this year:
...It appears Shimoyanagi married a woman 17 years younger than him (he's 42 so she's 25).
...The Tigers announced a giveaway and new merchandise to celebrate Kanemoto's 1,492 consecutive games streak of playing in every inning of every game. For three games between 6/29 and 7/1 (vs Chunichi), the Dragons will give away a memorial photo commemorating the event. They will also be adding 14 new commemorative items to their store (t-shits, pens, key holders, towels, etc).
The Guinness Book of World Records has also verified Kanemoto's record and will be providing him with a certificate prior to the Hanshin - Dragons game on 6/29.