Yasutomo Kubo appears to have been selected as the opening day starter. By giving him the start on 3/25, the Tigers can have him start most of his games against teams like the Yakult Swallows and the Yokohama Bay Stars for the first month or so of the season. Assuming he pitches on 6-days of rest, vs Bay Stars at Yokohama on 4/1; vs Swallows at Koshien on 4/8; vs Chunichi Dragons at Nagoya Dome on 4/15; vs Bay Stars at Koshien on 4/22; and vs Swallows at Koshien on 4/29.
It also means the Tigers can push Atsushi Nomi's first start to 3/29 against the Chunichi Dragons at Kyocera Dome. And assuming Nomi also pitches on 6-days of rest: vs Yomiuri Giants at Tokyo Dome on 4/5; vs Hiroshima Carp at Koshien on 4/12; vs Giants at Koshien on 4/19; vs Hiroshima Carp at Mazda Stadium on 4/26.
Kenji Jojima is expected to start taking BP outdoors today.
Ikusei player Kosei Fujii will be joining the Ichi-gun roster today. He'll also accompany the team on their road trip that begins tomorrow. Ryo Asai, Takashi Shimizu, Kohei Shibata, Hiroki Uemoto, and Issei Morita will be taking part in Ikusei League games on 3/2 and 3/3 and the Tigers wanted an extra infielder on the Ichi-gun roster for two exhibition games they'll be playing against the Softbank Hawks on the same day.
Shunsuke Fujikawa's Sanspo Tigers' Promise: to hit a homer at Koshien Stadium and record at least 10 stolen bases. If he fails to make good on his promise, he'll give away a glove he'll personally design. And if he wins, he wants a golf club.
The Hanshin Tigers (the owner, the coaches, and the players) visited Hirota Shrine in Nishinomiya, Hyogo today in order to pray for a successful season.