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Hanshin Tigers News and Notes: Good chance Atsushi Nomi gets OD start

by on Mar.08, 2011 @ 3:42 pm, under NPB

The Tigers are seriously considering Atsushi Nomi to be their opening day starter.  And assuming he continues to pitch well, it should be his to lose.

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Craig Brazell was not in the starting line-up today but will be tomorrow.  And Brazell's Sanspo Tigers' Promise: if he can make Sanspo's front page 10 times during the year, he'll get a voucher for 100 bowls of tokumori tendon (beef bowls) at Yoshinoya.

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Kenji Jojima's current comeback schedule: he'll only make appearances as a batter (pinch-hitter or DH) in exhibition games on the 12th (vs Chunichi) and 13th (vs Yomiuri); after that, he'll travel with the team beginning on the 16th (vs Lotte) and will more or less be ready to suit up as a catcher.

Jojima's practice at Koshien today included BP and catching in the bullpen.

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Tomoaki Kanemoto might get into a game (as a DH) as early as the 12th (assuming his right shoulder is feeling fine).

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The Tigers are planning on pitching their trio of Tomoyuki Kubota, Hiroyuki Kobayashi, and Kyuji Fujikawa during their upcoming four games at Koshien Stadium (4/9, 10, 12, 13).  And since most teams tend to substitute their vets with younger players towards the end of the games, the Tigers will likely use the trio in the early innings.

Kobayashi tossed a bullpen session during practice today.

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Owner Shinya Sakai and president Nobu Minami held a meeting yesterday and agreed to consider a trade to improve their outfield situation.

Sakai - "I think we have enough talent to win. ... But if we're going to consider the options, then a trade is a possibility.  It is also our jobs to see what kind of trade possibilities there are."

Minami - "If Kanemoto was 100%, we wouldn't need to think about a trade.  And ideally, we'd love to leave it up to the younger players like Wei-Chu Lin and Keisuke Kano, but they really haven't managed to step things up.  I just think if we're talking about a 144 game season, we'll need at least one more player..."

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Nikkan Sports mentions the following 6 players as being on the cusp: Katsuhiko Saka, Ryota Arai, Hiroki Uemoto, Kohei Shibata, Yuya Nohara, and Issei Morita.  And while the original plan was to give these 6 players until the 8th to prove themselves, it seems they were given an extension until the 14th.  The reason: the 6 are slowly beginning to show some signs of life and don't want to a damper on that; and even though Tomoaki Kanemoto and Kenji Jojima will probably begin playing on the 12th, they'll be limited in the amount of time they can actually play as the Tigers will ease both of them back in slowly.

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Head coach Katsuhiko Kido apparently found the perfect ground rake (made by Evernew) at Kurashiki Muscat Stadium.  He actually wanted one for himself and contacted Muscat Stadium personnel for more information.  In the end, the Tigers also decided yesterday to order a bunch.