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CL News and Notes: Final 2 spots in Swallows’ rotation could be down to Shichijo, Masubuchi, and Barnette

by on Mar.11, 2011 @ 6:28 am, under NPB

Hanshin Tigers

Kenji Jojima is still on track to play in his first exhibition game on the 12th, either as a DH or a pinch-hitter.

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Tomoaki Kanemoto did some throwing indoors after BP yesterday.  Like Jojima, he could still play in his first exhibition on the 12th (DH or pinch-hitter).

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Akihito Fujii missed the last two exhibition games with pain in his neck.  He is expected to get back into the line-up on the 12th (vs Chunichi at Koshien).

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Keisuke Kano will be resting at his home for the time being.  He was recently diagnosed with a herniated lumbar disc.

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Kenta Abe and Issei Morita were sent down to Ni-gun after yesterday's games against the Seibu Lions.

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It seems Shunsuke Fujikawa is beginning to grow on Akinobu Mayumi.  Mayumi told reporters yesterday that Shunsuke could be an option to bat lead-off, especially if it turns out Tomoaki Kanemoto isn't ready and Matt Murton needs to bat lower in the line-up (in the 5-hole).

Yomiuri Giants

Carlos Torres will be starting today's game against the Hiroshima Carp.  Brian Bannister will make an appearance in relief, immediately after Torres.

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The Giants announced yesterday that Alex Ramirez will be returning to the US on the 13th in order to renew his immigration entry permit.  He is expected to return to Japan on the 15th.

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If Michihiro Ogawasara ever plays third, Yoshinobu Takahashi will likely take over at first.

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When Tatsunori Hara said that he didn't want his pitchers stepping into the batter's box during exhibition games, it meant that he'll likely push to have the DH-rule in place.

Yakult Swallows

Yuki Shichijo (2nd round) is scheduled to start today's game against the Yokohama Bay Stars.

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A little more on Tatsuyoshi Masubuchi's Ikusei League start against the Yokohama Bay Stars yesterday: he topped out at 146km/h and threw a total 77 pitches.

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Masanori Ishikawa, Shohei Tateyama, Kyohei Muranaka, and Yoshinori Sato will likely fill the first four spots in the starting rotation.  Shichijo, Masubuchi, and Tony Barnette (he'll be starting a game on the 16th against the Yomiuri Giants at Jingu Stadium) will likely be competing for the final two spots with the odd man out heading to the bullpen.

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Tsubakuro will be visiting the Rainbowtown FM radio station on the 20th.