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CL News and Notes: Takashi Toritani (HAN) might be ok to DH

by on May.17, 2011 @ 12:15 pm, under NPB

Hanshin Tigers

The Tigers are set to play two road games against the Orix Buffaloes.  With the DH rules in place, there's a good chance Takashi Toritani will be their DH (possibly batting 3rd) because of his right index finger injury (assuming he can swing a bat).  While Toritani did take part in practices yesterday, they still weren't sure if he'd be able to play today.

If Toritani can't play, Matt Murton might slide into the 3-spot in the order.

And while the Tigers will likely turn to Hiroki Uemoto to be their starting shortstop (probably batting 9th), Ryota Arai told reporters yesterday he would be ready to play short if needed (as well as left and first).

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Minoru Iwata could get tomorrow's start against the Orix Buffaloes.  Jason Standridge will get today's start.

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Pitching coach Takashi Yamaguchi told reporters Kyuji Fujikawa could have two inning outing during Inter-league play depending on the situation.  Reason: Hiroyuki Kobayashi and Tomoyuki Kubota haven't been very consistent and the schedule isn't as rough during Inter-league play.

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Team president Nobuo Minami told reporters yesterday that since signing another foreign player wasn't an option, the only way the team could improve at this point would be through a trade and even then it wouldn't be easy to pull off since they would need to find a willing partner.  GM Shoji Numasawa spoke to reporters as well and said that the team currently had no plans of making a trade and were going to wait it out a bit longer to see how things turned out.

Yomiuri Giants

Hirokazu Sawamura will probably get today's start against the Rakuten Eagles (on 5 days of rest); and Shun Tono will most likely get pushed back until the 5/20 (9 days of rest).

Yakult Swallows

Norichika Aoki took the day off yesterday to re-energize.

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The Swallows are thinking about merchandising opportunities involving Wladimir Balentien.  The doesn't usually start thinking about merchandising opportunities foreign players because their contracts tend to be up in the air for the following season, but they have made exceptions in the past, like with Alex Ramirez.  An unnamed team source told reporters the other day that Balentien had surpassed their expectations and that they were thinking Balentien chocolates and replica uniforms.  They're also thinking about a way to commemorate his broken bat homer from the 13th (vs Yokohama).

Hiroshima Carp

Kenta Maeda's next start will either be on the 21st (vs Orix) or 22nd (vs Lotte).