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CL News and Notes: Kan Otake (HIR) set to return to starting rotation on 5/23

by on May.20, 2011 @ 12:07 pm, under NPB

Hanshin Tigers

Atsushi Nomi will probably start tonight's game against the Softbank Hawks.  Yasutomo Kubo could get tomorrow's start.  If he does, he'll be going for his 17th career Inter-league victory.

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Keiichi Hirano's left hamstring contusion might not be feeling better, and it might heal a lot more quickly if he got some rest and didn't play, but it seems he's fully prepared to suit up.  He also told reporters he was only hitting at about 60% during BP yesterday when he was hoping to be hitting at about 80%.  The Tigers will probably wait until the last-minute to decide whether or not Hirano can play today.

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Craig Brazell got hitting advice from not only Akinobu Mayumi, but also batting coaches Yutaka Wada and Atsushi Kataoka.  Seems the coaches think Brazell isn't getting the bat-head around quickly enough and is focusing too much on staying back on pitches.

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Fielding / base-running coach Teruyoshi Kuji worked with Hiroki Uemoto on his fielding yesterday (like how to handle tosses at second during double plays).

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If Kenji Jojima hits a homer during the Softbank Hawks' 2-game series, he'll become just the 7th player in NPB history to hit homers off 13 different teams.

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The Tigers are expected to call up Fumiya Araki before tonight's game.

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Takashi Toritani will probably DH and bat third for the Softbank series.  Question is, what happens when the Tiger move back to Koshien for a 2-game series against Seibu on 5/22 and 5/23?

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It seems team owner Shinya Sakai told reporters yesterday that the team will not be making any emergency moves to improve the roster, unless the front office and coaches felt they really needed to.

Said Sakai, "I don't really want to think about making any moves.  It's a different story if the front office / coaches want one, but otherwise we won't be making any moves because we still have the core opening day group.  Injuries are part of the game.  You don't just start making trades or signing players just because someone gets hurt.  If you do that, you start to lose leverage."

The owner is also expected to watch the 2-game Softbank series that begins tonight (since he'll already be in Fukuoka on business).

Incidentally, team president Nobu Minami, GM Shoji Numasawa, and Akinobu Mayumi met for meeting in the clubhouse yesterday to talk about options.  That's when they decided they might be a little more proactive on the trade front.  And not because of injuries, but rather because it's something they've been thinking about doing for quite some time now.

Yomiuri Giants

Who's on third?: If righty Bobby Keppel starts tonight's game for the Nippon Ham Fighters, Hidetoshi Tsuburaya will probably be in the starting line-up.  And assuming lefty Tomoya Yagi gets the nod for tomorrow night's game, Taishi Ota will likely be in the starting line-up.

Incidentally, Ota took outfield practice in right yesterday.  At this point, if he's in the starting line-up, it either be at first or third.  If he's a late inning replacement, he could get some (extra) chances in the outfield.

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Hirokazu Sawamura is tweaking his pitching mechanics (under Tatsunori Hara's supervision) a bit and is adding the windup to his delivery.  He may show it during his next start if it's ready.

Yakult Swallows

Fate?  Destiny?  It may not have been either, but it did take one rain-out to ensure Yoshinori Sato got a start in Sendai.  As luck would have it, one of his starts against the Chunichi Dragons was rained out and now he'll probably start tonight's game (on 7 days of rest) against Masahiro Tanaka (RAK).

And even though either manager didn't have to announce starters for tonight's game, they both more or less did yesterday.

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The Swallows are thinking about adding Rafael Fernandes to the 70-man roster.  If they do, Fernandes will become just the third Ikusei player in franchise history to make the transition.  The other two: Hidenori Ito (2007) and Yuki Tanaka (2009).

Incidentally, since Fernandes made the team via draft (Ikusei 1st round in 2008), he isn't considered a foreign player.

Hiroshima Carp

Kan Otake will probably get tomorrow's start against the Orix Buffaloes.  He was originally expected to make a start on the 5/23 (vs Lotte), but with his shoulder feeling better than expected, the team apparently decided to bump his start up.  This will be Otake's first start since 6/22 (vs Hanshin).

Yokohama Bay Stars

The Bay Stars held an emergency meeting (about 20 minute) before full-team workouts yesterday at QVC Marine Field.

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Daisuke Miura will be making a relief appearance during a Ni-gun game against Nippon Ham today.  This will be his first game since getting demoted on the 5th after giving up 3 runs over an inning during a start against Hiroshima on the 4th.