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CL News and Notes: Hanshin Tigers still not looking to make any emergency moves

by on Jun.03, 2011 @ 7:42 am, under NPB

Chunichi Dragons

Kenichi Nakata worked out with the Ichi-gun team at Nagoya Dome yesterday and could get tomorrow's start against the Seibu Lions.  Nakata was taken off the active roster on 4/30 and has fine-tuning his mechanics at Ni-gun.

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Hitoki Iwase is just 2 saves away from tying the NPB record for career saves (286 current help by Shingo Takatsu).

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Masahiro Araki is 1 stolen base away from 300.

Hanshin Tigers

Atsushi Nomi will probably get tomorrow's start against the Softbank Hawks.

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Tomoaki Kanemoto took an 8:10am flight back to Osaka on Thursday, arrived at Koshien Stadium at around noon and spent about an hour working on his swing.  The rest of the team took a 10:30am flight out of Sapporo and didn't arrive back at Koshien Stadium until a little before 2pm (and there were no scheduled practices).

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Yamato took fielding practice outdoors yesterday for the first time since dislocating his left shoulder -- he had his left arm tied down so as not to aggravate the injury and fielded / threw the ball with his right hand.  Yamato has also been doing isometric exercises as part of his training.

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Ikusei pitcher Hiroya Shimamoto could get a chance to join the Ni-gun team for a few games in June, provided he continues to pitch well (he has not allowed a run in 8 Ikusei games).  Shimamoto is scheduled to pitch in another Ikusei game today.

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GM Shoji Numasawa told reporters yesterday that the team had no plans to make any emergency moves at the moment and that while they would continue to look into who is available, they pretty much plan on competing with they players they currently have.

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Owner Shinya Sakai continued to deny any possibility of having Akinobu Mayumi step down.  Said Sakai, "Having to talk about this stuff over an over is becoming rather tiresome so I won't.  This is a game of winning and losing so it isn't [always going to be about winning]. ... My stance on having [Mayumi] work through this until the end have not changed."

Yomiuri Giants

Shun Tono will likely start tonight's game against the Rakuten Eagles.

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Tetsuya Matsumoto will probably be added to the active roster today (swapping places with Daijiro Tanaka).  Matsumoto (started in CF and batted second) went 0-for-2 with 2 walks during a Ni-gun game against Hiroshima (at the Yu Baseball Grounds in Yamaguchi) yesterday and immediately returned to Tokyo after the game.  The Giants are hoping to harness Matsumoto's speed and defense (he most likely won't crack the starting line-up).

(Thanks to fighting ham for the heads up)

Yakult Swallows

Yoshinori Sato will probably start tonight's game against the Nippon Ham Fighters.

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Silk will be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch on 7/6 (vs Yomiuri) as part of their Ladies Day program.

Yokohama Bay Stars

Naoto Watanabe was moved up to the lead-off spot on 6/1 (vs Orix) and will most likely stay there for the time being.

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Norihiro Nakamura is looking forward to a chance to bat against  Yuki Saito during a Ni-gun game on the 4th (vs Nippon Ham).

13 comments on “CL News and Notes: Hanshin Tigers still not looking to make any emergency moves

  1. ACE

    Finally Matsumoto is getting added to the active roster. Why so many young guys on the active roster though?

    1. Gen Post author

      The injury bug is probably the biggest reason – Michihiro Ogasawara, Yoshiyuki Kamei, and Yoshinobu Takahashi all went down with injuries at around the same time.

      Performance is also another reason. The Giants are probably trying to catch some lightning in a bottle by giving some of their younger players a shot.

      BUT… Once Ogasawara, Kamei, and Takahashi return, the younger players will probably see a lot less playing time. That means if they really want to stay on the active roster, they’ll need to show the team what they’re capable of before the three players return.

      So the next week or so will be very important for Matsumoto. If he doesn’t do well in the few chances he’ll get, he’ll probably be one of the first to get sent down.

  2. ACE

    Very true but Ogasawara and Takahashi are getting old so Matsumoto is the future along with Chono

    1. EJH

      Actually, ACE, the future is other team’s all-stars that the Giants will purchase in free agency. Every team has players that cried on draft day when the Giants did not pick them and they will cry tears of joy as soon as their 10 years are up and they can finally play for Yomiuri.

    2. Gen Post author

      While there is truth in what EJH says, the team is committed to Ogasawara and Takahashi. Both players are also fairly popular.

      Very similar to the Yankees, there is no such thing as a rebuilding period for the Giants. And while the move to youth over the last couple of years has been nice (Chono last year and Sawamura last year), I think it’s more the exception than the rule.

      As for Matsumoto, the Giants simply have too many outfielders right now. Actually, it’s that they have too many old players that really should either be moving to first or DH’ing (so they can still hit, but aren’t quite as good on defense anymore). But since the CL doesn’t have the DH rule, that leaves only first base. And so players that are still “serviceable” at their original positions, end up staying there. That’s why Ramirez is still playing the outfield and why Yoshinobu Takahashi will also continue playing the outfield once he returns.

      The Giants’ team is in a bit of a mess right now. In fact, I think you could say that they’re almost in the same place as the Yankees right now. A lot of their core players are losing steam and they’ll soon need to decide when to cut them loose.

  3. ACE

    Well thats true to. I think once Ramirez retires there gonna go and get Wladimir Balentin or Matt Murton. But that would be my guess.

    1. Gen Post author

      I don’t know Murton so I could be way off on this, but if he’s going to stay in Japan, he’ll probably stay with the Hanshin Tigers. And I’m guessing the Tigers won’t let another NPB team outbid them.

      And that’s assuming he doesn’t try return to the Majors.

      As for Balentien… I’m not really sure why everyone is so high on this guy. Sure he’s done well so far, but we’re only partway through the season. And if he does well, the Swallows aren’t going to part ways with him that easily (especially given how they haven’t had much luck with foreign players lately). With Guiel likely coming off the books, I’m sure they’ll be able to resign Balentien if he wants to continue playing in Japan.

      That said, the Giants have signed players like Ramirez and Greisinger away from the Swallows in the past, so I suppose it wouldn’t be impossible.

  4. ACE

    Yes and that’s exactly my point for Balentin. I think that Greisinger was a bust and the Giants should try for Maximo Nelson or try and get back Obispo.

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