Tsuyoshi Wada will probably start tomorrow's game against the Chunichi Dragons (Nagoya Dome).
Koji Akiyama would like to consider giving Seiichi Uchikawa a full day off, especially now that he's also nursing a right hamstring injury. But Uchikawa wants none of that and plans on playing in every game through to the end of the season.
Takayuki Kishi will probably start tonight's game against the Yakult Swallows (Jingu).
Nikkan Sports notes that Yusei Kikuchi has relied on three main pitches during games: a fastball, a slider (120km/h range), and a curve (130km/h range). He can also throw a fork and change, but hasn't gotten around to throwing them much during games. Sponichi mentions that Kikuchi throws a fastball and two types of sliders.
Kikuchi told reporters after his start on the 12th that he needed to pick-up an pitch he could turn to during games that had good break to it. Pitching coach Takehiro Ishii agreed and added that it wasn't going to happen overnight and would require a lot of throwing (practice).
Chiba Lotte Marines
Tomohisa Otani will probably get tonight's start against the Yomiuri Giants (Tokyo Dome).
Norifumi Nishmura is leaning towards leaving Shota Ishimine and Shoitsu Omatsu in the 2 and 4 spots in the batting order (respective) for the time being.
Nippon Ham Fighters
Yu Darvish will probably start tomorrow's game against the Hanshin Tigers (Koshien). Darvish has not allowed a run in his last 44 consecutive innings of work.
Masaru Takeda will likely start tonight's game against the Tigers.
Yuki Saito's next rehab start will come on the 21st against Ni-gun Yomiuri (Kamagaya). Saito might be stretched to throw 100-120 pitches.
Akinobu Okada told reporters that he still wanted Hiroshi Kisanuki and Chan Ho Park to each get at least one more start at Ni-gun. Regarding Yuki Nishi, he said that he was coming off a cold and would also probably need at least one start at Ni-gun. That means Kazuki Kondo and Kentaro Kuwahara could be candidates for the starting rotation once Inter-league play ends.
Seung-Yeop Lee has 7 strikeouts in his last 7 at bats. And despite his struggles at the play, Okada told reporters he doesn't plan on demoting the first baseman. Said Okada, "He looks good during practice. He's hitting the ball back up between left and center. But during games he's trying to pull everything, even the outside pitches. It's just about changing the way you look at things."
As of yesterday, Kelvin Jimenez was scheduled to join the Ichi-gun roster for practice today. He could also get his first Ichi-gun start on the 18th against the Hanshin Tigers (Koshien). In 6 Ni-gun outings, Jimenez went 4-0 with a 3.00 ERA (30 IP, 30 H, 7 BB, 2 HBP, 7 SO, 10 R, 10 ER).