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CL News and Notes: Kyohei Muranaka could return to Yakult rotation in early July

by on Jun.23, 2011 @ 2:05 pm, under NPB

Chunichi Dragons

Junki Ito started a Ni-gun game against Hanshin yesterday and gave up 2 runs (0 earned) on 3 hits over 6 innings of work.  Ito has not allowed an earned run in 17 consecutive innings.

The Dragons may turn to Ito to be their 6th starter in the rotation.  Other possible candidates include Kenta Asakura, Soma Yamauchi, and Shinji Iwata.

Hanshin Tigers

Randy Messenger will probably start Saturday's (6/25) game against the Yomiuri Giants.

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The Tigers still aren't sure whom they'll start after Atsushi Nomi, Minoru Iwata, Jason Standridge, and Randy Messenger.  At this point, it seems like Ikkestu Sho, Naoto Tsuru and Tatsuya Kojima are potential candidates (Kojima apparently has the lead on being the 5th starter).

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The Tigers have decided to promote Yusuke Kawasaki after he pitched well during situational BP yesterday -- he retired Craig Brazell and Takashi Toritani on grounders to second and Shinjiro Hiyama on a grounder to first.

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Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi faced 19 batters during situational BP yesterday and allowed 6 could-be hits.  He threw a total 72 pitches.

Tomoyuki Kubota faced 8 batters and gave up 5 could-be hits.

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Akinobu Mayumi gave Takahiro Arai some hitting tips during BP yesterday, for the second day in a row.

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Roger Hansen dropped by Naruohama and met with Kenji Jojima yesterday.  Hansen was catching coordinator when Jojima played for Seattle Mariners.

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Ryota Arai, Ryo Asai, Shunsuke, Kohei Shibata, Hiroki Uemoto, and Shinji Komiyama were all sent down to Ni-gun in order to get at bats during the team's current break.  But so far, they have disappointed, going a combined 4-for-38 over a 2 day stretch.  Shunsuke had such a poor showing at the plate yesterday (reached on an error, GIDP, fly out to right) that the coaches sent in a pinch-hitter for him in the 8th with runners on first and third and 2 out.

Yomiuri Giants

Yoshinobu Takahashi did not take part in situational BP yesterday and may start things off as a bat off the bench when games resume tomorrow.

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Tetsuya Utsumi will likely get a start during the team's upcoming 3-game series against the Hanshin Tigers (6/24 - 6/26).  The rotation will probably go Shun Tono, Utsumi, and Hirokazu Sawamura.

Utsumi faced the Tigers in a practice game before the start of the season this year and was hit pretty hard.  Said Utsumi, "Back then my fork wasn't working at all.  I'm a different pitcher now."

Yakult Swallows

Kyohei Muranaka started a Ni-gun game against Lotte yesterday and tossed 2 no-hit innings while striking out 3.  He threw a total 33 pitches and topped out at 147km/h.  This was Muranaka's first outing since his right oblique strain.  The team will decide Muranaka's schedule move forward after they see how he's feeling today; if things go well, he might be able to return to the active roster as early as sometime between 7/5 - 7/7 (three game series against Yomiuri).

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As of yesterday, Shingo Kawabata was scheduled to join the Ichi-gun team for practice today.

Hiroshima Carp

The Carp's potential starting rotation for the next two upcoming series:

vs Chunichi (6/24 - 6/26): Bryan Bullington, Kenta Maeda, Kyohei Nakamura

vs Hanshin (6/28 - 6/29): Yuya Fukui, Takeru Imamura

Yokohama Bay Stars

Takao Obana told reporters yesterday that he wanted his starters to either throw at least 100 pitches or pitch into the 7th inning.