CL News and Notes: Kenji Jojima (HAN) won’t be allowed to do any throwing until after the All-Star break
Takashi Toritani apparently enjoys hitting in Akita: 5 G, 10-for-20, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 1 SO.
The Tigers almost turned a triple play yesterday: in the 4th inning with runners on first and second, Kazuhiro Hatakeyama hit a liner back to the Randy Messenger for the first out. Messenger threw over to Kentaro Sekimoto covering second and Sekimoto threw over to Craig Brazell covering first. The timing was right, but Sekimoto's foot never really touched the bag at second (he sort of bumped into Toritani, who also tried to move in and cover second) and the runner was called safe.
Matt Murton wasn't too happy about his strikeout in the 7th. With the count 3-1, Murton thought the 5th pitch of the sequence was a ball, tossed his bat, and was about to walk down to first, but the ball was called a strike. Murton struck out swinging on the next pitch, dropped his bat, threw down his helmet and his batting gloves, and shouted a few things toward the home plate ump.
Kenji Jojima had his right elbow checked out yesterday and it seems he won't be allowed to do anything throwing or hitting until after the All-Star break (7/25). A final decision on when he'll be allowed to take the next step in his rehab will be made after he gets his right elbow (and his surgically repaired left knee) examined again during the All-Star break.
Kai-Wen Cheng started a Ni-gun game against Softbank yesterday and tossed 5 shutout innings while allowing 5 hits. Cheng has now tossed 35 consecutive scoreless innings. And it seems he might have a chance to join the active roster and make a start on either the 16th or 17th. This is assuming Messenger is taken off the active roster after his next start on the 15th since he won't be starting another game until after the All-Star break.
Josh Fields played in a Ni-gun game against Yakult yesterday -- he started at third, batted fifth, and went 0-for-3 before being replaced after the 7th inning. He is scheduled to meet up with the Ichi-gun roster today (when he gets activated will be up to Tatsunori Hara).
Shinnosuke Abe extended his hitting streak to 12 games. He's also 11-for-25 (.440/.533/.760) so far this month.
Hirokazu Sawamura is having a solid year. If he happens to win the RoY award this year, it'll mean a Yomiuri player has won the award 4 years straight, something that has never happened before.
Hara is planning on giving Shun Tono a shot as the closer. Tono hasn't been very consistent as a start this year and the Giants are in need of more stability in their end-game. While Tono has been a start for most of his Ichi-gun career, he does have some experience as a reliever.
The Giants have tried giving the closer's role to Jonathan Albaladejo, Levi Romero, Tetsuya Yamaguchi, and Yuya Kubo with mixed results. As of late, Hara was going with Yamaguchi and Kubo.
Masaru Sato worked out with the Ichi-gun roster yesterday.
Hayato Sakamoto led-off the 6th inning with what appeared to be a routine fly ball to left. But Soichiro Amaya lost the ball in the lights and Sakamoto ended up on second with a double. That also led to the Giants scoring 3 runs in the inning.
Yokohama Bay Stars
Brent Leach took part in pre-game practice before yesterday's Ni-gun game against Seibu. He's scheduled to toss a bullpen session today. Leach probably won't be activated until after the All-Star break.