Shuhei Fukuda could return to the active roster sometime in early August. Fukuda continued his rehab (left shoulder) at the Saitozaki training facilities today and told reporters he was no longer feeling pain. He could play in his first rehab game on 8/2 or 8/3 (Ni-gun game against Hiroshima).
The media learned yesterday that the Hawks have more or less decided to keep Koji Akiyama at the helm for the 2012 season (and perhaps beyond). Akiyama is currently in the final year of a three year deal. The length of his next contract will be decided once the season ends.
The Hawks will likely offer a contract extension for the 2012 season to rehab coach Kazumi Saito. The plan was for Saito to return to the 70-man roster this year (right shoulder), but he doesn't appear to be ready for that yet.
The team also plans on talking to D.J. Houlton's agent about signing an extension.
Sadaharu Oh had a regular check-up at a hospital earlier this month and was told by doctors that he was physically fine and that they found no signs of his cancer returning (it has been 5 years since he had an operation for stomach cancer).
Darrell Rasner did some running in the outfield at Kleenex Stadium on his day off today.
The Eagles will begin selling limited edition* Ganbaro Tohoku pin badges on 7/24. The badges will come in two varieties (home and road editions), will cost 300 yen a piece, and will only be available for purchase at the stadium store.
A total 1,000 badges will be made, 500 of each design.