CL News and Notes: Atsushi Nomi, Jason Standridge, and Minoru Iwata likely to start first three games of the second-half for Hanshin
The Tigers will have Atsushi Nomi, Jason Standridge, and Minoru Iwata start games against the Chunichi Dragons (7/26 - 7/28 @ Koshien). Randy Messenger and Yasutomo Kubo will likely start against the Yakult Swallows (8/5 - 8/7 @ Kyocera Dome). Takumi Akiyama could also get one of the starts (possibly 8/6) against the Swallows.
Kubo will also likely get a start on the 29th against Yokohama (at Koshien), followed by Kai-Wen Cheng on the 30th.
Akiyama faced 8 batters (including Craig Brazell, Takashi Toritani, Takahiro Arai, and Akihito Fujii) during situational BP yesterday and threw 32 pitches while allowing 1 hit. Tatsuya Kojima, Kazuya Tsutsui, and Cheng also made appearances: Kojima faced 9 batters and allowed 1 hit; Tsutsui faced 8 batters and allowed 2 hits and struck out 2; and Cheng faced 8 batters, allowed 1 hit, and needed only 14 pitches.
Dicky Gonzalez tossed a bullpen session yesterday. He could get his first second-half start on the 26th vs Yokohama (Tokyo Dome).
Michihiro Ogasawara took extra BP at Giants Stadium for the second straight day yesterday (after BP during regular practices, Ogasawara got in some extra swings in the indoor cages).
Nikkan Sports mentions 3 things that will be key to Hiroshima's second-half success: the addition of Brian Barden; the return of injured players like Kan Otake, Eishin Soyogi, Jun Hirose, and Akihiro Higashide; and Kenta Maeda's getting back on track.