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CL News and Notes: Shun Tono (YOM) could return to the starting rotation

by on Jul.27, 2011 @ 1:30 pm, under NPB

Hanshin Tigers

Jason Standridge will try to become the first Hanshin foreigner to toss back-to-back shutouts since Gene Bacque in 1968.

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Tomoaki Kanemoto was held out of the starting line-up last night due to a crick in his neck (he was available off the bench).  The pain was apparently bad enough that it kept Kanemoto from taking outdoor BP two days straight (although he did manage to take indoor BP).

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The Tigers front office and coaching staff held a developmental meeting yesterday in order to determine which Ikusei players would be added to the 70-man roster ahead of the 7/31 cutoff.  While no specifics were mentioned to the press, it seems Ikusei pitcher Koji Yoshioka heads the list of possible candidates.

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Former Senior Director Senichi Hoshino was one of the reasons why the Tigers selected Issei Morita in the 3rd round of the 2007 draft.  Hoshino's attraction?  Morita's raw power potential.

The Ni-gun batting coach Hiroshi Yagi has been working with Morita and was happy to see him hit a homer in his first Ichi-gun at bat.  He told reporters, "It's impressive that he managed to hit a homer in his first at bat, especially since he's only going to get a limited number of opportunities.  It must be his fate. ... He's got good bat control. ... Perhaps better than it would seem.  He's very skillful. ... His problem has been the physical and mental side of practices. ... What's important is that he does now.  His  life as a professional baseball player begins now."

Incidentally, Morita's home run last night was caught by two children.  Team officials tracked the two kids down and gave them a few of things (including an autographed ball and a sweat band) in exchange for the ball.  Morita also got a nice face full of shaving cream, courtesy Craig Brazell.

Yomiuri Giants

With Tetsuya Utsumi temporarily out of service, the Giants may turn back to Shun Tono to help fill the void in the starting rotation.  That means he could get Utsumi's start on the 30th against the Yakult Swallows (Jingu).

Tono wasn't available to pitch last night and when reporters asked Tatsunori Hara why, he said, "He just wasn't available to pitch in relief today. ... I'm sure he'll be available to tomorrow."

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The Giants received around 13,000 submissions to work the stationary bikes that feed the power to the club car.  7 were selected to power the 5 stationary bikes during last night's game.

Hiroshima Carp

Takeru Imamura took a line drive off the right portion of his neck in the 7th inning of last night's game against the Yakult Swallows (Keizo Kawashima hit the ball and was leading off the inning).  It didn't seem as if he'd be able to return to the game, but after getting some treatment, he did and retired the next three batters in order (fly out, foul out, strikeout looking).