Enyelbert Soto's next start will likely come on the 18th against the Yomiuri Giants.
Hirokazu Ibata could return to the active roster as early as sometime this week.
The Dragons will be making a couple of changes to their coaching staff, effective today.
Kazuhiko Ishimine - Ni-gun batting coach to Ichi-gun
Yoshinori Ueda - Ichi-gun batting / OF / fielding coach to Ni-gun
It should be noted that the Dragons don't really have distinct divisions between Ichi-gun and Ni-gun coaches as other teams do. It's more about which coaches happen to be traveling with which level team at the time.
Craig Brazell is one home run away from his 100th NPB homer. And Takahiro Arai is 3 away from 250 career homers.
The Tigers rotation against the Hiroshima Carp: Atsushi Nomi, Jason Standridge, and Ikketsu Sho.
The Tigers plan on using a combination of Daiki Enokida and Tatsuya Kojima in the 7th innings. The last two innings will go to Hiroyuki Kobyashi and Kyuji Fujikawa.
The Tigers are leaning towards offering Tomoaki Kanemoto an extension for the 2012 season.
Owner Shinya Sakai returned to Japan yesterday. His comments:
I was able to see baseball in the country where it began. I don't know if it'll lead to something yet. I went to Yankee Stadium and Turner Field for the first time [in my life]. They pulled in a lot of fan and both stadiums were easily accessible. ... I had a chance to stand on the fields. I even saw [Mariano] Rivera and [Derek] Jeter. ... I'm sure the experience of watching an MLB game at an MLB stadium will end up helping us out at some point.
When asked if he wanted Rivera or Jeter, Sakai said "No." And when asked if he knew Kei Igawa was in the Yankees' farm system, he said, "I didn't know that. But I did see [Larry] Parrish."
Parrish is currently the hitting coach for the Atlanta Braves and played for the Hanshin Tigers in 1990.
Hirokazu Sawamura is still on schedule to make his next start on the 19th vs Yakult (Tokyo Dome).
Chief / pitching coach Daisuke Araki told reporters yesterday that while they still consider Tony Barnette their main closing option, they'll also consider using other relievers like Kenichi Matsuoka, Takehiko Oshimoto, and Kentaro Kyuko depending on the situation.
Regarding Kyuko, Araki said, "If there are a lot of lefties, we'll probably [go with him]. There's something special about him and he can pitch multiple innings. Kyuko is great. There isn't another first year player like him."
Kenjiro Nomura spent time behind the plate as BP catcher during practice yesterday.
Yokohama Bay Stars
Team president Takao Kaji told reporters yesterday that he really wanted Shuichi Murata to stay in Yokohama (Murata will earn his international FA option this year), to continue being the face of the team, and to be the team leader.
19-year-old Yuki Kuniyoshi could get a start during an upcoming series against the Hanshin Tigers that begins on the 19th.
Tomokazu Oka could return to the active roster in time for a start against the Tigers on the 21st, but based on his numbers from last year (3 G, 0-2, 14.0 IP, 24 H, 4 HR, 3 BB, 5 SO, 16 R, 10 ER, 6.43 ERA), the Bay Stars could instead give the start to Kuniyoshi.
Kuniyoshi's Ni-gun numbers from this year: 8 G, 1-2, 37.1 IP, 28 H, 16 BB, 32 SO, 10 R, 7 ER, 1.69 ERA.