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CL News and Notes: Kan Otake (HIR) hoping to make it back to the active roster in September

by on Aug.30, 2011 @ 3:16 pm, under NPB

Hanshin Tigers

Atsushi Nomi will likely start tomorrow's game against the Chunichi Dragons.

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Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi could get an Ichi-gun start against Yokohama (Koshien) on 9/4.  For Shimoyanagi, it'll be his first Ichi-gun game since 6/6.

Takumi Akiyama was originally in line for an Ichi-gun start, but after giving up 7 runs (5 earned) on 10 hits over 4 innings of work during a Ni-gun practice game on 8/28, the team apparently decided to Shimoyanagi a shot first.

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Tomoaki Kanemoto spent about an hour working out at the Koshien indoor training facilities yesterday -- he got treatment on his right shoulder and did some strengthening exercises.

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Batting coach Yutaka Wada told reporters yesterday that he didn't think it was necessary to move Takahiro Arai out of the clean-up spot.

Said Wada, "It's up to the manager, but I'd like to see him get over this without moving him. ... I think things are really tough for him right now.  He really hasn't had any easy at bats lately.  Most of them seem to come in pressure situations with men on base.  But that's what it means to bat clean-up."

Wada has told reporters in the past that he didn't think it was always beneficial to drop players down in the batting order and that even if they were to drop a couple spots down, he'd still probably find himself in similar situations.

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The Tigers admitted to reporters yesterday that they spoke to Matt Murton's agent during their trip to the US earlier this month.

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The Tigers are thinking about sending some of their younger players to the Australian Baseball League.  Possible candidates: player in their early to mid 20's, like Yamato, Hiroki Uemoto, and Issei Morita.

Yomiuri Giants

Tatsunori Hara told reporters yesterday that he was thinking about batting Hayato Sakamoto fifth in the line-up because he wasn't getting the job done as the lead-off hitter.

And while Alex Ramirez batted fifth on the 28th, due both to his recent struggles at the plate (no hits in his last 16 trips to the plate) and a cold, he'll likely return to batting clean-up.  But if things don't improve for Ramirez, there's also a chance he might get bumped down in the order as well.

In the end, Hara said, "We have do have expectations and we do need to be patient.  But the goal for this team isn't to bat Ramirez fourth or to put Hayato in the starting line-up. ... [Everyone's job] is up in the air."

Hare also said that he doesn't plan on pushing all best players at once since the best scenario was to always have something in reserve.

As for who will bat first, it seems Hara like Daisuke Fujimura right now.

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The Giants have at least two players that won't get to play in any Ichi-gun games this season.  Those players are Ryosuke Miyaguni and Taichi Tanaka.  Both players were drafted out of high school last year and the team doesn't want to rush either player to quickly (they're sole focus is to work on building up their bodies this season).

Hiroshima Carp

Kan Otake is currently scheduled to pitch in his first Ni-gun rehab game sometime during a 3-game series against Softbank that begins on 9/2.  Otake was shut down for about 2 months due to a right pinky fracture he suffered on 5/28.  He has since started a throwing program and has also faced live batters.

Otake is ultimately hoping to make it back to the active roster sometime in September.

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The Carp are planning on giving Takuro Ishii an extension for the 2012 season.  If he does return next year, he'll become the first position player in franchise history to play for the team during the year he turns 42.  Koichi Ogata holds the current franchise record for position players as he played for the Carp until the year he turned 41.  The overall franchise record belongs to Yutaka Ono, who played until the year he turned 43.

Yokohama Bay Stars

Batting coach Yoshikazu Takagi told reporters yesterday that he'd like to see Yoshitomo Tsutsugo get more at bats at Ichi-gun this year, without any concern about getting too many at bats to ruin his chance for a Rookie of the Year award.

"More than worrying about a rookie of the year award, I think it'll do him good to get some more Ichi-gun at bats," said Takagi.  "Even if he can't really hit, I think he should get at bats."