Masahiko Morino, Tony Blanco, and Kazuhiro Wada worked out at Nagoya Dome on their day off on Monday. Morino and Wada spent some time taking BP while Blanco took grounders at first.
Both team president Nobuo Minami and team own Shinya Sakai told reporters on Monday that they were currently planning on keeping Akinobu Mayumi as manager, regardless of whether or not the team makes the Climax Series. Mayumi is in the first year of a 2-year deal.
Takashi Toritani will become the 8th player in NPB history to play in 1,000 consecutive games if he plays in tonight's game (a streak that began on 9/9/2004).
The team decided to demote Issei Morita on Monday in favor of Ryo Asai.
Craig Brazell on his right hamstring: "I'm somewhere between 75-80%. But I can't afford to wait until I'm 100% at this point in the season. I think I'm back to a point where I can help the team. I'm ready to be called back any time. ... I'm still a little worried [about the injury] but I can't wait until it's 100%."
On Monday, Brazell took grounders at third; swung the bat 48 times during BP and hit 6 over the fence; and he did some running (while making sudden stops to test his leg) in the indoor training facilities.
For now, Brazell is scheduled to get an at bat during today's Ni-gun game against Softbank. He'll then get starts at first base (with 2 at bats) during two Ni-gun games on the 14th and 15th. Assuming everything is ok, he could make it back to the active roster as early as the 17th. Sports Hochi notes that there's also a chance he could be called up on the 14th.
Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi started a Ni-gun game against Hiroshima on Monday and tossed 4 shutout innings while allowing 4 hits; he also got two GIDPs in the first two innings. Hiroyuki Kobayashi appeared in the same game as a reliever and did not give up a run or a hit over an inning of work and topping out at 146km/h.
The media also learned on Monday that the Tigers currently have no plans on giving Shimoyanagi another Ichi-gun start this year. Further, it seems possible that he could be released when all is said and done.
Mercedez Benz Japan announced on Sunday that they gave the Tigers two smart fortwo cabrios to use as bullpen cars (seems this will be one of their test cases for the new cars). The Tigers will begin using the two cars beginning with Tuesday's game.
The Giants will likely start Tetsuya Utsumi, Hirokazu Sawamura (5 days of rest), and Jumpei Ono against the Yokohama Bay Stars (9/13 - 9/15). And for the rest of the month, the team will most likely use a modified 5-man rotation (due to the way the schedule is set up) that could put Sawamura's next start on the 20th against the Yakult Swallows.
Despite being a rookie, he's the only pitcher that has managed to keep a spot in the starting rotation from the start of the season.
Team owner Tsunekazu Momoi told reporters today that the team put in a request to have Tatsunori Hara continue as manager of the team next season. Said Momoi, "We asked him to stay for next season. We think he did a good job, despite injuries to key players and sub-par seasons by foreign players."
Yoshinori Sato could return to the starting rotation some time during a 9-game stretch that begins on the 17th. But before returning, he'll probably pitch once or twice at Ni-gun (which means 10 or so more days).
For now, the Swallows will use a 5-man rotation and have one pitcher start on 4 days of rest during 6-game stretches.
The Aoyama Gaienmae Shopping District Promotions Association is already working on a potential parade route that will run the distance between Jingu Stadium and Yakult headquarters (a distance of about 5.5km).
Yuya Fukui's goal right now is to reach the minimum innings to qualify (144 innings). Fukui is currently at 110 innings.
Kan Otake gave up a run on a hit and 7 walks during a Ni-gun start against Hanshin on the 11th (he also threw 105 pitches and struck out 3). Assuming no setbacks in his recovery (fracture in his right hand), he could rejoin the active roster for a start on the 23rd.
Yokohama Bay Stars
The Bay Stars are apparently prepared to let go of all 6 of their foreign players during the off-season. Players like Terrmel Sledge (.260/.316/.481, 95 G, 20 HR, 57 RBI) and Brett Harper (.281/.334/.420, 100 G, 9 HR, 39 RBI) have put up decent numbers, but have fallen short of expectations. And pitchers Brent Leach, Luis Gonzalez, Clayton Hamilton, and Brandon Mann haven't turned in the type of performances the team was hoping for.
Contract talks between the Bay Stars and Yokohama Stadium have stalled. For now, the team has decided to fall back on the contract they used last year. The two sides will meet again during the off-season.
Problem: Contracts between the two sides have included a clause that requires the Bay Stars to give Yokohama Stadium 25% of all tickets sales and 100% of all advertisement and merchandise sales. The Bay Stars feel this clause makes no sense for them. And while Yokohama Stadium is willing to work with the team on this clause, there's another sticking point: the Bay Stars want a short term deal while the stadium wants to strike a long-term deal.
Twelve positions players, including Naoto Watanabe, Takehiro Ishikawa, and Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, attended Ichi-gun practice at Yokohama Stadium on Monday. All of them worked out on their hitting mechanics, paying particular attention to the use of their lower bodies, during about an hour's worth of long soft-toss.