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CL News and Notes: Hiromitsu Ochiai (CHU) future still up in the air

by on Sep.21, 2011 @ 8:15 am, under NPB

Chunichi Dragons

Team owner Bungo Shirai told reporters on Tuesday that the front office is still undecided on Hiromitsu Ochiai's future as manager of the team.

"We have some time before the contract ends [on 10/31]," said Shirai.  "Well, maybe at least a month before it ends.  I think it won't be decided until the last minute."

Ochiai is currently in the final year of a 3-year deal.  He signed his first contract, a 3-year contract, before the 2004 season.  His next contract was a 2-year deal after the 2006 season.  Ochiai signed his current 3-year contract after the first half of the 2008 season.

Hanshin Tigers

Tuesday's rain-out will be scheduled sometime on or after 10/24.

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Team owner Shinya Sakai is planning to catching Friday's game against the Yomiuri Giants.

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Atsushi Nomi's next start will likely come against the Yomiuri Giants on the 24th (his start on Tuesday was rained out).  Nomi is 10-2 in his last 14 starts against the Giants (going back to 7/19/2009).

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Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi tossed indoor situational BP at Koshien on Tuesday -- he faced 11 batters and threw 40 pitches while allowing 1 could-be hit.  Shimoyanagi is currently scheduled to pitch in a Ni-gun game against Orix on the 23rd.

Sponichi is also reporting that this will likely be Shimoyanagi's last year with the Tigers (as has been previously mentioned).  Shimoyanagi isn't ready to call it quits and plans on waiting for offers from other clubs.

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Kentaro Sekimoto worked out indoors on Tuesday.  He took about 60 swings of the bat during BP (against a machine and against a live arm) and also played some catch and took fielded some easy grounders.  Sekimoto still has his sights on returning on the 24th (lower back pains).

Yomiuri Giants

Hirokazu Sawamura's scoreless inning streak came to an end on Tuesday night at 20 innings.  Only two other pitchers in franchise history have managed to toss 20 scoreless innings in their rookie seasons: Tsuneo Horiuchi in 1966 (44 and 23.1 scoreless innings) and Hisanori Takahashi (20 innings).

Sawamura is also the first Giants' pitcher to record 8 victories in his rookie year since Hiroshi Kisanuki won 10 in his rookie year in 2003.

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Saburo Omura will be taken off the active roster today; Satoshi Fukuda will be called up in his place.

Yakult Swallows

Kyohei Muranaka has given up 5 homers in his last 4 starts (a span of 24.2 innings).

Hiroshima Carp

Kenta Kurihara is having a great September so far: 15 G, 24-for-61, .393/.422/.623.  He is also in the middle of an 11-game hitting streak.

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