The Dragons begin a 4-game series against the Yakult Swallows and will likely start Kazuki Yoshimi, Maximo Nelson, Enyelbert Soto, and Wei-Ying Chen over the next 4 days. Junki Ito also remains a possibility for a spot surprise start.
Yoshimi avoided the media on Wednesday (he slipped out an exit he normally doesn't use) and at one point asked a cameraman to stop taking pictures of him during practice because it was distracting him.
It appears reports that Akinobu Mayumi accepted the Tigers' request to continue managing into the 2012 season were false.
"I know nothing about [Mayumi] accepting an offer to continue managing [next season]," said team owner Shinya Sakai. "I haven't read the papers so I don't know [what you're talking about]. We are planning on asking him to continue, but I haven't heard anything about that already happening."
He continued, "I haven't requested anything. He's got a 2-year deal so there's no need to ask him to continue. It is a 2-year deal. It's possible you might casually say something like, 'We're counting on you for next season.' But it's strange that a request to continue is even needed. It says on his contract, from the very start, that we want him to manage for 2 years."
And while team owner Nobuo Minami more or less confirmed that there was still a chance that the club might not ask Mayumi to return next season in past conversations with the media, Mayumi danced around the issue when asked to clarify.
Randy Messenger is currently scheduled to start Sunday's game against the Yomiuri Giants.
Pitching coach Takashi Yamaguchi on Kuji Fujikawa making inning plus appearances:
He's always prepared for that. So long as the manager gives the sign. Although I don't thing it's something he can do every time he gets into games. ... I think we've come to that part of the season where we need to do what we can to win.
In an effort to help create more competition amongst their players and produce more home-grown talent, the Tigers are thinking of creating a bigger gap between Ichi-gun and Ni-gun players. They're also considering other options like creating limits on players stuck at the Ni-gun level -- like 5 years for players out of high school and 3 years for players out of college.
Scout Jeff Williams assisted the Tigers with their plan to send 6 players (3 pitchers and 3 position players) to the Australian Baseball League this fall.
"Once fall camp ends, we plan on having them attend," said an unnamed front office member. "We've also internally discussed the possibility of sending more players in if the opportunity presents itself. It's necessary to secure roster spots in advance and for this, Australian-born [Jeff] Williams has been a great help."
While the Swallows could have attempted to travel to Nagoya yesterday (since the decision to call yesterday's game was made early), they opted to wait until today (they didn't want to risk getting stuck on the train because of the typhoon).
There was talk of Yoshinori returning to the active roster for a start against the Chunichi Dragons today, but he started complaining of discomfort in his right shoulder during a bullpen session about a week ago and hasn't managed to do anything pitching since.
"We don't know when he'll be able to return," said Junji Ogawa. "He could get better all of a sudden, but we want to be careful and we don't want to force him [back to soon]. For his own good, we aren't counting on him to return at this point."
At best, there's still a chance Yoshinori might be able to make it back to the active roster sometime in October.
Kenjiro Nomura hinted at the possibility of starting Brian Bullington, Giancarlo Alvarado, Kenta Maeda, and Yuya Fukui on 4 days of rest. Kan Otake could also join the mix soon.
Yokohama Bay Stars
According to Sponichi, the Bay Stars have more or less decided to part ways with all five of their foreign players, including Terrmel Sledge.
And regarding Sledge, the Bay Stars told reporters they haven't received any updates from him and also weren't planning on asking him for updates either.