Micah Hoffpauir's return to the US to get his left knee examined means 7th round draft pick Takumi Oshima now has a slightly better shot at making the opening day roster as a left-handed bat off the bench or a DH. Hideki Kuriyama plans to give Oshima another look on Saturday vs Samsung. Incidentally, Oshima was also only scheduled to get two trips to the plate on Thursday, but Kuriyama kept him in the game because he was curious how he would do.
FYI: for his second at bat on Thursday, Oshima borrowed Sho Nakata's bat. Result: single to center. Oshima likes to change things up when he feels he is not swinging the bat well and ordered a couple of extra (940 grams, 950 grams) after Sunday's practice game against Hanshin. The bat he used on Thursday was eighty-eight centimeters long and weighed about 930-940 grams. The bat he borrowed for Nakata was eight-five centimeters and 900-910 grams.
Yuki Saito will likely toss four innings during his next start on February 23 (vs Yakult).
After starting camp close to 100kg, Nakata is now at around 95kg.