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Softbank Hawks: March 1, 2012

by on Mar.01, 2012 @ 11:52 pm, under NPB

Bullpen Sessions / Batting Practice

Thursday

  • Tadashi Settsu threw sixty pitches in the bullpen. (Nikkan Sports)

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The Hawks announced today that Hiroki Kokubo will collect donations for northern Japan before their exhibition game on March 11.

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1st round draft pick Shota Takeda attended his high school graduation today.  Takeda will return to Fukuoka on Friday and begin workouts at Saitozaki on Saturday.

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The Hawks announced today that they will hold a pep rally after their exhibition game against Hiroshima on March 24.

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New sections at Yahoo Dome were revealed to the public today.  Seating capacity at the stadium has also increased from 37,025 to 38,561.

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Tadashi Settsu may have accidentally told reporters on Wednesday that he was going to be the opening day pitcher when he said, "I have never done it before so I can not really imagine what it is like."

Settsu is slated to start an exhibition game against Lotte on March 3 and go about three innings.

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The Hawks plan to start playing their veterans, like Kokubo, Nobuhiko Matsunaka, Hitoshi Tamura, and Alex Cabrera, during exhibition games, beginning with the Chiba Lotte Marines on March 3.

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Koji Akiyama will likely opt to carry an extra position player instead of an extra pitcher on opening day.

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Nikkan Sports notes a number of things to keep an eye on:

  • Starting Pitchers - Settsu, Kazuyuki Hoashi, and Brad Penny have pitched well, but there is some concern surrounding Sho Iwasaki.  Renyel Pinto has also pitched well.
  • Designated Hitter - Matsunaka and Wily Mo Pena will compete for DH.  At first, Hiroki Kokubo is the front-runner, but Cabrera could change that.  Two of these players will likely end up on the bench.
  • Shortstop - Kenji Akashi is the leading choice, but Kenta Imamiya is not too far behind, if he can get his bat going.
  • Relievers - Takahiro Mahara is out.  Brian Falkenborg will likely take over as closer.  Masahiko Morifuku and Takehito Kanazawa as set-up men.  More than likely, the Hawks will try a number of possibilities out before making any hard-set decisions.