Kiyoshi Nakahata told reporters after today's exhibition game against the Rakuten Eagles that Kentaro Takasaki will be his opening day starter.
The Bay Stars want to go with a five-man rotation, but there is some concern about whether or not Daisuke Miura will be able to handle pitching on five days of rest.
"Pitching on five days of rest might be difficult [for Miura]," said pitching coach Yui Tomori. "But he has a mental presence and he is experienced. We need him to be healthy for the whole season. We will use him carefully."
Miura responded, "I should be able to pitch on five days of rest because I worked out with that in mind. I want to maintain a spot in the starting rotation."
It appears Norihiro Nakamura will, for the time being, take over as the new clean-up hitter while Alex Ramirez (strain in his left rectus femoris) is out. With regards to other aspects of the line-up, the Bay Stars will use their remaining exhibition games to figure out what to do -- they were initially planning on getting rid of the DH rule today and have their pitchers get used to hitting, but they will now continue to make use of the DH rule while they test out a number of different players.
Head coach Yutaka Takagi told reporters that he did not mind if Ramirez missed the first ten games of the season if he can return at 100% for the remaining 134 games.
Nikkan Sports is guessing the following...
- The first four hitters in the starting line-up will likely be: Takayuki Kajitani, Hichori Morimoto, Takehiro Ishikawa (ideally would have been Yoshitomo Tsutsugo), and Nakamura (ideally would have been Ramirez).
- Keijiro Matsumoto will most likely slide into left (taking defense over offense).