Pitching coach Manabu Saito told reporters that the opening day starter will either be Tadashi Settsu (if he's healthy) or Nagisa Arakaki. Pitching coach Ikuo Takayama added that they would like to make a final decision within the next day or so (April 25 or 26), after checking to see how Settsu is feeling.
On Sunday, Koji Akiyama informed reporters that Settsu will probably be ok for the opening day start.
The Lions will likely go with a five-man starting rotation that includes Hideaki Wakui, Kazuhisa Ishii, Takayuki Kishi, Fumiya Nishiguchi, and Kazuhisa Makita.
According to Sanspo, there is a good chance 1st round draft pick Ken Togame will start the year at Ni-gun.
Masahiro Tanaka was able to pitch three shutout innings in an exhibition game against the Chunichi Dragons on Sunday and appeared to be over the stiffness in the right part of his back. He also topped out at 152km/h.