Wednesday's Ni-gun game against Lotte at Toda: Shohei Tateyama started the game and gave up two runs on three hits over four innings of work. He also topped out at 146km/h. [Sanspo]
Kazuhiro Hatakeyama will most likely start at first and bat fourth on opening day. If he does make the starting line-up, it will be his first opening day start in his twelfth season with the team.
If Yoshinori needs more time to iron out his mechanics, the Swallows could turn to Tatsuyoshi Masubuchi. Otherwise he could make his first Ichi-gun regular season start during a three-game series against Chunichi that begins on April 6.
Of the new players the Yomiuri Giants added during the winter, Junji Ogawa told reporters on Tuesday that Dennis Houlton and John Bowker were the two players he had his eye on.
"Murata is not a batter we know nothing about. We have also faced Sugiuchi a number of times. ... Bowker is a good hitter. He showed his abilities during exhibition play. We have not really played against Houlton. He throws the ball at an angle and has good control," said Ogawa.