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Softbank, Nippon Ham, Seibu, Orix, Lotte: April 15, 2012

by on Apr.15, 2012 @ 11:44 pm, under NPB

Softbank Hawks

Kazuyuki Hoashi will likely be sent back down to Ni-gun after his rough start today: 2.2 IP, 71 NP, 15 BF, 5 H, 1 SO, 3 BB, 1 HBP, 4 R, 4 ER.

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Hiroki Kokubo left today's game early due to intercostal neuralgia.

Nippon Ham Fighters

Eiichi Koyano was left out of the starting line-up today after he banged up his left leg during a close play at home plate on Saturday.

Seibu Lions

Hideaki Wakui will likely be taken off the active roster to make whatever adjustments he needs to make to get back on track.  Wakui lost again today and is now 0-3 in three starts this season.

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Kazuhisa Ishii will spend the next couple of days pitching out of the bullpen after his start on Monday (vs Nippon Ham at Seibu Dome) was pushed back to April 20 (vs Lotte at QVC Marine) due to consecutive rain outs.

Fumiya Nishiguchi, who was scheduled to start Saturday's game, will get Monday's start; and Kazuhisa Makita will get Tuesday's start.

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Sponichi reports that a lot went into preparing for Saturday's game at Omiya -- the Lions produced a number of limited edition items for; NACK5 TV started broadcasting commercials for the game on April 9; and the Omiya store was creating a good amount of buzz.  The Lions have two more scheduled games at Omiya this year: June 22 vs Orix and August 23 against Softbank.

Orix Buffaloes

The Buffaloes' front office may contact the NPB about Josh Whitesell's back-swing.  The Chiba Lotte Marines did offer the team an apology after the game on Thursday.

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Kei Igawa faced fourteen batters during batting practice on Saturday and allowed three could-be hits, struckout three, and threw fifty-one pitches.  Igawa told reporters he was at about fifty to sixty percent.

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Akinobu Okada's comments on Dae-Ho Lee, via Sports Hochi Osaka: "[Lee] is not hitting the ball well right now.  Seems they were not pitching him inside very much [when he played in Korea].  He will have an easier time reading pitch patterns once we build up enough data."

Lee told reporters that he it was not until he came to Japan that he started thinking about pitch patterns.

Chiba Lotte Marines

According to Sponichi, for the third time in team history, the Marines have started a season with five or more wins without a loss.  In 1952 they started the season with five road wins; in 1981 six road wins; and in 2012, five road wins. (Through Saturday)

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Norifumi Nishimura told reporters on Saturday that he decided to sent Josh Whitesell down to Ni-gun because he felt the infielder was having a hard time seeing the ball.  Batting coach Kiyoyuki Nagashima also added that an off-balance swing was partially to blame for the two catchers he hit on back-to-back days with his back-swing.

Nishimura also said that for a team that has no power, Whitesell was a necessity and that he decided to send him down to Ni-gun because they want him to work his way back.

2 comments on “Softbank, Nippon Ham, Seibu, Orix, Lotte: April 15, 2012

  1. Steve Novosel

    Nah, Mike De Jong said Whitesell was sent down because of an anti-foreigner conspiracy!

    He has looked really out of sorts the last few games – he was way, way ahead of the pitches in all of the games in Chiba last weekend. The fact that he hasn’t even been close to hitting one out so far hasn’t helped. Still, 7-4-1 with no power game is a pretty good start!

    1. IM

      Looking at Whitesell’s career, minor leagues included, he doesn’t seem to be a true power hitter. If they are asking him to play that role he’s probably over-swinging, it would explain the lack of balance. Seems like a common problem among the NPB’s foreigners. If you ask a guy to swing for the fences every AB, there is going to be strikeouts and a lower avg. There aren’t too many guys that can do it all. Maybe he can grow into the role or maybe he would be more usefull as a more all-around hitter. I’m not really sure what the coaches are asking of him, but sounds like he could use some time at ni-gun to figure things out.

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