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Chunichi, Yakult, Yomiuri, Hanshin, Hiroshima, Yokohama: May 8, 2012

by on May.08, 2012 @ 6:05 pm, under NPB

Chunichi Dragons

Maximo Nelson may return to the active roster as a reliever.

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Takeshi Yamasaki will likely make his way back to the active roster in time for the last game of the Yakult series (May 10).

Yamasaki played in his first rehab Ni-gun game today (vs Softbank): he started at first, batted fourth, and went 1-for-2 with a walk.  He was replaced on defense in the 6th inning.

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Takehiro Donoue took fielding practice at third on Monday.  With Masahiko Morino hurt, T. Donoue could end up playing third alongside his brother, Naomichi, at short.

The Dragons may also T. Donoue to play some first.

Yakult Swallows

Yoshinori Sato is still working through right shoulder pain.  According to Sports Hochi, the team still does not know when he will be able to toss a bullpen session.  Fortunately, with Inter-league play starting on May 16, the Swallows do not have to rush Yoshinori back.

Yomiuri Giants

Shinnosuke Abe should be back in the starting line-up tonight.  Abe was left out of the starting line-up the last six games due to tightness in his lower back (he did make it into the last two games as a pinch-hitter).

Abe did make the starting line-up tonight at catcher, batting fifth.

Hanshin Tigers

Keiichi Hirano will earn his domestic FA option today.  The Tigers plan on approaching Hirano to let him know how important he is to the team.

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Sanspo notes that Matt Murton's recent struggles may have something to do with his allergies.

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Batting coach Atsushi Takaoka wants to keep things simple by having his players focus on pitches they know they can hit.

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According to Sports Hochi Osaka, the Tigers plan to bat Tomoaki Kanemoto fourth until at least the end of Inter-league play, with no rest.

"We can change the way we use [Kanemoto] since we will not be playing six-game stretches.  We will not have to give him a break from batting fourth or take him out early," said Yutaka Wada.

If Kanemoto manages to hit a home run at Hard-Off Eco in Niigata (May 8 and 9 vs Hiroshima), it will be the thirty-fourth stadium he has homered in.

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Similar to Kanemoto, with a lighter schedule coming, the Tigers' primary starting catcher will be Akihito Fujii.

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The Tigers will be staying at the Okinawa Zanpamisaki Royel Hotel instead of the Hotel Moon Beach during spring camp next season.  Reason: change of scenery, better facilities, easier access.

The team had been staying at the Hotel Moon Beach since 2003.

Hiroshima Carp

Nick Stavinoha took some fielding practice at first on his day off on Monday.  With Kenta Kurihara hurt, Stavinoha offered to help out and has been working out at first since May 1. 

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Yusuke Nomura might get the chance to workout with Kenta Maeda in Hawaii after the season if he can win ten games this year.

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Yuki Saito is slated to start Wednesday's game against the Hanshin Tigers.  For Saito, it will be his first Ichi-gun start since October 6, 2010 (vs Yakult).

Yokohama Bay Stars

Kiyoshi Nakahata was surprised so many people asked for refunds, even when the team was winning.

"It is one thing if we are losing badly, but if people are asking for a refund when we are playing well, that only kills player motivation. ... It is great that the team is working so hard to improve sales, but with regards to [refundable tickets], I do not want them to do it again," said Nakahata.

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Advance scout Akira Tanaka was only going to work directly with the Ichi-gun players/coach during the recent Chunichi series (May 4-6), but since things went well, the team decided to leave well enough alone -- he will continue to suit up and assist the players and coaches directly.