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[3/4/2013] Nippon Ham, Seibu, Rakuten, Lotte, Orix

by on Mar.04, 2013 @ 11:50 pm, under NPB

Nippon Ham Fighters

The Fighters worked out for about three hours at Sapporo Dome today.

Hideki Kuriyama spoke to reporters and said he wanted Dai-Kang Yoh to return to the team as soon as possible.  He is apparently worried about him getting hurt at the WBC.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/4/2013

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The starting rotation will likely include Masaru Takeda, Mitsuo Yoshikawa, Brian Wolfe, and Hiroshi Kisanuki.

Keisuke Tanimoto, Masaru Nakamura, and Toshihara Moriuchi are among the pitchers competing for the last two spots.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/4/2013

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1st round draft pick Shohei Otani is scheduled to toss a bullpen session on the 6th and 8th.

He is also slated to get a pinch-hit at bat in an exhibition game against Yomiuri on the 6th and make a Ni-gun appearance in relief on the 10th.

Source: Daily Sports 3/4/2013

Otani's two hits on Sunday against Yomiuri: with the bases loaded and one out in the 3rd inning, two-run single to center off MIzuki Tsuchida; and an infield single off Taichi Tanaka in the 8th.

Source: Sponichi 3/4/2013

Seibu Lions

The Lions decided to demote Toshihiro Iwao after he gave up six runs over three innings of work during a practice game against Hanshin on Sunday.

Source: Sponichi 3/4/2013

Rakuten Eagles

2nd round draft pick Takahiro Norimoto has not allowed a run in five pre-season games appearances (fifteen innings).  He has become a candidate for the opening day start, if Masahiro Tanaka needs rest after the WBC.

If Norimoto is named the opening day starter, he will be the first rookie in franchise history to get an opening day start.  There have also only been twelve rookie pitches (eight in the CL and four in the PL) that have made opening day starts in NPB history -- the last in the CL was Hikaru Takano for Yakult in 1984; the last in the PL was Tadashi Sugiura for Nankai in 1958.  Seven of the twelve past rookies ended up winning their starts.

Source: Sponichi 3/4/2013

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Tetsuro Nishida started using a 940 gram training bat this winter.  Up to now, he just used his regular bat during practices.

Source: Sports Hochi 3/4/2013

Chiba Lotte Marines

G.G. Sato seats will be set up at QVC Marine this season: ten seats a game, fifty-six games.  Additional details will be officially released on Tuesday.

Source: Sanspo 3/4/2013

Orix Buffaloes

Brandon Dickson is scheduled to start Tuesday's exhibition game against Yakult at Kocera Dome.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/4/2013

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Keiichi Hirano had his right leg examined at a hospital in Kobe today and was diagnosed with a minor calf strain.  He will not be allowed to place too much of a load on the calf for about a week.  Depending on how things progress, he might be able to play in an exhibition game against Softbank at Kyocera Dome on the 12th.

Source: Daily Sports 3/4/2013

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Shun Tono is an opening day starter candidate since there is a chance Chihiro Kaneko will not be ready for the start of the season.

If Tono gets the start, he will become just the fourteenth pitcher in NPB history to get opening day starts in both leagues.  The last pitcher to accomplish the feat was Nathan Minchey (Hiroshima in 1999 and Lotte in 2002).

Source: Sports Hochi 3/4/2013, Daily Sports 3/4/2013