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Samurai Japan News and Notes: March 8, 2013 @ 3:19pm

by on Mar.08, 2013 @ 3:19 pm, under WBC

Workouts at Tokyo Dome began at around 3:30pm on Thursday.

Source: Sanspo 3/8/2013

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Pitching staff...

  • Sanspo - Tetsuya Utsumi could relieve Atsushi Nomi tonight against Chinese Taipei.  Source: Sanspo 3/8/2013
  • Nikkan Sports -  Nomi will start game one, Kenta Maeda game two, and Utsumi game three.  Source: Nikkan Sports 3/8/2013
  • Sports Hochi - all pitchers, other than Meada, will be available to pitch tonight.  Source: Sports Hochi 3/8/2013
  • Maeda threw forty pitches in the bullpen on Thursday.  He will probably start game two.  Source: Sponichi 3/8/2013

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Regarding the starting line-up...

Sanspo:

  • Hisayoshi Chono could be benched tonight.
  • Hayato Sakamoto could be dropped to the eight-hole, Katsuya Kakunaka moved up to the lead-off spot, with Yoshio Itoi batting fifth, Atsunori Inaba batting sixth, and Takashi Toritani batting ninth.
  • The four through six could all be left-handed hitters.

Source: Sanspo 3/8/2013

Nikkan Sports

  • Chono could be dropped from the line-up with Itoi moving to center.
  • Toritani took grounders at third during workouts on Thursday.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/8/2013

Sorts Hochi

  • Line-up could feature five left-handed hitters: Shinnosuke Abe, Itoi, Kankunaka, Inaba, and Toritani.
  • Ibata will likely bat second.

Source: Sports Hochi 3/8/2013

Daily Sports

  • Kakunaka could start in right and lead-off with Hirokazu Ibata at second batting second.
  • Toritani could get the start at third.

Source: Daily Sports 3/8/2013, Daily Sports 3/8/2013

Sponichi

  • Toritani could be the starting third baseman.
  • Inaba and Toritani could bat eight and nine respectively.
  • The starting line-up will probably feature five left-handed hitters.  However, a sixth left-handed hitter could also be squeezed in: Sakamoto or Sho Nakata could be benched in favor of Kazuo Matsui.
  • During fielding practice on Thursday: Uchikawa and Kakunaka were in right, Itoi in center, Ibata was at second, Toritani at third, and Matsui at short.
  • Uchikawa (lower back discomfort) did not seem to have any problems during workouts on Thursday and should be back in the starting line-up tonight.  He will likely bat third.
  • Nakata could bat seventh.

Source: Sponichi 3/8/2013, Sponichi 3/8/2013Sponichi 3/8/2013, Sponichi 3/8/2013, Sponichi 3/8/2013

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Tokyo Dome officials would like fans to refrain from doing the "Inaba Jump" out of consideration for other spectators.

Source: Sports Hochi 3/8/2013

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A report full of information collected by the advance scouts was handed out to players on Thursday.

Source: Sponichi 3/8/2013

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Katsuya Nomura feels it might make sense to drop Abe to the six-hole and have him focus on his defense and play-calling instead of his hitting.  That could also have the effect of helping him with his offense.

Source: Sanspo 3/8/2013

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Players will not be required to stay at the team hotel, so long as their homes are located close by and they are able to report to team functions without any delay.

Source: Sanspo 3/8/2013

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Chinese Taipei

Dai-Kang Yoh told reporters on Thursday that it felt strange to be playing against Nippon Ham teammates Atsunori Inaba and Sho Nakata and former teammate Yoshio Itoi.  He also said that he planned to give his WBC teammates information on Japanese players.

Source: Sanspo 3/8/2013, Sports Hochi 3/8/2013

There are also three other players on Chinese Taipei that are active NPB players: I-Chen Wang (YOK), Yi-Hao Lin (YOM), and Yao-Hsun Yang (SOF).

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Netherlands

Wladimir Balentien is ready to give teammates whatever information he can about Japan.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/8/2013