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[3/18/2013] Nippon Ham, Softbank, Rakuten, Lotte, Orix

by on Mar.18, 2013 @ 11:54 pm, under NPB

Nippon Ham Fighters

Brian Wolfe, Dustin MollekenMicah Hoffpauir, and Michel Abreu will likely make the active roster.  Bobby Keppel is not quite ready.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/18/2013


1st round draft pick Shohei Otani went yard on Sunday and became the first high school rookie to hit a home run in an exhibition game in his first year since Shogo Akiyama (Seibu) on March 5, 2011 against Rakuten.  The last Fighter to accomplish the feat was Sho Nakata on March 1, 2008 vs Yokohama.

Kazuhiro Kiyohara and Hideki Matsui did not record any exhibition game home runs during their first years.

Source: Sponichi 3/18/2013

The Fighters found the fan that caught Otani's home run baseball and retrieved it from him in exchange for an autographed ball.  When reporters asked the rookie if he planned to put on display somewhere, he said, "No, this is still an exhibition game.  A little too soon."

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/18/2013Sponichi 3/18/2013

If Otani makes the active roster, it will be as a hitter.  That does not mean he will not be used as a pitcher -- he might get to pitch in blow out games or games where the teams need an extra arm.  He will most likely not pitch on days he makes the starting line-up as a hitter.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/18/2013

GAORA Sports is planning to broadcast the Rakuten-Nippon Ham game at Tokyo Dome on the 21st.  This is the game in which Otani is scheduled to make an appearance as both a pitcher and an position player.

Source: Daily Sports 3/18/2013, official announcement


5th round draft pick Hayato Arakaki is scheduled to start a Ni-gun game against Yakult at Toda on Tuesday.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/18/2013

Softbank Hawks

Hayato Terahara joined pitchers for workouts today.  Terahara left an exhibition game early on the 15th because of tightness in his back.

"It felt better than I thought it would after I started moving around.  The tightness is not fully gone, but it is much better," said Terahara.

Source: Sponcihi 3/18/2013

Rakuten Eagles

2nd round draft pick Takahiro Norimoto could make his first regular season start on the 31st against Softbank at YafuOku Dome.

Source: Sponichi 3/18/2013

Chiba Lotte Marines

Wil Ledezma returned to Japan on Sunday and will re-join the team on Tuesday.

Source: Sanspo 3/18/2013

Orix Buffaloes

The three and four spots in the line-up could go to Dae-Ho Lee and Yoshio Itoi, respectively.

Source: Sponichi 3/18/2013


Talento Ami Kikuchi is scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on the 24th (vs Hanshin at Kyocera Dome).

Source: Daily Sports 3/18/2013

2 comments on “[3/18/2013] Nippon Ham, Softbank, Rakuten, Lotte, Orix

  1. Chris

    If he makes the active roster as a hitter, how is he going to get his pitching up to speed? He won’t be able to start regularly like he would in the minors…

    1. Gen Post author

      The article mentions bullpen work and pitching in games that are blowouts or games where extra arms are needed. If he makes the Ichi-gun roster, the he and the coaches will have to be extra diligent to make sure he is getting enough work in as a pitcher.

      Ni-gun makes sense on a lot of different levels. But I can also understand the organization’s excitement.

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