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[3/23/2013] Nippon Ham, Rakuten, Orix

by on Mar.23, 2013 @ 11:46 pm, under NPB

Nippon Ham Fighters

Even if 1st round draft pick Shohei Otani makes the Ichi-gun roster, he will most likely not make his debut as a pitcher in a regular season game until some time in June.  This is similar to the timetable the team used for Yu Darvish in his first year -- he pitched in five Ni-gun games before getting his first Ichi-gun start on June 15.  Hideki Kuriyama told reporters he was using notes on how the team used Darvish to shape Otani's schedule (like pitch counts and days of rest in between outings).

Source: Sponichi 3/23/2013

Otani could pitch in a Ni-gun game against Seibu at Kamagaya on the 27th.

Source: Sponichi 3/23/2013

According to Sports Hochi, a team official told reporters that they wanted Otani to make his first start at Sapporo Dome and that his first start could come on May 8/9 vs Rakuten, or even sooner, perhaps between April 27-29 vs Orix.

Otani was assigned Sho Nakata's old Ichi-gun dorm room.

Source: Sports Hochi 3/23/2013

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Atsunori Inaba, Eiichi Koyano, Dai-Kang Yoh, and Sho Nakata will donate 1,000 yen to Akaihane Kyodo Bokin (Central Community Chest of Japan) for every hit they record this season.  Kuriyama will donated 1,000 yen to the same organization for every win the team records.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/23/2013

Rakuten Eagles

According to Nikkan Sports, Masahiro Tanaka will not get the opening day start so that he can spend a little more time on preparation.  He most likely will not make his first start of the year until the second series of the season (vs April at Kleenex Stadium, April 2-4).

The starting rotation could be: Brandon Duckworth, Yoshinao Kamata, 2nd round draft pick Takahiro Norimoto, Tanaka, and Manabu Mima.  Sixth starter candidates include Kenji Tomura, Satoshi Nagai, and Yasunori Kikuchi.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/23/2013

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Andruw Jones could end up being the full-time DH this year.

Source: Sanspo 3/23/2013

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While tests on Wataru Karashima's left elbow did not reveal any major problems, there likely was some inflammation.  He may not make his first regular season start until early April.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/23/2013

Orix Buffaloes

Shun Tono lost his footing on the mound and tweaked his right ankle in the 3rd inning of today's exhibition game against Hanshin.  He was removed from the game after the inning as a precaution.  He later told reporters he was fine and that he just twisted it a little.

Source: Sponichi 3/23/2013

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Kei Igawa started a Ni-gun game against Hanshin today and did not allow any hits or runs over two innings of work.  He also struck out two. This was his first game since he had surgery on his left elbow in October last year.

Source: Sponichi 3/23/2013