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[5/18/2013] Nippon Ham, Softbank, Lotte

by on May.18, 2013 @ 1:30 pm, under NPB

Nippon Ham Fighters

Yuki Saito threw thirty-six pitches in the bullpen on Friday.  This was his third session since he started throwing to a squatting catcher on the 12th.

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/17/2013

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Hideki Kuriyama wants 1st round draft pick Shohei Otani to focus on pitching when he makes his Ichi-gun debut as a starting pitcher on the 23rd (vs Yakult at Sapporo Dome).

Source: Sponichi 5/17/2013

Otani could make an appearance in relief during an upcoming Yomiuri series at Sapporo Dome (May 19-20) before he makes his debut as a starter on the 23rd (vs Yakult at Sapporo Dome).

Source: Sponichi 5/17/2013

Tickets to the game on the 23rd started selling quickly immediately after the team announced that Otani was going to start the game -- the team sold about 1,000 tickets in the half day after the announcement (they normally sell on average about 300 tickets a day).

Source: Sanspo 5/18/2013, Nikkan Sports 5/18/2013

Softbank Hawks

Kenji Otonari pitched in a Ni-gun rehab game against Chunichi at Nagoya Stadium on Friday and gave up two runs on four hits over three innings of work.  Otonari was taken off the active roster on the 3rd with discomfort in his lower back.

Source: Sponichi 5/17/2013

Otonari could return to the active roster in time for a start on either the 20th (vs Chunichi) or the 22nd (vs Yokohama).

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/18/2013

Chiba Lotte Marines

1st round draft pick Takahiro Matsunaga joined Tsuneo Horiuchi (August 2, 1966), Teruo Aida (May 20, 1971), Toyohiko Yoshida (June 18, 1988), and Masanobu Okubo (September 26, 2011) as the only pitchers in NPB history to give up a walk-off grand slam in their rookie season.

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/18/2013