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[1/22/2014] Rakuten Eagles, Chiba Lotte Marines

by on Jan.22, 2014 @ 11:57 pm, under NPB

Rakuten Eagles

Senichi Hoshino has not entirely ruled out the possibility of naming 1st round draft pick Yuki Matsui his opening day pitcher this year.

Source: Sanspo 1/22/2014, Nikkan Sports 1/22/2014

Hoshino turned sixty-seven today.  Reporters presented him with a cake and a golden glove, commemorating his Nippon Series victory last year, on Tuesday.

Source: Daily Sports 1/22/2014, Sponichi 1/22/2014

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1st round draft pick Matsui's nickname could end up becoming "Omatsu."  It is an abbreviation for "Oi, Matsui," or "Hey, Matsui."  It is apparently the nickname members of the 2013 draft class gave him.

Source: Tokyo Sports 1/22/2014

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The Eagles are planning to return to Sendai on March 11 so members of the team can attend memorial ceremonies on the anniversary of the Tohoku Earthquake.  The Eagles have an exhibition game against Chunichi in Kurashiki on the 9th and against Orix at Kyocera Dome on the 12th.

Source: Nikkan Sports 1/22/2014

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The Eagles are thinking about a program to increase their fan base by giving away team caps to all first-year elementary school kids in the Tohoku region.

Source: Sports Hochi 1/22/2014, Nikkan Sports 1/22/2014

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The Eagles announced the following position changes:

Yosuke Hiraishi - from assistant Ichi-gun batting coach to Ichi-gun batting coach
Shintaro Masuda - from infielder to outfielder
Takero Okajima - from catcher to outfielder

Source: official announcement

Chiba Lotte Marines

While Naoya Masuda will most likely be the closer this season, Tsutomu Ito told reporters he might turn to Yuji Nishino if he is not needed in the starting rotation.  With the additions of Hideaki Wakui and 1st round draft pick Ayumu Ishikawa, Ito is more concerned about the bullpen, especially after losing Taiki Nakago (compensation for signing Wakui).  Nishino is open to the idea of closing.

Source: Sanspo 1/22/2014, Sports Hochi 1/22/2014, Nikkan Sports 1/22/2014

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Tadahiro Ogino and Keisuke Hayasaka will not be ready for opening day.  Ogino had surgery on his left knee on December 2, 2013 and may not be ready to return until the second-half of the season.  Hayasaka had surgery on his left shoulder on November 12, 2013 and is aiming for a return some time in June.

Source: Sports Hochi 1/22/2014, Nikkan Sports 1/22/2014

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The media learned that Shota Omine (22) filed marriage papers with a twenty-two-year-old woman from Chiba on August 16, 2013.  They also learned that his wife gave birth to their first child, a daughter, on September 27, 2013.

Source: Sanspo 1/22/2014, Nikkan Sports 1/22/2014