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[3/18/2015] Softbank Hawks, Nippon Ham Fighters, Chiba Lotte Marines, Seibu Lions, Rakuten Eagles

by on Mar.19, 2015 @ 4:24 am, under NPB

Softbank Hawks

  • Daisuke Matsuzaka wad diagnosed with influenza B on March 18. He will get rest at home and is expected to rejoin the team 23. He will most likely be scratched from his start on March 24. There is a chance his first regular season start will be pushed back. Pitching coach Masato Yoshii was diagnosed with influenza B on March 16. He is slated to rejoin the team on March 21. Source: Daily Sports 3/18/2015, Sponichi 3/18/2015, Nikkan Sports 3/18/2015

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • There was concern Shohei Otani might not be able to make the opening day start on March 27 after he missed practices on March 17 with a fever. However, he managed to return to practices on March 18 and was able to toss about fifty pitches in the bullpen to a standing catcher. He is currently not expected to miss the opening day start. His last pre-season outing will be pushed back a day from March 20 (Yomiuri at Tokyo Dome) to March 21 (Yomiuri at Tokyo Dome). He will get the opening day start on five days of rest. Source: Sponichi 3/18/2015, Sports Hochi 3/18/2015, Daily Sports 3/18/2015, Daily Sports 3/18/2015 ... Otani was not feeling well on March 16, but still made an appearance at a talk event. He attended the event with teammate Naoyuki Uwasawa. The two rode back to the team dormitory in separate taxis to avoid spreading the cold. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/18/2015
  • Hideki Kuriyama will donate 2,000 yen to the Akaihane Kyodo Bokin (Central Community Chest) for every team the victory records this season. He will donate an additional 1,000 yen for every shutout victory. Kensuke Tanaka, Daikan Yoh, and Haruki Nishikawa will donate 2,000 yen for every hit and 1,000 yen for every stolen base. Sho Nakata will donate 2,000 yen for every hit and 1,000 yen for every home run. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/18/2015

Chiba Lotte Marines

  • Second round draft pick Eisuke Tanaka will be sent down to Ni-gun for more work. Tanaka started an exhibition game against Softbank on March 18 and gave up three runs (two earned) on four hits over four innings of work. He gave up a two-run home run to Dae-Ho Lee in the 1st. Source: Sports Hochi 3/18/2015
  • Alfredo Despaigne will not be able to make the opening day roster because his team in Cuba made the playoffs. He will not be able to join the team until some time in April. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/18/2015

Seibu Lions

  • The Lions announced on March 18 that they signed a helmet sponsorship deal with Belluna. Source: official announcement
  • First round draft pick Kona Takahashi threw fifteen pitches against Yokohama during his Ni-gun debut on March 17. Nine pitches were fastballs, seven were thrown at or above 150km/h. Source: Sponichi 3/18/2015, Chunichi Sports 3/18/2015

Rakuten Eagles

  • Ni-gun game against Yakult on March 17: Takashi Saito entered the game in the 7th and gave up a run (unearned) on a hit over an inning of work. He topped out at 144km/h. Source: Sports Hochi 3/18/2015
  • The Eagles will hold public viewings at kobo Stadium for their opening series against Nippon Ham at Sapporo Dome. Source: official announcement
  • Hiromoto Okubo delayed naming Takahiro Norimoto the opening day starter because the ace had some tightness in his right elbow. Norimoto was examined on March 16 and given the green light. Takahiro Shiomi was considered an alternate. Norimoto is slated to pitch in an exhibition game on March 20 against Chunichi. Source:Sports Hochi 3/18/2015, Nikkan Sports 3/18/2015