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[3/2/2015] Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Hiroshima Carp, Chunichi Dragons, Yakult Swallows

by on Mar.03, 2015 @ 2:39 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Tomoyuki Sugano sat down with three pitching coaches on March 1 to review film of his delivery and discuss possible adjustments to his mechanics. His next outing will be pushed back from March 7 to either March 11 or 12. Source: Sponichi 3/2/2015, Sanspo 3/2/2015

Hanshin Tigers

  • Second round draft pick Tsuyoshi Ishizaki will start an exhibition game against Softbank on March 3. He will pitch five innings. Akira Iwamoto will follow and pitch four innings in relief. If Iwamoto pitches well, he could pitch in another exhibition game on the 8th against Yomiuri. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/2/2015
  • Seung-Hwan Oh will most likely pitch in an exhibition game against Hiroshima on the 10th. He will probably pitch in two more exhibition games before the start of the season. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/2/2015
  • Shintaro Fujinami on the mound at Kyocera Dome: "I don't really have any good memories. If you were to ask if I liked it or not, I'd say I don't really like it. It's hard and there isn't much of an incline, so my pitches tend to rise. It's a different kind of mound, unlike Koshien. But it isn't a major game changer." Source: Daily Sports 3/2/2015
  • Kazuya Tsutsui, Kazuhito Futagami, and Shoya Yamamoto returned to Osaka on March 1. They will get some playing time at Ni-gun (Kyoiku League). Source: Sanspo 3/2/2015
  • Former Tiger Ken Nishimura (28) signed with the Ishikawa Million Stars (BC League). Source: official announcement

Hiroshima Carp

Chunichi Dragons

  • Seventh round draft pick Issei Endo was drafted as an infielder. The Dragons may be planning to convert him to an outfielder. He worked out in right during pre-game fielding practice on Monday. Source: Sponichi 3/2/2015

Yakult Swallows

  • Wladimir Balentien arrived at Narita Airport on Monday. He told reporters he would rather focus solely on rehabbing until he is 100 percent instead of rehabbing while being used as a bat off the bench. Source: Chunichi Sports 3/2/2015, Sponichi 3/2/2015 ... Balentien arrived with his wife and daughter. His doctor told him he should be okay for a full return in early April or May. He does not feel it will take that long. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/2/2015
  • Toshihiro Sugiura could start the third game of the opening series (March 29 against Hiroshima at Mazda Stadium). Source: Sponichi 3/2/2015
  • Yoshinori Sato is scheduled to pitch in an exhibition game against Orix on March 11. Source: Sponichi 3/2/2015
  • Ryohei Kiya, fourth round draft pick Tetsuya Terada, Naomichi Nishiura, Ryota Yachi, and Wataru Hiyane were sent down to Ni-gun on March 2 for more work. Takahiro Imanami was called up to Ichi-gun. Source: Sanspo 3/2/2015

[3/2/2015] Softbank Hawks, Nippon Ham Fighters, Orix Buffaloes, Chiba Lotte Marines, Seibu Lions

by on Mar.03, 2015 @ 2:37 am, under NPB
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Softbank Hawks

  • Kenji Otonari and Shota Takeda are scheduled to pitch in an exhibition game against Hanshin on March 3. The two worked out at the Saitozaki training facilities on Monday. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/2/2015

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • Shohei Otani is slated to start the opening day game on March 27. Hideki Kuriyama told reporters on Sunday that using Otani as a designated hitter on March 29 was a possible option. Source: Sponichi 3/2/2015, Nikkan Sports 3/2/2015, Sports Hochi 3/2/2015
  • New jumbotrons and an improved secondary scoreboard were unveiled at Sapporo Dome on Monday. A larger jumbotron was installed in right and a new jumbotron was added in left. The secondary infield scoreboard was replaced with a larger unit. Source: official release ... The upgrades cost about 820 million yen. Source: Sponichi 3/2/2015

Orix Buffaloes

  • Takahiro Matsuba will pitch in an exhibition game against Chunichi on March 4. Source: Daily Sports 3/2/2015
  • First round draft pick Sachiya Yamasaki will spend some time making adjustments at Ni-gun. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/2/2015

Chiba Lotte Marines

  • Hideaki Wakui could start an exhibition game against Chunichi on March 11 and pitch five innings. Source: Sponichi 3/2/2015 ... Another possibility is an exhibition game against Yokohama on March 10. Source: Daily Sports 3/2/2015
  • Dae-Eun Rhee will start an exhibition game against Softbank on either March 7 or 8 and pitch five innings. Source: Sponichi 3/2/2015, Sports Hochi 3/2/2015
  • Tsutomu Ito told reporters on March 1 that he selected pitchers for the first six games of the season and already spoke to each about their roles. The six most likely include Hideaki Wakui, Ayumu Ishikawa, and Yuki Karakawa. The remaining three slots could go to Takahiro Fujioka, Dae-Eun Rhee, and Yuta Kimura. Source: Sanspo 3/2/2015

Seibu Lions

  • Takeya Nakamura and Hideto Asamura are set to to play in an exhibition game against Hanshin at Koshien on March 6. Both players are making their way back from off-season surgeries. Source: Sanspo 3/2/2015
  • Takayuki Kishi's practice game start against Hanshin on March 1 was rained out. He is now slated to start an exhibition game against Yokohama on March 4 and pitch one inning. Source: Sponichi 3/2/2015
  • Of the six games the Lions had scheduled through to March 1 (exhibition and practice), three were canceled because of rain: exhibition game against Softbank on February 22, practice game against Softbank on February 26, practice game against Hanshin on March 1. Source: Sponichi 3/2/2015, Sports Hochi 3/2/2015
  • First round draft pick Kona Takahashi attended his high school graduation on Monday. His classmates tossed him into the air three times. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/2/2015

[3/2/2015] NPB General Updates, Game Operation Committee

by on Mar.03, 2015 @ 2:34 am, under NPB

The NPB established the Game Operation Committee to work on ways to promote baseball and reduce the time it takes to play games. The committee met for the first time in Tokyo on February 26th. Officials from NPB teams, the NPB Umpires Department, and the Japan Professional Baseball Players Association (JPBPA) were also present at the meeting.

NPB commissioner Katsuhiko Kumazaki spent time visiting teams during spring camp and listening to opinions from managers and coaches on what could be done to reduce game times. Among some of the suggestions: fewer outings by groundskeepers at stadiums with artificial turf, no throwing the ball around the infield, allowing teams to intentionally walk hitters without having to throw four balls. The NPB is also planning to ask players for their opinions.

The league is hoping to establish guidelines to shorten game times for the 2016 season.

Source: Sponichi 2/24/2015, Sports Hochi 2/26/2015, Sanspo 2/26/2015, Sponichi 2/27/2015, ZakZak 2/28/2015

===

The NPB held an executive committee meeting in Tokyo on March 2. A number of topics were discussed, including:

  • The league with the better winning percentage during Inter-league play will get first pick during the draft this year. If the Central League and Pacific League finish with the same number of wins and losses, the tie will go to the league that has the larger runs scored to runs allowed differential. If the two leagues are still tied, then a winner will be randomly selected in a drawing.
  • Yokohama's Lourdes Yunielkis Gourriel and Seibu's Chun-Lin Kuo will be eligible for the Rookie of the Year Award.
  • The Game Operation Committee, tasked to reduce the time it takes to play a game, provided an update of their work and confirmed the importance of gaining an understanding from the players.

Source: Daily Sports 3/2/2015

[3/1/2015] Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Hiroshima Carp, Chunichi Dragons, Yakult Swallows

by on Mar.02, 2015 @ 4:49 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • First round draft pick Kazuma Okamoto will continue his training at Ni-gun for the time being. Source: Sponichi 3/1/2015
  • The Giants are hoping Hisayoshi Chono (right elbow and knee) will be ready to play rehab games in mid-March. He has resumed batting practice and is throwing at distances of up to seventy meters. Kenji Yano and Leslie Anderson, also in the middle of rehab, are hoping to play in games in late-March. Source: Sponichi 3/1/2015

Hanshin Tigers

  • Akira Iwamoto's practice game start against Seibu on March 1 was rained out. He is now scheduled to pitch in an exhibition game against Softbank on March 3. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/1/2015
  • Seung-Hwan Oh's first appearance could come on March 10 against Hiroshima at Koshien. Source: Sanspo 3/1/2015
  • Minoru Iwata pitched in a Kyoiku League game against Chunichi on February 28. He tossed four shutout innings and allowed four hits. His next appearance could come during an exhibition game against Seibu at Koshien on March 7. Source: Sanspo 3/1/2015
  • Suguru Iwazaki will most likely start a Kyoiku League game against Softbank on March 5 and pitch five innings. Source: Sanspo 3/1/2015
  • Shintaro Fujinami's next appearance will most likely be in relief against Seibu on the 6th. Source: Sponichi 3/1/2015 .. Fujinami could pitch about three innings. Source: Sanspo 3/1/2015

Hiroshima Carp

  • Takaya Toda did not meet expectations and will be sent down to Ni-gun for more work. Ryuhei Matsuyama and Shota Dobayashi will be sent down to Ni-gun to get more playing time in Kyoiku League games. Matsuyama and Dobayashi will rejoin the Ichi-gun team on the 5th. Source: Daily Sports 3/1/2015

Chunichi Dragons

  • The Dragons are eighty-eight games from 10,000 games and twenty-eight victories from 5,000. Source: Sponichi 3/1/2015

Yakult Swallows

  • Mitsuru Manaka selected Yasuhiro Ogawa as his opening day starter. Manaka notified Ogawa of his decision during Saturday's exhibition game against Yomiuri. Source: Sponichi 3/1/2015, Chunichi Sports 3/1/2015 ... Ogawa's next start will most likely come during an exhibition game against Rakuten on March 6. Source: Sanspo 3/1/2015

[3/1/2015] Orix Buffaloes, Chiba Lotte Marines, Rakuten Eagles

by on Mar.02, 2015 @ 4:41 am, under NPB
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Orix Buffaloes

Chiba Lotte Marines

  • Shota Ishimine and Shohei Kato were re-assigned to Ni-gun. Source: Sanspo 3/1/2015

Rakuten Eagles

  • First round draft pick Tomohiro Anraku attended his high school graduation on Sunday. He returned to Ehime for his graduation on the 27th and will head to Sendai on Monday night. Anraku was given a special achievement award for his accomplishments on the baseball field. Source: Sponichi 3/1/2015, Chunichi Sports 3/1/2015