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

by on Mar.04, 2015 @ 8:17 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • First round draft pick Kazuma Okamoto was the starting designated hitter and batted sixth in a Kyoiku League game against Rakuten on March 3. He went 2-for-3: single to left off Kazutomo Aihara in his first at bat and a double to right off Hiroyuki Fukuyama in his fourth at bat. It was his first multi-hit game since turning pro. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/3/2015

Hanshin Tigers

  • First round draft pick Yuya Yokoyama could pitch in a Kyoiku League game against Orix on March 7. Source Nikkan Sports 3/3/2015
  • Fifth round draft pick Kai Ueda attended his high school graduation on Tuesday. Source: Daily Sports 3/3/2015
  • Yamato will be using the same exact bat as Hiroki Uemoto -- color, material, shape, weight. He borrowed a bat from Uemoto during spring camp and liked the way it felt. Source: Daily Sports 3/3/2015
  • Randy Messenger prefers pitching on four or five days of rest. However, the Tigers might use him on five to seven days of rest because they want to start him in games against Yomiuri and Hiroshima. If scheduled properly, he could pitch in up to eight games against the two teams during the first two months of the season: Yomiuri at Tokyo Dome on April 3, six days of rest, Hiroshima at Koshien on April 10, six days of rest, Yomiuri at Koshien on April 17, seven days of rest, Hiroshima at Mazda Stadium on April 25, six days of rest, Yomiuri at Tokyo Dome on May 2, five days of rest, Hiroshima at Koshien on May 8, six days of rest, Yomiuri at Tokyo Dome on May 15, five days of rest, Yomiuri at Koshien on May 21. Source: Sponichi 3/3/2015 ... The last two starts could be Yakult on May 14 and Yomiuri on May 20, for a total of up to seven games against Hiroshima and Yomiuri. Source: Daily Sports 3/3/2015
  • The group working out at Koshien played some futsal as part of warm-ups on Monday. It was pitchers versus position players. The pitchers won 1-0 on a kick from the penalty mark by Yuya Ando. Matt Murton told reporters it was the first time he played soccer in his life. Source: Sponichi 3/3/2015

Hiroshima Carp

  • Hiroki Kuroda could start an exhibition game against Yakult at Mazda Stadium on March 8. Source: Sponichi 3/3/2015 ... Kuroda will pitch in a batting practice scrimmage on March 4. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/3/2015
  • Third round draft pick Atsuya Horie left the team on March 3 to attend his high school graduation on March 5. Horie donated a portion of his signing bonus to his alma mater -- the money was used to pay for one pitching machine and rubber fences for the infield. Source: Daily Sports 3/3/2015
  • Nikkan Sports' starting pitchers for the first nine games of the season: Kenta Maeda, Kris Johnson, Hiroki Kuroda, Daichi Osera, Yusuke Nomura, Maeda, Johnson, Kuroda, Yuya Fukui. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/3/2015

Chunichi Dragons

  • Seventh round draft pick Issei Endo got the start in left and batted third in a Kyoiku League game against Softbank on March 3. He handled two fly balls without any difficult. He recorded a single to center with the bat. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/3/2015
  • Actress Ryoko Yonekura will throw out the ceremonial first pitch on opening day. Source: official announcement

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • Ni-gun Yokohama played a practice game against Yokohama Shoka University on March 3. Kentaro Takasaki started the game and gave up two runs on five innings. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/3/2015

Yakult Swallows

  • Yoshihisa Naruse is slated to start a Kyoiku League game against Seibu on March 4. Source: Sponichi 3/3/2015
  • Wladimir Balentien resumed batting practice in mid-January. He can also do some light jogging. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/3/2015 ... Balentien currently weighs 110 kilograms, about three kilograms over his ideal weight. Source: Sponichi 3/3/2015 ... Balentien began rehab in early December, started taking soft-toss batting practice in mid-January, and resumed live batting practice in February. He is still unable to run dashes and he took two light fielding practice sessions. Source: Chunichi Sports 3/3/2015 ... Balentien sat down with Mitsuru Manaka on March 3 and confirmed that the focus should be on health over the opening day roster. Source: Sanspo 3/3/2015

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

by on Mar.04, 2015 @ 8:14 am, under NPB
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Softbank Hawks

  • Yuya Hasegawa (right ankle) could rejoin the Ichi-gun team in time for an exhibition game against Yomiuri at YafuOku Dome on March 11. Until then, he will play in some Kyoiku League rehab games. He will start out at designated hitter and work his way up to playing in full games on March 7 and 8. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/3/2015
  • The starting rotation will most likely include Tadashi Settsu, Kenji Otonari, Jason Standridge, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Kenichi Nakata, and Rick VandenHurk. There will be plenty of options if one or more fail/get hurt: Shota Takeda, Nao Higashihama, Yuya Iida, Sho Iwasaki, Hiroki Yamada, Kazuyuki Hoashi, and Hayato Terahara. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/3/2015

Orix Buffaloes

  • Yuki Nishi could start the fourth game of the season on March 31 -- first game of a three-game series against Softbank at YafuOku Dome. Starters for the opening series agianst Seibu could be Chihiro Kaneko, Bryan Bullington, and either Daiki Tomei or Kazumasa Yoshida. Starters for the second series of the season against Softbank could be Nishi, Takahiro Matsuba, and Brandon Dickson. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/3/2015 ... Nishi is slated to pitch in an exhibition game against Chunichi on March 4 and pitch three innings. Source: Sponichi 3/3/2015

Chiba Lotte Marines

  • Ni-gun Lotte played a practice game against Fuji Juko (Industrial League) on March 3. Takuya Furuya started the game and tossed four shutout innings while allowing two hits. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/3/2015

Rakuten Eagles

  • Takahiro Norimoto is set to pitch in an exhibition game against Chunichi on March 8. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/3/2015
  • Tomohiro Anraku could pitch in a Kyoiku League game some time between March 10 and 12. He will most likely pitch one or two innings in relief. The Ni-gun Eagles play Nippon Ham on the 10th, Yokohama on the 11th, and Yakult on the 12th. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/3/2015
  • Hiroshi Katayama played some defense for the first time in a Kyoiku League game against Yomiuri on March 3 -- he took over at first base in the 6th inning. He went 0-for-1 at the plate (grounded into a double play). Source: Sports Hochi 3/3/2015

[3/3/2015] Orix Buffaloes: OriHime Day 2015 Uniforms

by on Mar.03, 2015 @ 10:29 pm, under NPB
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The Orix Buffaloes unveiled special uniforms with pink highlights that will be worn during Bs OriHime Day 2015 on April 29 (vs Rakuten Eagles at Kyocera Dome). Shunta, Hikaru Ito, and Ryoichi Adachi modeled the uniforms for the media during a press conference at Kyocera Dome earlier today.

Source: official announcement (images taken from announcement link)

[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