Hiroki Kokubo is currently 8-for-20 during exhibition play. Kokubo has been working on being more aggressive earlier on in the count.
Tatsuya Oishi (1st round) is expected to toss about 5 innings during his Ikusei League game on the 10th against the Yomiuri Giants.
The media learned yesterday that Kazuhiro Kiyohara will be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch for the home opener at Seibu Dome on the 29th (vs Lotte). The last time Kiyohara was involved in a home opener ceremonial first pitch was back in 2006 when he stood in the batter's box while Shizuka Arakawa threw out the first pitch. This will be the first time he's ever thrown the first pitch.
After the pitch, Kiyohara will take his seat as a radio commentator for Bunka Hoso.
Nippon Ham Fighters
The first three pitchers in the starting rotation will probably be Yu Darvish, Masaru Takeda, and Bobby Keppel. The remaining three spots are still up for grabs and will probably come down to pitchers like Brian Wolfe, Yuki Saito (1st round), Tomoya Yagi, and Keisaku Itokazu.
Shunta Goto (1st round) wasn't feeling well after yesterday's game and was taken to a hospital for treatment. Seems he had a high fever (over 38 degrees Celsius). He had the day off today because his fever was still up around 37 degrees Celsius. Goto is expected to return to the team tomorrow (assuming his fever is gone).
FWIW: Goto has also hit a bit of a dry patch at the plate -- he does not have a hit in 10 consecutive trips to the plate.
Senichi Hoshino returned to Koshien today for the first time (as an active manager) since 10/24/2003 (a span of 2,692 days).
Shintaro Masuda is currently 14-for-34 over 9 spring games (includes more than just exhibition games). ... Akinori Iwamura was 0-for-7 with 4 strikeouts before yesterday's game. He then went 2-for-3 with a double an RBI yesterday before going 0-for-2 with another strikeout today. He's now 2-for-12 with 5 strikeouts.
Kensuke Uchimura was held out of yesterday's game after he started feeling some pain in his right shoulder during pre-game practice. He is essentially day-to-day.