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[3/22/2015] Softbank Hawks, Nippon Ham Fighters, Seibu Lions, Rakuten Eagles

by on Mar.23, 2015 @ 5:13 am, under NPB
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Softbank Hawks

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • Ni-gun game against Seibu on March 22: Masaru Takeda started the game and gave up a run on two hits over three innings of work. He faced eleven, walked none, and struck out one. First round draft pick Kohei Arihara made his debut. He relieved Takeda and tossed a shutout inning in relief. He needed just ten pitches to record three outs and topped out at 149km/h. Source: Sports Hochi 3/22/2015, Sports Hochi 3/22/2015, Nikkan Sports 3/22/2015
  • The Fighters decided to send fifth round draft pick Hayao Segawa, Akihiro Hakumura, and Ryo Watanabe down to Ni-gun after an exhibition game against Yomiuri on March 21. The Fighters plan to have Segawa and Hakumura work on pitching in relief. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/22/2015

Seibu Lions

  • Ni-gun game against Nippon Ham on March 22: first round draft pick Kona Takahashi started the game and gave up a run (unearned) on two hits over four innings of work. He faced fifteen hitters, walked one, struck out four, and topped out at 154km/h. Source: Sponichi 3/22/2015, Nikkan Sports 3/22/2015
  • Kazuhisa Makita may be the top candidate to replace Takayuki Kishi as opening day starter. Source: Sponichi 3/22/2015
  • The Lions signed partnership agreements with five cities in Saitama: Tokorozawa, Hanno, Sayama, Iruma, and Hidaka. Source: Sponichi 3/22/2015

Rakuten Eagles

  • Yuki Matsui was warned about a two-stage delivery during his outing against Chunichi on March 21. He was also warned about it during a spring camp intra-squad game on February 12. Matsui is planning to review film to confirm the problem. Source: Sponichi 3/22/2015, Nikkan Sports 3/22/2015

[3/21/2015] Softbank Hawks, Orix Buffaloes, Nippon Ham Fighters, Seibu Lions, Rakuten Eagles

by on Mar.22, 2015 @ 4:29 am, under NPB
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Softbank Hawks

Orix Buffaloes

  • Chihiro Kaneko could pitch in a batting practice scrimmage on March 24. If he pitches well, he could get a start during a Softbank series at YafuOku Dome that begins on March 31 or during a Nippon Ham series at Kyocera Dome that begins on April 3. Source: Sponichi 3/21/2015

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • First round draft pick Kohei Arihara is slated to make his Ni-gun debut on March 22 against Seibu at Kamagaya. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/21/2015
  • Yuki Saito will pitch in an exhibition game on March 22 against Yakult. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/21/2015

Seibu Lions

  • Ryoma Nogami could make his first regular season start on either March 29 against Orix or March 31 against Rakuten. Source: Daily Sports 3/21/2015

Rakuten Eagles

  • Ni-gun game against Yokohama on March 20: Yoshinao Kamata started the game and gave up four runs (two earned) on six hits over 2.1 innings of work. He faced fourteen hitters, threw fifty pitches, walked none, struck out three, and topped out at 147km/h. Source: Sports Hochi 3/21/2015
  • Yoshinao Kamata is slated to start a Ni-gun game against Seibu on March 27. Source: Sports Hochi 3/21/2015

[3/20/2015] Softbank Hawks, Orix Buffaloes, Nippon Ham Fighters, Chiba Lotte Marines, Seibu Lions, Rakuten Eagles

by on Mar.21, 2015 @ 4:07 am, under NPB
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Softbank Hawks

  • Ni-gun game against Hiroshima on March 20: Nao Higashihama started the game and gave up four runs (two earned) on five hits over five innings of work. He faced twenty-two hitters, walked one, and struck out three. Shota Takeda pitched four innings in relief and gave up three runs (none earned) on four hits. He faced eighteen hitters, walked two, and struck out five. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/20/2015
  • Shota Takeda and Nao Higashihama are candidates to take over Daisuke Matsuzaka's spot in the opening day starting rotation. Takeda will pitch again at Ni-gun on March 25, Higashiham on March 26. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/20/2015, Sanspo 3/20/2015
  • Taisei Makihara (22) filed marriage papers with a twenty-five-year-old woman from Kagawa on March 16. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/20/2015

Orix Buffaloes

  • The Buffaloes are are not planning to force the opening day start on Chihiro Kaneko. Hiroshi Moriwaki and pitching coaches Ikuo Takayama and Nobuyuki Hoshino sat down with Kaneko for about thirty minutes on March 19 and talked about his progress and agreed not to push things too quickly. Orix wants the ace to take the mound when he is fully recovered, which might put his first start some time around mid-April. There is a chance he might be able to pitch during the Softbank series that begins on March 31. Brandon Dickson will most likely get the opening day start. Source: Sports Hochi 3/20/2015, Nikkan Sports 3/20/2015 ... Moriwaki told reporters on March 20 that Kaneko would not be pitching on March 27, opening day. Source: Chunichi Sports 3/20/2015, Daily Sports 3/20/2015

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • Hideki Kuriyama was thinking about using Shohei Otani as a pitcher and hitter during the opening series (opening day start on March 27 then starting designated hitter on March 29), but is now reconsidering because of how things have played out over the last couple of weeks -- the pitcher struggled with his control during his last two outings and then recently missed a day with a fever. Pitching remains the top priority and Kuriyama might have Otani focus solely on that until things settle down. Source: Sports Hochi 3/20/2015, Nikkan Sports 3/20/2015, Daily Sports 3/20/2015, Sponichi 3/20/2015

Chiba Lotte Marines

  • Alfredo Despaigne's team in Cuba, Granma, secured a spot in the playoffs. Depending on how well his team does, he might not be able to come to Japan until early April at the earliest, or mid-April at the latest. Source: Sponichi 3/20/2015

Seibu Lions

Rakuten Eagles

  • Ichi-gun teams are allowed to register twenty-eight players on the active roster. Hiromoto Okubo is thinking about setting an imaginary line at forty-two. The fourteen players that are not physically on the active roster will be treated slightly differently than the other players at Ni-gun. They will prepare as Ichi-gun players and will not always travel with the Ni-gun team on road trips. The players will also be exempt from Ni-gun group penalties. They will be expected to play at Ichi-gun at any time. Source: Sponichi 3/20/2015
  • Yoshinao Kamata (right elbow) started a Ni-gun game against Yokohama on March 20. He pitched in his first rehab game on March 6 (Kyoiku League game against Nippon Ham, relief, one inning, no hits, no runs) and followed that up with another appearance on March 12 (Kyoiku League game against Yakult, relief, two innings, two hits, two unearned runs, none earned). Source: Sports Hochi 3/20/2015
  • The Ni-gun Eagles are slated to play a number of practice games against the Fukushima Hope (BC League) this year: March 26 at kobo Stadium, May 20 and 21 at Azuma Stadium. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/20/2015

[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
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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

[3/18/2015] Tomohiro Anraku to miss four to six weeks with ankle sprain

by on Mar.19, 2015 @ 3:47 am, under NPB
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Rakuten Eagles

First round draft pick Tomohiro Anraku was diagnosed with a right ankle sprain that will take four to six weeks for a full recovery. Anraku suffered the injury while practicing at kobo Stadium on March 17.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/18/2015

Hiroshima Carp

Takahiro Arai woke up with pain and swelling in his right elbow on March 18. He did not participate in practices and returned to Hiroshima. He will be examined at a hospital in Hiroshima on March 19.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/18/2015, Sports Hochi 3/18/2015, Daily Sports 3/18/2015, Sponichi 3/18/2015

A full list of injured players can be found here. It is a little disorganized right now, but updated at least once a day.

[3/17/2015] Softbank Hawks, Nippon Ham Fighters, Seibu Lions, Rakuten Eagles

by on Mar.18, 2015 @ 3:57 am, under NPB
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Softbank Hawks

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • Shohei Otani missed practices and an exhibition game against Hiroshima on March 17 because of a cold. He had a fever and was taken to a hospital in Sapporo for treatment. An influenza test came back negative. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/17/2015

Seibu Lions

  • Kazuhisa Makita could make his first regular season start on March 28 against Orix at Seibu Prince Dome. He is slated to pitch in one more pre-season game on March 22 against Yokohama at Seibu Prince Dome. Source: Sports Hochi 3/17/2015
  • First round draft pick Kona Takahashi pitched in a Ni-gun game against Yokohama on March 17. He entered the game in the 7th and tossed a shutout inning in relief. He faced four, allowed one hit, struck out one, and topped out at 154km/h. Source: Sponichi 3/17/2015 ... Takahashi is scheduled to start a Ni-gun game against Nippon Ham at Kamagaya on March 22. He will get regular turns in the rotation on six days of rest after that. Source: Sponichi 3/17/2015

Rakuten Eagles

  • Ni-gun game against Yakult on March 17: Yasunori Kikuchi started the game and gave up four runs (two earned) on seven hits over 4.1 innings. He struck out seven, walked three, and hit one. Source: Sports Hochi 3/17/2015
  • Takahiro Norimoto is set to be the opening day starter for the third year in a row. He will pitch in one more pre-season game on March 20 against Chunichi at Nagoya Dome. Source: Sports Hochi 3/17/2015
  • Takaaki Yokoyama could make his first regular season game on March 29 against Nippon Ham at Sapporo Dome. He is slated to pitch in another pre-season game on March 22 against Chunichi at Nagoya Dome. Source: Sports Hochi 3/17/2015
  • Susumu Aizawa and seventh round draft pick Ryota Ito were called up to Ichi-gun for an exhibition game against Yokohama on March 16. They were both sent back down after poor performances -- Aizawa gave up three runs on three hits over an inning of work and Ito got the start at first, batted seventh, and went 0-for-3 (G5, Ks, G5). Source: Sports Hochi 3/17/2015