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Tag: Shohei Otani

[7/13/2013] Injury Updates: Otani (Nippon Ham), Mahara (Orix)

by on Jul.13, 2013 @ 11:46 pm, under NPB
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Nippon Ham Fighters

1st round draft pick Shohei Otani (right cheek incomplete fracture) will rest through to today.  He could return to workouts on Sunday.  While he was scratched from a previously scheduled start against Seibu at Sapporo Dome on the 15th, he could still make it into the line-up as a position player as early as the 14th.

Source: Sponichi 7/13/2013

Orix Buffaloes

Assuming no setbacks, Takahiro Mahara (right shoulder, arm) could make it to the active roster later this month.

Source: Sports Hochi 7/13/2013

[7/12/2013] Injury Updates: Luna (CHU), Keppel, Otani (HAM), Yanagita (SOF), Mahara (ORI)

by on Jul.12, 2013 @ 11:48 pm, under NPB
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Chunichi Dragons

Hector Luna (left knee) was not in the starting line-up tonight against the Yomiuri Giants.

"I need a little more time.  I was thinking about getting back into the line-up for the Hiroshima series [at Mazda Stadium]," said Luna.

Mazda Stadium will probably be easier on Luna's knees with the natural grass field.

Source: Sanspo 7/12/2013

Nippon Ham Fighters

Bobby Keppel (coming back from right shoulder surgery) joined the Ichi-gun team for workouts today for the first time this season.  He is currently scheduled to start a game against Lotte at Sapporo Dome on the 14th.

Source: Sports Hochi 7/12/2013


1st round draft pick Shohei Otani (incomplete fracture in right cheekbone) spoke to reporters today and said he felt he should be fine to participate in the All-Star Series.  He also admitted he was not paying enough attention to the ball while running intervals in the outfield during batting practice on Thursday.

"It hurts sometimes when I eat, but other than that, it is fine," said Otani.

Source: Sports Hochi 7/12/2013, Nikkan Sports 7/12/2013

Softbank Hawks

Yuki Yanagita (right shoulder) could return to the active roster in time for the start of the Lotte series on the 15th.  Since his shoulder is still not fully healed, he will most likely be used as a DH.

Source: Nikkan Sports 7/12/2013

Orix Buffaloes

Takahiro Mahara (right shoulder/arm) pitched in a Ni-gun rehab game today.  He gave up a run (unearned) on two hits over an inning of work and topped out at 147km/h.

"I think this was a big step forward.  It will be interesting to see how things go when I push myself up to the next level, but I felt no discomfort.  I will do my best to make it back [to the Ichi-gun roster]," said Mahara.

Source: Sanspo 7/12/2013

Sponichi may have been looking at a different speed gun since they mention him topping out at 150km/h.

Source: Sponichi 7/12/2013

[7/12/2013] Injury Updates: Abe (YOM), Luna (CHU), Kanabushi (YAK), Fukudome (HAN), Otani (HAM)

by on Jul.12, 2013 @ 2:11 pm, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

Shinnosuke Abe (right side) is expected to return to the starting line-up at catcher today.

Source: Sanspo 7/12/2013

Chunichi Dragons

Hector Luna understands that if he misses the All-Star Series, he will not be allowed to play in the team's first ten games once regular season play resumes.  His goal is to make sure he is healthy enough to participate in the All-Star Series.

Source: Nikkan Sports 7/12/2013

Yakult Swallows

The media learned on Thursday that Hugo Kanabushi will have Tommy John surgery on his left elbow in July.

Source: Sanspo 7/12/2013

Hanshin Tigers

Kosuke Fukudome (left knee) started taking long soft-toss at Naruohama on Thursday.

Source: Sanspo 7/12/2013

According to Daily Sports, he could play in five Ni-gun rehab games, beginning with a game against Hiroshima on the 26th.  Assuming no problems, he could make the active roster in time for the Yomiuri series at Tokyo Dome that begins on August 2.

Source: Daily Sports 7/12/2013

Nippon Ham Fighters

The Fighters announced on Thursday that Masayoshi Kato had surgery to remove a portion of the meniscus in his left knee.  He will begin his rehab at Kamagaya after he is discharged from the hospital on the 13th.

Source: Sanspo 7/12/2013


Hideki Kuriyama on 1st round draft pick Shohei Otani's status for the All-Star Series: "I am not quite sure.  [Otani] might have to withdraw. I think he will be fine, but I just do not know.  Shohei's future is more important."

Kuriyama placed most of the blame on himself: "This was largely my fault.  [The problem] was moving to a system where [players can] get hit.  I am frustrated [in myself] and I am sorry. ... This is not something that can be settled just by issuing an apology to fans and everyone else, [but] I am really sorry.  Three-quarters of this is my fault.  One-quarter is on Shohei [for not paying attention]."

While it will most likely take three to four weeks for the cheekbone to fully heal, Otani should be ok to play (as a position player, not necessarily as a pitcher) once the pain goes away (about three days).  The Fighters do not plan on taking him off the active roster for the time being.

Otani had been preparing himself to make the starting line-up for Thursday's game (DH, batting sixth or seventh).  He had already tossed sixty-three pitches in the bullpen and taken batting practice, and was in the middle of doing intervals in the outfield -- he was walking back to the start and apparently briefly looked away from the hitter when a fan called out to him.

Source: Daily Sports 7/12/2013, Daily Sports 7/12/2013, Sports Hochi 7/12/2013, Sponichi 7/12/2013

Otani's father: "I was at work and was caught off guard when the team contacted me.  Maybe I should have him hold onto a good-luck charm.  This coming on the day after he hit a home run.  I suppose it is a reminder that good things do not always keep happening.  Things have gone pretty well up to now, perhaps this is a sign that he should rest a few days.  We should think of this positively.  I am worried about this affecting his vision.  I think he will be fine once the pain goes away, but he will probably hurt for a while if he let's this get to him.  This was an accident and could not be helped.  I do not want the player (Tomohiro Nioka) to worry about this.  It will only make us feel bad if he were to worry."

Source: Sponichi 7/12/2013

[7/11/2013] Nippon Ham Fighters: Otani suffers incomplete fracture of the cheekbone

by on Jul.11, 2013 @ 10:08 pm, under NPB
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1st round draft pick Shohei Otani took a batted ball hit by Tomohiro Nioka off the right side of his head while walking around in the outfield during batting practice.  He was taken to a hospital in Sendai where he was diagnosed with an incomplete fracture in his right cheekbone.  He will require at least three days of rest, after which he will be re-assessed to see if he is capable of playing.

Otani did not return to Kleenex Stadium after his hospital visit.  He went straight back to the hotel.

Source: Sponichi 7/11/2013, official announcement

In other Otani-related news, Hideki Kuriyama told reporters he plans to use the rookie as a pitcher during Game 1 of the All-Star Series (maybe one inning).

Source: Sports Hochi 7/11/2013

UPDATE @ 10:56pm -

Otani may end up sitting out the All-Star Series depending on his status.

Source: Daily Sports 7/11/2013

[7/11/2013] Injury Updates: Luna, Asao (CHU), Balentien (YAK), Otani (HAM)

by on Jul.11, 2013 @ 6:01 pm, under NPB
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Chunichi Dragons

Hector Luna (left knee) worked out at Nagoya Stadium today.  He did not appear to have any problems while fielding grounders or taking batting practice.  He is still not quite ready to run at full speed.  He could be available as a bat off the bench on Friday.

Source: Sponichi 7/11/2013


Morimichi Takagi wants to add Takuya Asao to the active roster in time for the Yomiuri series that begins on Friday, assuming he is no longer having problems with his right shoulder.

Asao pitched in a Ni-gun game against Hiroshima on Wednesday.  He did not allow a run or hit over an inning of work.  He struck out two and walked one.

Source: Nikkan Sports 7/11/2013Sponichi 7/11/2013

Asao participated in Ichi-gun workouts at Nagoya Stadium today.

Source: Nikkan Sports 7/11/2013

Yakult Swallows

Wladimir Balentien was examined at a hospital in Tokyo today and was diagnosed with pain in his left Achilles' tendon.  He is currently not expected to miss any playing time.

Source: Sponichi 7/11/2013

Nippon Ham Fighters

1st round draft pick Shohei Otani took a batted ball off his right temple while walking around in the outfield during batting practice today.  He was taken to the hospital to get treatment.

Source: Nikkan Sports 7/11/2013, Sponichi 7/11/2013

[6/25/2013] Rookie cards to appear in 2nd Round of Calbee potato chips

by on Jun.25, 2013 @ 6:41 pm, under Baseball Cards
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The 2nd Round of 2013 Pro Yakyu Chips went on sale on Monday.  Cards for the twelve number one 2012 draft picks will be appearing in this round of chips.  These are images of the Shohei Otani card, courtesy Sponichi.

Card list: 1st Round, 2nd Round (in Japanese)

[6/19/2013] Nippon Ham Fighters News and Notes

by on Jun.19, 2013 @ 11:50 pm, under NPB
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Hideki Kuriyama pulled 1st round draft pick Shohei Otani after four innings on Tuesday night because he did not want the youngster to record a win in a game where he was not especially good.

"I wanted him to get a victory, but not like that.  Otani the player did a good job.  I am being a little hard on Otani the pitcher," said Kuriyama to reporters after the game.

Sports Hochi offers a slightly different quote from Kuriyama: "Otani the player did a good job, but I was a little hard on Otani the pitcher.  It was a demonic to pull him.  But I placed the team's victory ahead of him."

Source: Sanspo 6/19/2013Sports Hochi 6/19/2013

Otani could join the starting rotation as a five or six starter.

Source: Sanspo 6/19/2013

Otani is apparently fairly popular in Hiroshima -- all Otani merchandise sold out at Mazda Stadium and media presence was much larger than other road games (about eighty members of the media covered the Fighters, which is about twice normal, and eight TV cameras were spotted at the start of pre-game practices).

Source: Sanspo 6/19/2013

Sports Hochi asked thirty people in the Fighters' organization to select which position they felt Otani would ultimately end up playing regularly. Eighteen, including Sho Nakata and Masaru Takeda, selected pitcher; two, Dai-Kang Yoh and Hirotoshi Masui, picked position player; and ten, including Takumi Oshima, chose both.

Source: Sports Hochi 6/19/2013

Otani became the fifth player in NPB history (two-league format), first since Takao Kajimoto in 1963 (batted third), to start a game as a pitcher while hitting in the middle of the order (between three and five).

He also joined:

  • Junzo Sekine (1950) as the only two players to start a game as a pitcher and bat in the middle of the order (between three and five) in the same game in their rookie seasons.
  • Osamu Takechi (1950) as the only two players to start a game, bat in the middle of the order (between three and five), and collect at least one hit and one RBI, all in the same game.

Source: Sponichi 6/16/2013


Ryo Sakakibara's wife gave birth to the couple's first child, a girl weighing 2,968 grams, on Monday.

Source: Sanspo 6/19/2013


The Weather Girls are scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on the 25th (vs Softbank at Tokyo Dome).

Source: official announcementNikkan Sports 6/19/2013

[6/18/2013] Nippon Ham Fighters: Shohei Otani’s interview with the media

by on Jun.18, 2013 @ 11:34 pm, under NPB
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Sponichi has posted a portion of Shohei Otani's interview with the media after tonight's game against Hiroshima.

You pitched and hit in the same game for the first time.

I maintained my focus while on the mound.  I tried to keep things simple while in the batter's box.  There are still a lot of things I need to work.

You gave up your first home run in the 2nd inning.

The ball slipped out of my hand.  That is something I need to work on.

What are some things you need to improve?

I have to be careful about giving up that one pitch that can change the flow of the game, like the home run in the 2nd.

What do you think of your hitting?

It was bad that I could not set the rhythm for the game as a starting pitcher.  In terms of hitting, I was able to work out a walk in the 4th.

Do you feel any more tired than usual?

I do feel as though I might be a little more tired than other games I have pitched in.  I am glad that we won.

Source: Sponichi 6/18/2013


UPDATE 6/20 @ 12:29am -

How does it feel now that you have done both?

We won so that is the most important thing.  Hopefully I can keep it up.

How did you approach hitting, pitching?

When I was on the mound it was about the mound, when I was in the batter's box it was about the batter's box.  My goal was to do what I was supposed to do.

In the inning immediately after you reached base, the second inning, you gave up your first home run.

I should have taken my time.  But, I think the batter was better than me.  In that sense, I did not have what it takes [to get the out].  Pitching after being a base-runner is pretty tough.  It made me think that the inning after getting on base is really important.

You took over in right after leaving the game as a pitcher.

After the fourth inning I was told I would play right in the next inning.  As a pitcher, I thought I might pitch another inning, but the bullpen has been stable.

How would you grade your outing?

As I pitcher, I could not grasp the flow of the game so thirty percent.  As a hitter, I was able to drive in a run, albeit [on a ground out:, so a fifty percent.  Anything can happen if you put the ball in play.

You hit [Brad] Eldred in the 3rd inning.

The ball slipped out.  That is something else I need to work on.  I was not shaken.  [Atsunori] Inaba got in front of me so I felt relieved by that.

Source: Nikkan Sports 6/19/2013

[6/14/2013] Nippon Ham Fighters News and Notes

by on Jun.14, 2013 @ 10:37 pm, under NPB
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Hiroshi Kisanuki recorded the fifth shutout of his career on Thursday.  It was also the second shutout in which he threw fewer than 100 pitches -- ninety-five pitches against Rakuten on April 8, 2012 and ninety-one pitches against Hanshin on June 13, 2013.

Source: Nikkan Sports 6/14/2013


Sho Nakata recorded his fifteenth home run of the season in his fifty-seventh game on Thursday.  It took hims 126 games in 2011 and 108 games 2012 to reach that same total.

Nakata also blasted two home runs on Thursday, one to right in the 2nd and one to left in the 8th.  For Nakata, it was his seventh multi-homer game of his career and the first in which he hit one to left and one to right.

Inter-league home run totals from 2009: zero, zero, four, five, and six.

Source: Nikkan Sports 6/14/2013


Yuki Saito tossed batting practice on Thursday.  He faced two hitters, threw forty-four pitches, and allowed four could be hits.  Assuming no problems, he will toss another BP session on the 16th.  If everything is fine after that, he will pitch about three innings in a Ni-gun game against the Futures on the 22nd.

Source: Sanspo 6/14/2013, Nikkan Sports 6/14/2013


1st round draft pick Shohei Otani is currently slated to make his next start on the 18th against Hiroshima at Mazda Stadium.

Source: Daily Sports 6/14/2013

Otani threw eighty-one pitches during full-squad practices at Sapporo Dome today.  He threw all his pitches, other than the fork and cutter, and focused on his curve.

Source: Nikkan Sports 6/14/2013


The Fighters donated a box of baseball equipment to the Burkina Faso Baseball Federation on Thursday.

Source: Nikkan Sports 6/14/2013

[6/11/2013] Nippon Ham Fighters: Otani fans thirteen in Ni-gun start against Yomiuri

by on Jun.11, 2013 @ 5:46 pm, under NPB
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1st round draft pick Shohei Otani started a Ni-gun game against Yomiuri today and gave up two runs on five hits over seven innings of work.  He threw 109 pitches, struck out a career high thirteen, and topped out at 154km/h on his 108th pitch of the game.

Source: Nikkan Sports 6/11/2013, Sponichi 6/11/2013


1st Inning

Ryota Wakiya - 1B1
Itaru Hashimoto - F8
Daisuke Fujimura - Balk, 1B9 (RBI)
Taishi Ota - Fujimura steals second, Kl on slider
Yoshitomo Tani - G5

2nd Inning

Fuminori Yokogawa - F8
Masaki Sakaguchi - K
Harutomo Tsuji - L6

3rd Inning

Genki Kawano - HR9 (RBI)
Ryota Wakiya - 1B8
Itaru Hashimoto - K
Daisuke Fujimura - G2, runner to second
Taishi Ota - Ks on slider

4th Inning

Yoshitomo Tani - F7
Fuminori Yokogawa - Ks on change
Masaki Sakaguchi - Ks on fastball

5th Inning

Harutomo Tsuji - Ks on change
Genki Kawano - Ks on fastball
Ryota Wakiya - BB
Itaru Hashimoto - F9

6th Inning

Daisuke Fujimura - BB
Taishi Ota - Ks on slider
Ryuichi Kajimae - G6, runner to second
Fuminori Yokogawa - Ks on fastball

7th Inning

Masaki Sakaguchi - Ks on fastball
Harutomo Tsuji - Ks on fastball
Genki Kawano - 1B8
Ryota Wakiya - Ks on change (topped out at 154km/h)

Source: Nikkan Sports 6/11/2013