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[12/21/2014] Hanshin Tigers, Yokohama Bay Stars, Yakult Swallows

by on Dec.22, 2014 @ 3:44 am, under NPB
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Hanshin Tigers

  • Shintaro Fujinami will most likely get a start during the opening season series (vs Chunichi at Kyocera Dome, March 27-29). That should line him up for two starts against the Yomiuri Giants in the following month (April 2-5, April 17-19). The first three pitchers in the rotation could be Randy Messenger, Atsushi Nomi, and Fujinami. Pitching coach Kiyooki Nakanishi thinks it would be best to split Messenger and Fujinami, so the order could be Messenger, Nomi, and Fujinami, or Fujinami, Nomi, and Messenger. Plans will be finalized during spring camp. Source: Sanspo 12/21/2014 ... The second pitcher could also be Minoru Iwata. Source: Sponichi 12/21/2014
  • Tsuyoshi Nishioka could resume throwing practices (playing catch, throwing into a net) on Tuesday. Source: Sanspo 12/21/2014

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • Daisuke Miura has recorded at least one hit in every season since 1993. Motonobu Tanishige holds the NPB record with at least one hit in twenty-six consecutive seasons (1989-2014). Source: Nikkan Sports 12/21/2014

Yakult Swallows

  • Tetsuto Yamada had a tonsillectomy on the 14th and was discharged from the hospital on the 19th. He will return to Osaka later this month and resume regular practices in January. Source: Sanspo 12/21/2014

[12/20/2014] Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Chunichi Dragons, Yakult Swallows

by on Dec.21, 2014 @ 2:11 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Hayato Sakamoto agreed to a raise of forty million yen and will make an estimated 220 million next season. He joined Hideki Matsui as the only Yomiuri position player lifers out of high school in franchise history to top 200 million yen. Source: Sponichi 12/20/2014, Sanspo 12/20/2014

Hanshin Tigers

  • Randy Bass is open to the idea of being a special instructor during spring camp. Source: Sponichi 12/20/2014

Chunichi Dragons

  • Masato Kobayashi (34) retired after the season and will join the media relations staff. Source: Sponichi 12/20/2014

Yakult Swallows

  • The turf at Jingu Stadium will be replaced during the off-season for the first time since 2008 (Hibrid Turf Exciting will be installed). Construction will be complete in January. The new turf will be unveiled to the general public during an exhibition game against Lotte on March 20. Source: official announcement, Sanspo 12/20/2014
  • The alternate Tokyo uniforms will most likely be used during home game against the Yomiuri Giants in April and August. The Giants could also wear their alternate Tokyo uniforms. Source: Sports Hochi 12/20/2014

[12/19/2014] Hanshin Tigers, Yakult Swallows

by on Dec.20, 2014 @ 5:32 am, under NPB
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Hanshin Tigers

Yakult Swallows

  • The media learned on Thursday that the Swallows will be introducing a new set of alternate home uniforms with the word "Tokyo" across the chest. The new design will be unveiled in January. It will be the first time a Yakult uniform has featured the word "Tokyo" on the chest. Source: Sanspo 12/19/2014
  • Shingo Kawabata's wife is seven months pregnant with the couple's first child. Source: Sanspo 12/19/2014

[12/18/2014] Chihiro Kaneko, Yakult Swallows, Chiba Lotte Marines

by on Dec.19, 2014 @ 3:12 am, under NPB
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The Hanshin Tigers want a chance to speak directly with Chihiro Kaneko (31), but were told by his agent that he will only meet with the top teams. The Tigers believe that means they will have to one of a handful of teams remaining after Kaneko narrows down his options. The Tigers are expected to offer a three-year deal, but could also go to four years. Source: Sponichi 12/18/2014 ... The Tigers could offer Kaneko two kinds of multi-year deals: a two-year contract with posting and a longer term contract that could go up to four years. They could also offer the uniform number eighteen. Source: Sports Hochi 12/18/2014 ... The Tigers understand they may have to revise their offer a number of times before reaching an agreement. Source: Daily Sports 12/18/2014

The media learned on Wednesday that the Yakult Swallows received a list of protected players from the Yomiuri Giants on Monday. The Swallows are planning to make a decision on their compensation for losing Ryoji Aikawa after Lotte and Nippon Ham decide on their compensation for Yoshihisa Naruse and Keiji Obiki. Source: Sanspo 12/18/2014, Sponichi 12/18/2014

The Chiba Lotte Marines are still hoping to decide on their compensation for losing Yoshihise Naruse before the end of the year. Source: Sanspo 12/18/2014

[12/18/2014] Yomiuri Giants, Hiroshima Carp, Yakult Swallows

by on Dec.19, 2014 @ 3:08 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • In the trial between Hidetoshi Kiyotake and the Yomiuri Giants, the Tokyo District Court ruled against Kiyotake and ordered him to pay Yomiuri 1.6 million yen in damages. Kiyotake filed the original lawsuit in December 2011 after his termination following an internal scuffle over personnel changes. He sued Yomiuri for sixty-two million yen for an unfair dismissal and defamation. Yomiuri countered with a 100 million yen defamation lawsuit of their own. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/18/2014, Daily Sports 12/18/2014

Hiroshima Carp

  • Yoshikazu Kura could become the first player in franchise history to play in a game as catcher after turning forty. Hiroshima has had ten players in their forties but none have been catchers. Kura will turn forty on July 27, 2015. Source: Daily Sports 12/18/2014

Yakult Swallows

  • Ryo Akiyoshi's wife gave birth to the couple's first child, a boy, on the 16th. Source: Sponichi 12/18/2014

[12/17/2014] Yakult Swallows introduce 2014 Draft Class

by on Dec.17, 2014 @ 8:18 pm, under NPB
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Ord Name JPN Team DOB HT/WT POS T/B Level Uni Bonus Contract Date
1 Takeshita, Shingo 竹下 真吾 YAK 1990/10/20 180/82 P L/L Yamaha 22 100,000,000 15,000,000 11/19
2 Kazahari, Ren 風張 蓮 YAK 1993/02/26 185/86 P R/R Tokyo Nogyo University Hokkaido 32 70,000,000 12,000,000 11/28
3 Yamakawa, Koji 山川 晃司 YAK 1996/11/15 184/86 C R/R Fukuoka KoDai Joto High School 55 50,000,000 6,000,000 11/21
4 Terada, Tetsuya 寺田 哲也 YAK 1987/04/02 185/92 P R/R Kagawa Olive Guyners 38 35,000,000 10,000,000 11/10
5 Nakamoto, Yusaku 中元 勇作 YAK 1988/12/12 178/73 P L/L Hakuwa Victorys 39 35,000,000 8,000,000 11/17
6 Doi, Hiroaki 土肥 寛昌 YAK 1990/11/16 181/88 P R/B Honda Suzuka 45 30,000,000 8,000,000 11/12
7 Hara, Izumi 原 泉 YAK 1992/07/26 190/95 OF R/R Daiichi Kogyo University 65 25,000,000 7,000,000 11/13
I1 Nakashima, Shogo 中島 彰吾 YAK 1992/06/15 178/72 P R/R Fukuoka University 111      

===

Source: official announcement

[12/16/2014] Hanshin Tigers, Hiroshima Carp, Yakult Swallows

by on Dec.16, 2014 @ 11:46 pm, under NPB
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Hanshin Tigers

  • Naomasa Yokawa used a Hirokazu Ibata model glove this season. Development coordinator Masayuki Kakefu advised him to use a larger glove if he was going to continue at third base. Yokawa decided to switch to a glove similar to the one Shuichi Murata uses. It is about five millimeters longer overall with a thumb section that is roughly five millimeters shorter. It also has a larger and deeper palm/pocket. Source: Sponichi 12/16/2014
  • Travis Mikihisa Samura is thinking about going with Travis over Samura for his uniform. Source: Sanspo 12/16/2014

Hiroshima Carp

Yakult Swallows

  • Mitsuru Manaka told reporters he plans to assign all eight members of the 2014 draft class to Ni-gun spring camp next year. "I want to see how they're doing. If they're physically okay, we can call them up by around the 14th," said Manaka. Source: Sponichi 12/16/2014
  • Tetsuto Yamada had a tonsillectomy on the 14th. He will be discharged from the hospital on the 19th and will not be able to eat solid foods for about two weeks. Source: Sponichi 12/16/2014
  • Genki Nitta joined the staff as a batting practice pitcher. He threw over 1,600 pitches during fall camp. He also caught over 1,000 pitches in the bullpen. Source: Sponichi 12/16/2014

[12/15/2014] Yomiuri, Hanshin, Yakult, Rakuten, Lotte, Softbank

by on Dec.16, 2014 @ 2:36 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • The Giants returned to Japan on Monday from their championship trip to Hawaii. Soure: Nikkan Sports 12/15/2014
  • Tomoyuki Sugano will spend the next few weeks training in Arizona and Hawaii. He left for Arizona after the team's championship trip ended on the 14th and will spend some time there before returning to Hawaii with his family to bring in the new year. He will remain in Hawaii after his family leaves to continue his off-season workouts. He is not expected to return to Japan until some time in late January. Source: Chunichi Sports 12/15/2014, Sanpso 12/15/2014 ... The webbing of Sugano's new glove is apparently a mashup of the Batman and Superman logos. Source: Sanpso 12/15/2014

Hanshin Tigers

Yakult Swallows

  • The Hiroyasu Tanaka Cup Committee won naming rights to Otsukagaoka Chuo Park Baseball Stadium. The city of Kashiwa, Chiba agreed to a five-year deal worth 150,000 yen a year, effective from April 2015. The stadium will most likely be renamed to the Hiroyasu Tanaka Stadium during the duration of the agreement. An official announcement will be made in February. Source: Sanspo 12/15/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/15/2014

Rakuten Eagles

  • First round draft pick Tomohiro Anraku has been tentatively assigned to Ichi-gun spring camp next year. The Eagles do not want to rush him, but do want to give him a chance to work out with other Ichi-gun players. Soruce: Sanspo 12/15/2014

Chiba Lotte Marines

  • Tadahiro Ogino would like to keep his registered name as Tada Ogino since that is what he has used since he joined the NPB. He plans to file a request with the team in the new year. Source: Sanpso 12/15/2014

Softbank Hawks

  • Kenta Imamiya will be switching to an eighty-six centimeter bat next season (about a centimeter longer than what he used this year). He decided to make the change after trying Ryosuke Kikuchi's (Hiroshima) bat during the Suzuki Japan All-Star Series. Source: Daily Sports 12/15/2014

[12/14/2014] Yomiuri, Hanshin, Chunichi, Yokohama, Yakult, Rakuten, Softbank

by on Dec.15, 2014 @ 2:43 am, under NPB
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Central League

Yomiuri Giants

  • First round draft pick Kazuma Okamoto has a shot at making Ichi-gun spring camp. Source: Sponichi 12/14/2014, Daily Sports 12/14/2014 ... Second round draft pick Chiaki Tone, third round draft pick Hayato Takagi, and fourth round draft pick Daiki Tanaka could be assigned to Ichi-gun spring camp as well. Source: Sports Hochi 12/14/2014

Hanshin Tigers

  • Tsuyoshi Nishioka (right elbow) should be okay to hold his pre-season Toin workouts in January. He will also most likely head to Ichi-gun spring camp because of the warmer weather in Okinawa. Source: Daily Sports 12/14/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/14/2014
  • Kosuke Fukudome does not think there is a better center fielder in the NPB than Yamato and would like to see him stay put, instead of move to short. Source: Daily Sports 12/14/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/14/2014
  • Tomoyuki Kubota is slated to join the staff as a batting practice pitcher next season. Source: Sanpso 12/14/2014
  • The Tigers announced on Sunday that they finalized terms for the 2015 season with Randy Messenger (33). Messenger will be in the second year of a two-year deal next year. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/14/2014, Daily Sports 12/14/2014

Chunichi Dragons

  • The Dragons have not made official announcements about Raul Valdes and Ricardo Nanita because they are still in the process of finalizing terms with them. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/14/2014

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • Hisanori Takahashi's registered name this season was Hisanori. He is thinking about submitting a request to change it Hisa Takahashi next year. He was registered as Hisa Takahashi during the ten years he was with the Yomiuri Giants. Source: Sponichi 12/14/2014

Yakult Swallows

  • Mitsuru Manaka has plans for a five-man rotation with a spot for a sixth man as needed. Yasuhiro Ogawa, Masanori Ishikawa, and Yoshihisa Naruse will most likely take the first three spots in the rotation. They could be followed by Taichi Ishiyama and Toshihiro Sugiura. The last spot could come down to pitchers like Ryosuke Yagi, Takeaki Tokuyama, Yoshinori Sato, and Shohei Tateyama. Source: Sponichi 12/14/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/14/2014

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Pacific League

Rakuten Eagles

Softbank Hawks

  • Kenichi Nakata has been messing around with a shuto for the last few years. He has not thrown it during games, but is thinking about using the pitch next season if it is good enough. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/14/2014
  • The Hawks returned to Japan on Sunday from their championship trip to Hawaii. About 200 fans greeted them at Fukuoka Airport. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/14/2014

[12/11/2014] Hanshin Tigers, Chunichi Dragons, Yakult Swallows

by on Dec.12, 2014 @ 2:41 am, under NPB
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Hanshin Tigers

  • Daiki Enokida will pitch in whatever role the team assigns him, but would like to know how he will be used sooner rather than later, so that he can prepare accordingly. He asked the team during salary negotiations on Wednesday if they could let him know as soon as possible. Source: Sanspo 12/11/2014

Chunichi Dragons

  • Head coach Shigekazu Mori returned to Japan on Thursday from his overseas scouting trip. Mori was checking on talent in the Dominican Republic. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/11/2014

Yakult Swallows