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[3/20/2015] Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Hiroshima Carp, Chunichi Dragons, Yokohama Bay Stars, Yakult Swallows

by on Mar.21, 2015 @ 4:10 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

Hanshin Tigers

Hiroshima Carp

  • Ni-gun game against Softbank on March 20: Masamitsu Suzuki got the start in center and batted seventh. He went 4-for-4 with three RBI. Source: Daily Sports 3/20/2015

Chunichi Dragons

  • Daisuke Yamai will most likely get the opening day start. Kazuki Yoshimi was an option, but the Dragons are a little concerned about his right elbow and will see how he is feeling after he pitches on March 22 against Rakuten at Nagoya Dome before deciding his schedule. Source: Sports Hochi 3/20/2015

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • Daisuke Miura will continue his workouts at Ni-gun, beginning on March 21. If he fails to make the opening day starting rotation, it will be a first since 2010. Source: Daily Sports 3/20/2015
  • Yulieski Gurriel and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. could arrive in Japan before the start of the season since their team in Cuba, Industriales, did not make it to the postseason. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/20/2015, Daily Sports 3/20/2015, Sponichi 3/20/2015

Yakult Swallows

  • Wladimir Balentien (left Achilles) is still slated to join the Ichi-gun team some time around mid-April. His legs are at about sixty percent. He should be able to resume base-running practices next week. The Swallows want him to play in at least five Ni-gun rehab games before they call him up. Source: Chunichi Sports 3/20/2015 ... Balentien could play in a Ni-gun rehab game as a designated hitter on March 27 against Nippon Ham. His check-up on March 18 went well. Source: Sports Hochi 3/20/2015, Nikkan Sports 3/20/2015
  • Yoshinori Sato will try to throw about sixty-five pitches during his next start on March 22 against Ni-gun Yomiuri. Source: Sanspo 3/20/2015

[3/19/2015] Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Hiroshima Carp, Yokohama Bay Stars, Yakult Swallows

by on Mar.20, 2015 @ 4:00 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Hisayoshi Chono (right knee, elbow) is slated to rejoin the Ichi-gun team on March 20. Tatsunori Hara checked on Chono during a Ni-gun game against Lotte on March 19. The outfielder is expected to play in the Nippon Ham exhibition game on March 20. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/19/2015
  • Shuichi Murata will not be joining Chono at Ichi-gun and will continue his workouts at Ni-gun. Source: Daily Sports 3/19/2015

Hanshin Tigers

  • Suguru Iwazaki could make his first regular season start during a Chunichi series that begins on April 14 at Nagoya Dome. Source: Daily Sports 3/19/2015

Hiroshima Carp

  • Yusuke Nomura could make his first regular season start on April 1 against Yokohama at Yokohama. Source: Daily Sports 3/19/2015

Yokohama Bay Stars

Yakult Swallows

  • Yoshinori Sato is set to pitch in a Ni-gun game against Yomiuri on March 22. He will be pitching on ten days of rest. Days in between starts will begin to decrease over time. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/19/2015
  • Nobuyuki Okumura was sent back to Ni-gun on March 19 because they want him to focus on development. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/19/2015 ... The Swallows want to give Okumura playing time at positions other than second, like third and short. Source: Sports Hochi 3/19/2015

[3/18/2015] Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Hiroshima Carp, Yokohama Bay Stars, Yakult Swallows

by on Mar.19, 2015 @ 4:27 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Ni-gun game against Lotte on March 18: Hisayoshi Chono recorded three hits: single to left in the 1st, RBI triple to right in the 5th, and a single to right in the 9th. He was replaced by a pinch-runner in the 9th. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/18/2015
  • Ni-gun game against Lotte on March 17: Third round draft pick Hayato Takagi started the game and did not allow a run over 6.1 innings of work. He gave up four hits, walked three, hit one, and struck out two. Source: Sponichi 3/18/2015
  • Hisayoshi Chono could join the Ichi-gun team in time for an exhibition game against Nippon Ham at Tokyo Dome on March 20. Source: Sponichi 3/18/2015
  • The Giants are expected to add Takahiko Nomaguchi to the seventy-man roster before the start of the regular season. Source: Sponichi 3/18/2015
  • Taeko Utsugi, vice president of the Japan Softball Association and executive member of the World Baseball Softball Confederation, is slated to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on opening day. Source: official announcement

Hanshin Tigers

  • Atsushi Nomi could make his first regular season start on March 31 against Yakult at Jingu. He will most likely pitch in one more pre-season game: Ni-gun Ikusei game on March 25 against Nippon Shinyaku (Industrial League). Source: Sponichi 3/18/2015
  • Ryosuke Ogata had his right knee cleaned out in September last year. He is set to play in his first rehab game on March 25 (Ikusei game against Nippon Shinyaku). Source: Sanspo 3/18/2015

Hiroshima Carp

  • Daichi Osera could make his first regular season start on March 31 against Yokohama at Yokohama. Source: Sports Hochi 3/18/2015
  • Mike Zagurski is scheduled to rejoin the Ichi-gun team in time for an exhibition game against Softbank at YafuOku Dome on March 20. Source: Daily Sports 3/18/2015

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • Shoichi Ino could make his first regular season start on March 31 against Hiroshima at Yokohama. Source: Daily Sports 3/18/2015
  • Taiki Sekine's cousin passed away on February 11 of a brainstem hemorrhage at the age of thirteen. Her condition steadily deteriorated after she was hospitalized in May 2014. Source: Sponichi 3/18/2015

Yakult Swallows

  • Tony Barnette will most likely start the year at closer. There is a good chance first round draft pick Shingo Takeshita will make the opening day roster. Source: Sponichi 3/18/2015

Practice Game: Hanshin Tigers 1 – Yakult Swallows 6 (March 18, 2015)

by on Mar.19, 2015 @ 12:58 am, under NPB
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Hanshin Tigers vs Yakult Swallows @ Jingu

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R
Hanshin 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Yakult 0 0 0 1 1 1 2 1 x 6

Closed practice game

Hanshin

Pitchers used: Yuta Iwasada, Kentaro Kuwahara, Daiki Enokida, Yuya Ando, Ryoma Matsuda, Seung-Hwan Oh

Yuta Iwasada started the game and gave up two runs on five hits over 4.2 innings of work. With the score 1-0, he allowed the tying run to score on a RBI double to Kazuhiro Hatakeyama in the 4th. He gave up the lead in the 5th on an RBI single to Shingo Kawabata. He left the game with runners on first and second and two out.

Ryoma Matsuda entered the game in the 7th and allowed two runs on four consecutive hits before recording three straight outs (Fo3, Kl, G4). He topped out at 148km/h. Seung-Hwan Oh followed Matsuda pitched the 8th. He gave up a solo home run to Tetsuto Yamada.

Maru Gomez led off the 2nd inning with hit a home run off Taichi Ishiyama.

Yakult

Pitchers used: Taichi Ishiyama, Ren Kazahari, Takeaki Tokuyama

Taichi Ishiyama started the game and gave up a run on five hits over six innings. He struck out six. Second round draft pick Ren Kazahari relieved Ishiyama and tossed two shutout innings. He gave up two hits, walked none, struck out two, and committed a balk.

Kazuhiro Hatakeyama recorded three hits, including two doubles.

Nobuyuki Okumura entered the game as a pinch-runner for Shingo Kawabata in the 5th. He recorded an RBI double to left off Ryoma Matsuda in the 7th.

Source: official report (Yakult), Daily Sports 3/18/2015, Daily Sports 3/18/2015, Daily Sports 3/18/2015, Sponichi 3/18/2015, Sponichi 3/18/2015, Sponichi 3/18/2015, Nikkan Sports 3/18/2015, Nikkan Sports 3/19/2015, Nikkan Sports 3/19/2015

[3/17/2015] Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Hiroshima Carp, Chunichi Dragons, Yokohama Bay Stars, Yakult Swallows

by on Mar.18, 2015 @ 4:00 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Ni-gun game against Lotte on March 17: Hisayoshi Chono played in his first rehab game. He got the start in right and batted third. He went 0-for-3 (G5, G6, F8) and was replaced on defense in the 6th. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/17/2015 ... Shuichi Murata started at third and batted sixth. He went 0-for-3 with a walk. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/17/2015 ...
  • Hideki Matsui arrived at Narita Airport on Monday. He will be a guest commentator on Nippon TV's Yokohama vs Yomiuri game at Tokyo Dome on March 27. Source: Sponichi 3/17/2015

Hanshin Tigers

  • Ni-gun game against Softbank on March 17: Akira Iwamoto started the game and gave up a run (unearned) on four hits and a walk over six innings of work. He struck out three. and topped out at 144km/h. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/17/2015, Daily Sports 3/17/2015
  • Fourth round draft pick Koki Moriya was examined at a hospital on March 16 and diagnosed with infectious gastroenteritis. Source: Sanspo 3/17/2015

Hiroshima Carp

  • Daichi Osera is slated to pitch in a Ni-gun game against Chunichi on March 24. His first regular season start could come on March 31 against Yokohama at Yokohama. Source: Daily Sports 3/17/2015
  • TV ratings during Hiroki Kuroda's last outing on March 15 against Orix, for the Hiroshima region: 19.4% average and 24.4% peak. Source: Sports Hochi 3/17/2015

Chunichi Dragons

  • Kazuhiro Wada will continue to prepare for the 2015 season by playing in Ni-gun games. There were plans for him to join the Ichi-gun team during a six-game stretch that began on March 17, but they were scratched because he still needs more time to work through some issues (particularly problems with his knee). Instead of rushing the veteran to make the roster for opening day, the Dragons will allow him to continue working out at Ni-gun until he is ready. There is a chance he will not be on the opening day roster. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/17/2015, Sponichi 3/17/2015, Daily Sports 3/17/2015

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • The Bay Stars announced their plans to hold a retirement ceremony for Alex Ramirez before a game against the Yakult Swallows on April 3. Source: official announcement

Yakult Swallows

  • The Swallows will give Nobuyuki Okumura a look at Ichi-gun. He was called up on March 17 and played in the practice game against Yomiuri at Jingu. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/17/2015, Sponichi 3/17/2015
  • Ren Kazahari, Akihisa Nishida, and Ryota Yachi were also called up to Ichi-gun on March 17. Suguru Ino, Takahiro Imanami, and Masayoshi Miwa were sent down to Ni-gun for more work. Source: Sanspo 3/17/2015

Practice Game: Yomiuri Giants 9 – Yakult Swallows 3 (March 17, 2015)

by on Mar.18, 2015 @ 3:53 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants vs Yakult Swallows @ Jingu

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R
Yomiuri 0 0 0 0 3 0 1 3 2 9
Yakult 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 3

Closed practice game

Yomiuri

Yuki Koyama started the game and gave up three runs on eight hits over four innings of work. Mizuki Tsuchida (two innings), Scott Mathieson (one inning), Hirokazu Sawamura (one inning, no runs, no hits, one walk, topped out at 148km/h), and Shoki Kasahara (one inning) made appearances in relief.

The offense scored nine runs on fifteen hits. Yasuyuki Kataoka batted lead-off and went 4-for-6 with five RBI. Masaki Sakaguchi tied the game at three in the top of the 5th with a pinch-hit two-run home run.

Yakult

Yoshihisa Naruse started the game. Logan Ondrusek, Ryo Akiyoshi, Shingo Takeshita, and Tony Barnette followed in relief.

Tony Barnette entered the game in the 9th and gave up two runs on three hits.

Yuhei Takai got the start in right and batted clean-up. He recorded three hits and two RBI, including a two-run home run in the bottom of the 3rd that gave Yakult a 3-0 lead.

Source: official report (Yomiuri), official report (Yakult), Nikkan Sports 3/17/2015, Nikkan Sports 3/17/2015, Sponichi 3/17/2015, Sponichi 3/18/2015, Sanspo 3/18/2015, Sanspo 3/18/2015

[3/16/2015] Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Hiroshima Carp, Yakult Swallows

by on Mar.17, 2015 @ 5:02 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Third round draft pick Hayato Takagi will start a Ni-gun game against Lotte on March 17. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/16/2015
  • Yoshinobu Takahashi did not participate in practices on March 16 because he was not feeling well. Source: Sponichi 3/16/2015

Hanshin Tigers

  • Akira Iwamoto is scheduled to pitch in a Ni-gun game against Softbank on March 17. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/16/2015
  • Shintaro Fujinami is hoping to toss about 100 pitches over seven innings during his next pre-season start on March 22 against Orix at Kyocera Dome. Source: Chunichi Sports 3/16/2015
  • Yuta Iwasada and Suguru Iwazaki are looking to throw about 100 pitches during their next starts. Iwasada is slated to start a game on March 18 against Yakult at Jingu and Iwazaki a game on March 19 against Chunichi at Nagoya Dome. Source: Sanspo 3/16/2015
  • Akihito Fujii and Kenichi Tagami will be called up shortly. Keisuke Kano, Takashi Shimizu, and Masahiro Nakatani will most likely be sent down to Ni-gun. Source: Sanspo 3/16/2015
  • Hanshin Denki Tetsudo started running a special Yellow Magic Train on March 16 as part of a celebration for the team's 80th anniversary. The train will be in use until late-November. Source: official announcement
  • The Tigers decided to pass on twenty-four-year-old pitcher Yao-Lin Wang. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/16/2015 ... Wang pitched in a batting practice scrimmage on March 15. He faced seven hitters and allows three hits. He topped out at 136km/h. Source: Sanspo 3/16/2015

Hiroshima Carp

  • Hiroki Kuroda will throw about 100 pitches during his next start on March 22 against Softbank. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/16/2015, Daily Sports 3/16/2015 ... Kuroda will be appearing in national commercials for Sky Perfect's Pro Yakyu Set (3,980 yen). Source: Daily Sports 3/16/2015 ... According to Sanspo, Kuroda was forty percent ready to retire and thirty-thirty on the Majors and Hiroshima. He was moved when team official Kiyoaki Suzuki asked him to give him the forty percent during negotiations. Source: Sanspo 3/16/2015 ... An updated edition of Kuroda's book, Kimete Tatsu, will be coming out on March 21. Source: Sponichi 3/16/2015

Yakult Swallows

  • Yoshihisa Naruse is slated to pitch in a closed-off practice game against Yomiuri on March 17. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/16/2015

[3/14/2015] Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Hiroshima Carp, Chunichi Dragons, Yakult Swallows

by on Mar.15, 2015 @ 5:50 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Ni-gun game against Yokohama on March 14: first round draft pick Kazuma Okamoto made his professional debut in an official game. He got the start at third and batted sixth. He went 1-for-4: 1B8, F9, G4, F4. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/14/2015 ... Kazuto Taguchi started the game and allowed two runs on four hits over eight innings of work. Source: Sponichi 3/14/2015

Hanshin Tigers

  • First round draft pick Yuya Yokoyama could start a Ni-gun game against Chunichi at Naruohama on March 20 and pitch four to five innings. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/14/2015
  • Yutaka Wada is planning to use Takashi Toritani as his lead-off hitter this year. Source: Daily Sports 3/14/2015
  • Akira Iwamoto is slated to pitch in a Ni-gun game against Softbank on March 17. Tsuyoshi Ishizaki is scheduled to pitch in a Ni-gun game against Softbank on March 18. Kazuhito Futagami joined the Ichi-gun team as a candidate for the bullpen. Source: Sanspo 3/14/2015
  • According to Sanspo, Mario Santiago could arrive in Japan as early as March 16 for a press conference. There is nothing holding the two sides from signing a contract -- they have agreed to terms and Santiago passed his physical. The Tigers are said to be waiting for the final contract to arrive. Source: Sanspo 3/14/2015

Hiroshima Carp

  • If Hiroki Kuroda's start on March 15 gets rained out, he will instead pitch in a batting practice scrimmage indoors on the same day. Source: Daily Sports 3/14/2015
  • Kenta Maeda is slated to make one more appearance before the start of the regular season: March 20 against Softbank at YafuOku Dome. Source: Daily Sports 3/14/2015
  • The coaches held a staff meeting after an exhibition game against Orix on March 14 and decided to send Shota Dobayashi down to Ni-gun for extra work. Dobayashi got the start at third and batted ninth in the Orix game and went 0-for-4. He twice struck out looking. Other decisions: Masamitsu Suzuki and Takashi Uemoto will be demoted to Ni-gun. Tomohiro Abe and Yoshitaka Isomura will be sent down to Ni-gun for more playing opportunities. Shogo Kimura will be called up to Ichi-gun. Source: Sports Hochi 3/14/2015, Nikkan Sports 3/14/2015, Daily Sports 3/14/2015

Chunichi Dragons

  • Kazuhiro Wada is scheduled to join the Ichi-gun team on the 17th. Wada was the starting designated hitter in a Kyoiku League game against Hiroshima on March 13 and went 2-for-3: L5, 1B8, 1B8. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/14/2015

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • Yasutomo Kubo and Shun Yamaguchi will most likely make starts during the opening series that begins on March 27 (against Yomiuri at Tokyo Dome) -- Kubo on March 27 and Yamaguchi on March 28. Shoichi Ino and Guillermo Moscoso could start the opening home series that begins on March 31 (against Hiroshima at Yokohama). Source: Sports Hochi 3/14/2015
  • The media learned on March 14 that Yamaguchi filed marriage papers with talento Kaori on December 25 last year. Kaori made the announcement on her personal blog. Source: Sponichi 3/14/2015
  • The Bay Stars are planning to hold a retirement ceremony for Alex Ramirez before a game against the Yakult Swallows on April 3. Source: Sponichi 3/14/2015
  • Former Bay Star Norihiro Nakamura (41) is still not ready to retire and is waiting on offers to play from NPB teams. He has received offers from other leagues, like the CPBL in Taiwan and the independent leagues in Japan, but turned all of them down because he wants to give back to the NPB. Source: Sports Hochi 3/14/2015

Yakult Swallows

  • Masanori Ishikawa started a Ni-gun game against Seibu on March 14. He tossed seven shutout innings, threw eighty-six pitches, allowed two hits, and struck out seven. He could make his first regular season start on March 28 against Hiroshima at Mazda Stadium. Source: Sanspo 3/14/2015