[8/2/2016] Shohei Otani’s next start still up in the air

Shohei Otani’s (right middle finger) next start is again up in the air. Hideki Kuriyama is planning to consider all options for him during the team’s upcoming series against  Lotte (August 2-4) and Softbank (August 5-7). The manager’s biggest concern right now is determining when Otani is ready to return to the mound as a starter. As of August 1, he has not been able to toss a bullpen session since July 24.

Source: Nikkan Sports 8/2/2016, Daily Sports 8/2/2016, Sponichi 8/2/2016, Sports Hochi 8/2/2016

[UPDATE @ 6:46pm]

Otani’s finger has healed, however, Kuriyama feels the pitcher is still concerned about the finger and is letting it affect the way he pitches.

Source: Sanspo 8/2/2016

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NPB Standings [Full]
G W L T
Hiroshima 143 89 52 2
Yomiuri 143 71 69 3
Yokohama 143 69 71 3
Hanshin 143 64 76 3
Yakult 143 64 78 1
Chunichi 143 58 82 3
G W L T
Nippon Ham 143 87 53 3
Softbank 143 83 54 6
Lotte 143 72 68 3
Seibu 143 64 76 3
Rakuten 143 62 78 3
Orix 143 57 83 3