[3/2/2017] Samurai Japan: Time might be running out for Motohiro Shima

Motohiro Shima is taking things a little slow because of some tight in his legs. WBC Manager Hiroki Kokubo is exploring the possibility of giving Shima an inning during a practice game against Orix on March 5. If the catcher’s condition does not improve, Kokubo might consider a replacement. Ginjiro Sumitani is a possibility.

Kokubo would like to have three healthy catchers on the roster because it will give him the option to burn through a catcher with a pinch-hitter and still have a back-up in case of an injury.

Source: Daily Sports 3/2/2017, Sports Hochi 3/2/2017, Tokyo Sports 3/2/2017, Sponichi 3/2/2017, Nikkan Sports 3/2/2017

[UPDATE 3/3 @ 10:19pm]

Shima is still not fully recovered from his right calf injury (tightness). He told reporters after practices on March 2 that he could probably play if needed, but not at full strength. He also indicated that he was concerned he might do more harm than good. There is a good chance he will be replaced.

Source: Sponichi 3/3/2017, ZakZak 3/3/2017

[UPDATE 3/6 @ 11:04pm]

Shima rejoined to the Rakuten Eagles today at Kurashiki Muscat Stadium. He played catch, took batting practices, and participated in infield drills. Masataka Nashida would like to see him ready to play in games some where around March 20.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/6/2017, Daily Sports 3/6/2017

[UPDATE 3/15 @ 1:17am]

Shima is currently slated to play in his first exhibition game on March 16 against Hiroshima at Shizuoka. Takayuki Kishi is scheduled to start the game. Nashida wants to give the catcher a chance to catch Kishi for about two innings. Shima told reporters he was close to 100 percent in everything, other than running.

Source: Sponichi 3/14/2017, Daily Sports 3/14/2017

[UPDATE 3/16 @ 9:54pm]

Shima played in an exhibition game against Hiroshima on March 16. He started at catcher, batted eighth, and played three innings. He struck out swinging in his only at bat in the third inning.

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NPB Standings [Full]
G W L T
Hiroshima 69 43 25 1
Hanshin 66 37 29 0
Yokohama 69 33 34 2
Chunichi 70 30 37 3
Yomiuri 68 30 38 0
Yakult 68 26 41 1
G W L T
Rakuten 64 42 21 1
Softbank 70 44 26 0
Seibu 66 36 28 2
Orix 68 31 36 1
Nippon Ham 67 28 39 0
Lotte 69 21 47 1
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