Possible starters for the Yomiuri-Hanshin series at Koshien Stadium (April 26-28):
Source: Sanspo 4/26/20160 Comments
Takahiro Arai became the forty-seventh player in NPB history to reach the 2,000 hit milestone on April 26. The defining moment came in the top of the third against the Yakult Swallows with Yoshihisa Naruse on the mound. Arai hit an 1-0 pitch for an RBI double to left.
Some interesting facts about the milestone:
The Yokohama Bay Stars are interested in thirty-year-old Matt McBride. The two sides could be close to finalizing a deal. If negotiations go smoothly, there is a chance he could join the team before the end of the month. The Bay Stars are most likely looking at McBride primarily as a right fielder.
[UPDATE 4/28 @ 8:42pm]
The Bay Stars were unable to finalize a deal with McBride because he was called up by the Oakland Athletics.0 Comments
The Rakuten Eagles could look to Kazuo Matsui as an emergency reliever.
Four of Rakuten’s last six games have gone into extra innings. The bullpen is overworked and Matsui could end up pitching if they run out of arms. The veteran is prepared to do what he can to help the team.
Masataka Nashida started thinking about using Matsui as an emergency reliever during an extra inning game on April 23 against the Seibu Lions at Seibu Prince Dome. Eight pitchers were available and he called on the eighth pitcher in the twelfth inning. Nashida told Matsui he might have to take the mound if the eighth pitcher was unable to make it out of the inning.
Source: Sponichi 4/26/20160 Comments
Tomoyuki Sugano popped a blister on his right middle finger during his last start on April 22 against Yokohama at Tokyo Dome. He is not expected to miss his next start on April 28 against Hanshin at Koshien.
Yoshinobu Takahashi is planning to make a final decision once the team is in Osaka.0 Comments
Dayan Viciedo got off to a torrid start this year: he hit home runs in the first three games of the season and recorded at last one hit in his first nine games (16-for-33). He cooled down a bit after that, but is currently in the middle of a six-game hitting streak in which he is 9-for-22 with three doubles, three home runs, four walks, and 11 RBI.0 Comments
Ernesto Mejia is swinging a hot bat right now: he has ten hits in his last nineteen at bats, including five home runs and fifteen RBI. He blasted his first home run of the season on April 9. Since then, he has sixteen hits (including seven home runs and four doubles) in forty-eight at bats.
During his last game on April 24 against Rakuten at Seibu Prince Dome, he went yard in three consecutive trips to the plate: he drove in the first run of the game with a solo home run in the third inning, he drove in the go-ahead run with a two-run home run in the fifth inning, and a come-from-behind grand slam in the seventh inning.
Mejia is just the seventh player in NPB history to hit home runs, including a grand slam, in three consecutive trips to the plate, first since Akira Eto on June 30, 1998. He joined Ralph Bryant (October 12, 1989) and Norihiro Nakamura (September 20, 1997) as the only players that drove in all their team’s runs with home runs in three consecutive trips.
Mejia was also a Featured Player on Pa-League TV.0 Comments
Some stats on Atsushi Nomi:
Yoshihisa Hirano notched his 100th career save on April 24 against Lotte and joined Kyuji Fujikawa and Hisashi Takeda as the only players in NPB with at least 100 holds and 100 saves.
Raul Valdes developed left shoulder pain during spring camp. He believes it was because he did not play baseball last winter for the first time in his career. He no longer feels any pain and is at 100 percent.
Valdes tossed five shutout innings against Orix during his first rehab game at Ni-gun on April 22. He is slated to throw about 100 pitches during his next rehab game against Softbank on April 28. He could be ready to join the active roster in early-May.
Source: Sports Hochi 4/25/20160 Comments