[4/5/2016] Inter-league play will continue for at least two more years

A board of directors meeting took place on April 4. Among topics discussed:

  • Inter-league play will continue in 2017 and 2018 under the current format – eighteen games per team a season
  • The twelve NPB teams agreed to participate in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. The NPB checked in with the Japan Professional Baseball Players Association on March 31.

Source: Sponichi 4/5/2016

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SOF

[4/5/2016] Hawks to take Barbaro Canizares off the active roster

The Softbank Hawks are planning to take Barbaro Canizares off the active roster on April 6 because of his struggles at the plate. In eight Ichi-gun games, Canizares went 5-for-26 with eight strikeouts, one walk, and two RBI.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/5/2016

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HIR

[4/5/2016] Seiya Suzuki makes an early return

Seiya Suzuki was slowed by a right hamstring injury during spring camp and started the season at Ni-gun. He was added to the active roster on April 5.

Suzuki was originally slated to join the Ichi-gun team some time during or after the upcoming weekend, but the Carp decided to call him up sooner with the hopes that he can provide a spark.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/5/2016

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ORI

[4/5/2016] Orix considering Takayuki Tsukada for the active roster

The Orix Buffaloes are thinking about adding Ikusei pitcher Takayuki Tsukada to the active roster as a left-handed arm to help bolster the bullpen. Through April 4, Tsukada was 0-2 with a save and a 1.74 ERA in ten appearances at Ni-gun.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/5/2016, Daily Sports 4/5/2016

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HAM

[4/5/2016] Otani: one game as a pitcher, three as a position player per week

Shohei Otani’s next start will most likely come on seven days of rest on April 9 instead of six days of rest. This could be the start of a regular schedule of playing in one game as a pitcher (Saturdays) and three games as a position player per week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday). He was given the opportunity to play in games as a pitcher and position player on one day of rest last week (position player on March 30, pitcher on April 1, position player on April 3) and Hideki Kuriyama believes it would be best for Otani to get two days of rest after his starts as a pitcher instead of two days of preparation before starts as a pitcher.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/5/2016, Nikkan Sports 4/5/2016

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YOM HAN

[4/5/2016] Sanspo Data: Hanshin Tigers vs Yomiuri Giants

Sanspo posted the following bits of information regarding the Hanshin Tigers and Yomiuri Giants.

  • The Giants lead the Tigers 1015-787-67. The Tigers were 85-84-3 against the Giants during the single-league years. The two teams are even (40-40-3) during the first match-up of the season.
  • The Giants have won the pennant forty-five times, Hanshin nine times. The two teams finished in the top two spots in the standings twenty-two times in the past with the Giants winning nineteen pennants and Hanshin three. Since the two-league format in 1950, the two teams have finished in the top two fifteen times with the Giants winning all fifteen.
  • Rookie manager match-ups: the Giants and Tigers have fielded rookie managers in the same year two other times in the past. 1975: Yoshio Yoshida for Hanshin with a third place finish and Shigeo Nagashima for Yomiuri with a sixth place finish, Hanshin won the season series 16-9-1. 2004: Akinobu Okada for Hanshin with a fourth place finish and Tsuneo Horiuchi for Yomiuri with a third place finish, Hanshin won the season series 17-10-1.

Source: Sanspo 4/5/2016

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RAK

[4/5/2016] Okoye to get more playing time at Ni-gun while staying on the active roster

First round draft pick Louis Okoye will remain at Ichi-gun for the time being. However, Masataka Nashida wants to give him more playing time and is planning to assign him to some Ni-gun games as well. For example, Okoye could play in an afternoon Ni-gun game against Yakult at Rifu on April 13 and play in an Ichi-gun game against Lotte at kobo Stadium later in the same day.

Source: Sanspo 4/5/2016, Nikkan Sports 4/5/2016, Daily Sports 4/5/2016

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YAK

[4/5/2016] Manaka not planning to change one through four in batting order

Mitsuru Manaka does not think he has to tinker with the top four spots in the batting order (Tomotaka Sakaguchi, Shingo Kawabata, Tetsuto Yamada, and Kazuhiro Hatakeyama). Wladimir Balentien returned to the line-up on April 3 and batted sixth. Yuhei and Balentien will flip-flop in the five and six slots depending on match-ups and performances.

Source: Sanspo 4/5/2016

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YAK

[4/5/2016] Takahiro Imanami under the weather

Takahiro Imanami was not available to play on April 5 because he was not feeling well. He stayed back at the hotel and rested. He is scheduled to visit a hospital in Hiroshima on April 6.

Source: Sanspo 4/5/2016

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YOK

[4/5/2016] Takehiro Ishikawa might still need about two more weeks at Ni-gun

Takehiro Ishikawa had surgery to clean out his right elbow in November last year. He played in a rehab game on April 5, but left early after he took an HBP off his right calf. The Bay Stars believe he suffered nothing more than bruise. Assuming the calf is fine, he still might need about two more weeks at Ni-gun.

Source: Sanspo 4/5/2016

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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