[8/2/2016] Hiromi Oka suffers cut on right eyebrow

Hiromi Oka left tonight’s game against the Chiba Lotte Marines at QVC Marine after he suffered a cut near his right eyebrow.

With no one on and two out in the first inning, Daichi Suzuki hit a pop fly beyond second base. Right fielder Oka and second baseman Kensuke Tanaka went after the ball. Tanaka managed to catch the ball when the two collided.

Oka fell to the ground and was bleeding from a cut near his right eyebrow. Tanaka motioned to the dugout for help. Oka was taken off the field on stretcher and replaced by Yuya Taniguchi.

The Nippon Ham Fighters announced that Oka suffered a cut on the inside portion of his right eyebrow. He will be taken to a hospital for tests.

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

[UPDATE @ 11:44pm]

Oka was examined at a hospital in Chiba. He was diagnosed with a bruise (no bone or brain abnormalities were discovered) and needed five stitches to close the cut on his eyebrow. He is considered day-to-day.

Source: Sports Hochi 8/2/2016


[8/2/2016] Yuji Nishino out with elbow inflammation

Yuji Nishino was examined at a hospital in Funabashi, Chiba on August 1. Tests did not reveal any bone or ligament abnormalities. The pain in his right elbow was chalked up to inflammation and fatigue.

Nishino will be shut down for about a week. His goal is to return to the active roster before the end of the month.

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


[8/2/2016] Brian Wolfe hurts right ankle in first Ni-gun start for Seibu

Brian Wolfe pitched in a Ni-gun game against Nippon Ham at Seibu 2 Stadium earlier today. He threw forty-five pitches through the first four innings and allowed one run. He left the game in the fifth inning, after he twisted his right ankle when he gave up a double to Kengo Ota with a runner on second and one out.

Final line: 4.1 IP, 54 NP, 0 BB, 6 H, 2 R.

Wolfe’s ankle injury is not considered serious. He was not taken to a hospital and was treated with ice.

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


[8/2/2016] Balentien strikes again, hits Ishihara on backswing

Yoshiyuki Ishihara fell victim to Wladimir Balentien’s backswing. The incident took place during a game against the Hiroshima Carp at Jingu Stadium with runners on first and third and two out in the first inning. Ishihara is the second catcher this season to be hit in the head by Balentien’s backswing.

Ishihara was taken off the field on stretcher and replaced by Tsubasa Aizawa. The catcher was sent to a hospital in Tokyo for tests. He did not lose consciousness.

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

[UPDATE 8/3 @ 8:36am]

Ishihara was diagnosed with a concussion and a bruise on the back of the head.

Source: Daily Sports 8/3/2016

[UPDATE 8/3 @ 9:29pm]

Ishihara was taken off the active roster today with the concussion exception rule.

Source: Daily Sports 8/3/2016, Nikkan Sports 8/3/2016

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[8/2/2016] Takahiro Arai blasts 300th home run

Takahiro Arai blasted the 300th home run of his career tonight. The milestone homer came in the second inning with a runner on first, no out, and Masanori Ishikawa on the mound for the Yakult Swallows.

Arai is the forty-second player in NPB history to hit 300 home runs. He set a new record by hitting his 300th home run in his 2,179th game. No other player has needed more games to reach the milestone. The previous record of 1,862 games was set by Makoto Matsubara in 1978. At thirty-nine years and six months, he is the second oldest player to hit 300 home runs. The oldest was Kazuhiro Wada at forty-one years and nine months.

Arai is one of twenty-five players to record both 300 home runs and 2,000 hits.

Source: Sponichi 8/2/2016, Sponichi 8/3/2016Sports Hochi 8/2/2016

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[8/2/2016] 2017 World Baseball Classic Tokyo & Seoul Pool Details

Preliminary details for the Tokyo and Seoul Pools of the 2017 World Baseball Classic were released today.

First Round

Tokyo Pool

  • March 7 (Tue) – 11 (Sat), 2017
  • Tokyo Dome
  • Japan, Cuba, China, Australia

Seoul Pool

  • March 7 (Tue) – 11 (Sat), 2017
  • Gocheok Sky Dome
  • Korea, Chinese Taipei, Netherlands, Brooklyn qualifier (Brazil, Great Britain, Israel, Pakistan)

Second Round

Tokyo Pool

  • March 12 (Sun) – 16 (Thu), 2017
  • Tokyo Dome
  • Two teams each from First round Tokyo Pool and Seoul Pool


Practice Games

  • March 3 (Fri) – 6 (Mon), 2017
  • Kyocera Dome Osaka
  • Teams from the First round Tokyo Pool and NPB teams

Source: Samurai Japan announcement


[8/2/2016] Yohei Oshima and Ryosuke Hirata to earn domestic FA options this month

Yohei Oshima and Ryosuke Hirata are set to earn their domestic FA options this month. The Chunichi Dragons might try to begin extension discussions early to show how serious they are about keeping them in Nagoya. They are also said to be considering multi-year deals for both players.

However, the Dragons may have their work cut out for them. Their recent track record with players with FA options have not been great with both Kenichi Nakata and Akifumi Takahashi signing with other teams in 2013 and 2015, respectively. And Oshima and Hirata may still have bitter memories of their off-season contract negotiations the last couple of seasons.

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


[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


[8/2/2016] Yusei Kikuchi slated to start Ichi-gun game on August 5

Yusei Kikuchi (right side) joined Ichi-gun workouts at Seibu 2 Stadium on August 1. He is currently slated to return to the active roster in time for a start on August 5 against the Rakuten Eagles at kobo Stadium.

Source: Nikkan Sports 8/2/2016


[8/1/2016] Yoshitomo Tsutsugo’s busy July

Yoshitomo Tsutsugo had a very busy July. A few highlights:

  • he tied Robert Rose (July 1999) for Yokohama’s franchise record for RBIs in a month with 31.
  • he set a new Yokohama franchise record with sixteen home runs in one month. The previous record of fourteen was set by Tony Blanco in April 2013. The sixteen home runs tied Hiromitsu Kadota (July 1981), Akira Eto (August 1994), and Shinnosuke Abe (April 2004) for second most home runs in one month by an NPB player and was two behind the NPB record of eighteen, set by Wladimir Balentien in August 2013.
  • he became the first player in NPB history to record six two-homer games in one month. The previous record of five was set by Hal Breeden in May 1976.
  • he joined Isamu Fujii (thirty-four in 1950) as the only left-handed hitters in Yokohama franchise history to hit thirty or more home runs in one season.
  • he trailed Tetsuto Yamada by as many as ten home runs on July 2 (twenty-seven to seventeen) and now leads the Central League with thirty-two.
  • when he hit his sixteen home runs (which at bats): two during his first at bat, two during his second at bat, seven during his third at bat, two during his fourth at bat, two during his fifth at bat, one during his sixth at bat.
  • he finished July with a .429 batting average (36-for-84), sixteen home runs, and thirty-one RBI and became the first Japanese player in NPB history to finish a month with a .400 or better batting average, fifteen or more home runs, and thirty or more RBI.

Source: Sponichi 7/30/2016Sponichi 7/29/2016Sponichi 8/1/2016, Sanspo 7/29/2016, Daily Sports 7/30/2016, Nikkan Sports 7/30/2016, Nikkan Sports 7/31/2016, Nikkan Sports 7/31/2016

NPB Standings [Full]
Hiroshima 143 88 51 4
Hanshin 143 78 61 4
Yokohama 143 73 65 5
Yomiuri 143 72 68 3
Chunichi 143 59 79 5
Yakult 143 45 96 2
Softbank 143 94 49 0
Seibu 143 79 61 3
Rakuten 143 77 63 3
Orix 143 63 79 1
Nippon Ham 143 60 83 0
Lotte 143 54 87 2
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