[5/9/2018] Nihon Seimei MVP of the Month Awards for March/April

Central League

Pitching

Randy Messenger, Hanshin (Third Time)
5 G, 4-1, 29.2 IP, 1.82 ERA, 28 SO, 6 ER

Messenger picked up his third MVP of the Month award, first since March/April of last year. He led the league with four wins. He became the first foreign pitcher to get the opening day start four years in a row. He is the first foreign Hanshin player to win three MVP of the Month awards. The previous record of two was held by Randy Bass (April 1985, June 1986) and Jason Standridge (June 2011, July 2011).

Hitting

Hayato Sakamoto, Yomiuri (First Time)
25 G, .369 AVG, 38 H, 2 HR, 20 RBI, 2 SB

Sakamoto notched the first MVP of the Month award of his career. He led the league in batting average (.369) and hits (38). He went 4-for-4 against Yakult at Tokyo Dome on April 30, notched eleven multi-hit games, and recorded twenty RBI (good for a third place tie) in March/April. He is the first Yomiuri hitter to win an MVP of the Month award since Shuichi Murata in August 2013. He is the first shortstop in franchise history to win an MVP of the Month award.

Pacific League

Pitching

Shinsaburo Tawata, Seibu (First Time)
5 G, 5-0, 35.0 IP, 2.06 ERA, 1 CG, 22 SO, 8 ER

Tawata pitched in five games and recorded five victories. His 2.06 ERA was good for a third place tie. He tossed six shutout innings against Nippon Ham on March 31, allowed one run over seven innings against Orix on April 7, gave up one run in a complete game victory against Rakuten on April 14, three runs in six innings against Lotte on April 21, and two runs over seven innings against Rakuten on April 29.

Hitting

Hotaka Yamakawa, Seibu (Third Time)
24 G, .337 AVG, 28 H, 11 HR, 33 RBI

Yamakawa started in all twenty-four of his team’s games in March/April. he led the league in home runs (11), RBI (33), total bases (69), slugging percentage (.831), batting average with runners in scoring position (.560), and walks (22). He recorded at least one RBI in four games and homered in three consecutive games between April 21 and 25 (including a grand slam and three-run home run on April 25). He also hit home runs in two consecutive games on April 28 and 29.

Source: NPB 5/9/2018

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HAN

[5/9/2018] Shintaro Fujinami tosses seven shutout innings at Ni-gun

Shintaro Fujinami got a start against Ni-gun Orix on May 8 and tossed seven shutout innings. He faced twenty-seven hitters, gave up five hits, walked two, struck out nine, and topped out at 154km/h. He threw 102 pitches, seventy for strikes.

Source: Hanshin 5/8/2018, Daily Sports 5/9/2018

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[5/8/2018] Status of 2017 retired/senryokugaied players

Baseball Related Work

  Type Number %
NPB (62) Contract with other teams 10 49%
Ikusei contract 10
Coach contract 8
Staff/personnel contract 34
Other Leagues (24) BC League 7 19%
BF League 0
Industrial League 15
College manager/coach 0
Overseas League 2
Commentator (2) Commentator 2 2%

Non-Baseball Related Work

  Type Number %
General Employment (20) Employed 18 16%
Self-employed 2
Other (4) Different sport 1 3%
Return to school 3
Unknown (14)   14 11%

Notes

  • Information as of May 8, 2018.
  • Average of 126 players: 29.4 years of age, 8.1 years in the NPB.

Source: NPB 5/8/2018

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[5/7/2018] NPB Attendance Figures through May 6

Central League

Attendance

Teams 2018 2017
  Gm Attendance Avg/Gm Chg Gm Attendance Avg/Gm
Hiroshima 14 422,374 30,170 -1.1% 15 457,516 30,501
Hanshin 14 586,785 41,913 +2.3% 13 532,614 40,970
Yokohama 13 365,594 28,123 +2.1% 14 385,532 27,538
Yomiuri 14 559,809 39,986 +0.3% 14 558,065 39,862
Chunichi 14 425,982 30,427 +18.3% 15 385,966 25,731
Yakult 12 335,296 27,941 +1.2% 14 386,672 27,619
Totals 81 2,695,840 33,282 +4.5% 85 2,706,365 31,840

Game Times

  2018 2017
All Games 3:13 (81 games) 3:12 (483 games)
Nine Innings 3:09 (75 games) 3:06 (427 games)

Pacific League

Attendance

Teams 2018 2017
  Gm Attendance Avg/Gm Chg Gm Attendance Avg/Gm
Nippon Ham 14 407,778 29,127 -9.7% 13 419,364 32,259
Rakuten 14 327,875 23,420 -13.7% 12 325,538 27,128
Seibu 13 342,975 26,383 +21.8% 13 281,584 21,660
Lotte 15 324,469 21,631 +13.2% 13 248,506 19,116
Orix 14 305,261 21,804 -3.7% 15 339,683 22,646
Softbank 12 399,547 33,296 -1.5% 14 473,039 33,789
Totals 82 2,107,905 25,706 -1.5% 80 2,087,714 26,096

Game Times

  2018 2017
All Games 3:12 (82 games) 3:14 (483 games)
Nine Innings 3:08 (77 games) 3:10 (441 games)

Source: NPB 5/7/2018

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SEI

[5/6/2018] Yusei Kikuchi taken off active roster with tight shoulder

Yusei Kikuchi was taken off the active roster on May 6 because of tightness in his left shoulder. The condition is not new (may have originated with neck pain from sleeping wrong back in March 14) and is also not considered serious (no pain, just tightness). He will be examined at a hospital as a precaution.

Kikuchi threw 104 pitches and allowed five runs over six innings during his last start on May 4. The Seibu Lions decided to take Kikuchi off the active roster after confirming the condition of his shoulder the following day on May 5.

Source: Sponichi 5/6/2018, Nikkan Sports 5/6/2018, Sanspo 5/6/2018, Sports Hochi 5/6/2018, Daily Sports 5/6/2018

[UPDATE 5/10 @ 3:59am]

Kikuchi was examined at a hospital in Tokyo on May 8 and diagnosed with decreased functionality in his shoulder. He will spend some time strengthening his shoulder and ultimately hopes to make it back to Ichi-gun in two to three weeks.

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/9/2018, Sports Hochi 5/9/2018, Sanspo 5/9/2018

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LOT

[5/5/2018] Ikuhiro Kiyota earns domestic FA option

Thirty-two-year-old Ikuhiro Kiyota earned his domestic free agent option earlier today with seven years of service time on the active roster.

Source: Sanspo 5/5/2018, Sponichi 5/5/2018, Daily Sports 5/5/2018

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RAK

[5/5/2018] Rakuten Eagles add Yuya Kubo to seventy-man roster

The Rakuten Eagles announced today that they added Ikusei pitcher Yuya Kubo to their seventy-man roster. His uniform number will change from 091 to 91. His salary will not change (fifteen million yen).

Kubo pitched in twelve Ni-gun games this season and was 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA over 11.2 innings of work.

Source: Rakuten 5/5/2018, Sanspo 5/5/2018, Daily Sports 5/5/2018, Sponichi 5/5/2018, Nikkan Sports 5/5/2018, Sports Hochi 5/5/2018

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HAN

[5/5/2018] Hiroki Uemoto hurts leg while stealing second

Hiroki Uemoto hurt his left leg while sliding into second base during a stolen base attempt in the first inning of today’s game against the Chunichi Dragons at Koshien Stadium. He could not get up and had to be taken off the field on a stretcher. He was taken to a hospital in Amagasaki for tests.

Source: Sports Hochi 5/5/2018, Sports Hochi 5/5/2018, Daily Sports 5/5/2018, Nikkan Sports 5/5/2018, Sanspo 5/5/2018

[UPDATE 5/6 @ 11:59pm]

Uemoto was taken off the active roster today. He was examined by a team doctor at the stadium clubhouse and diagnosed with a possible anterior cruciate ligament injury. He is scheduled to undergo additional tests.

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/6/2018, Sanspo 5/6/2018, Daily Sports 5/6/2018, Sponichi 5/6/2018

[UPDATE 5/9 @ 1:19am]

The Tigers announced on May 8 that Uemoto was examined at a hospital in Osaka and diagnosed with an ACL injury. There is no timetable on his recovery.

Source: Sanspo 5/8/2018, Sponichi 5/8/2018

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YAK

[5/5/2018] Norichika Aoki leaves after taking pitch off left knee

Norichika Aoki took a pitch near his left knee while facing Daichi Osera during the first inning of today’s game against the Hiroshima Carp at Jingu Stadium. He had difficulty getting up and had to be helped off the field. He was removed from the game and taken to a hospital in Tokyo for tests (x-rays, CT scan). He was diagnosed with a bruise.

Aoki has been hit a league-high six times so far this year.

Source: Sports Hochi 5/5/2018, Daily Sports 5/5/2018, Daily Sports 5/5/2018, Sanspo 5/5/2018, Sponichi 5/5/2018, Nikkan Sports 5/5/2018

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SOF

[5/5/2018] Robert Suarez returns to Japan

Robert Suarez had Tommy John surgery in April last year and had been rehabbing in Puerto Rico. Suarez returned to Japan today and told reporters that he was at about ninety percent (he has already thrown off a mound and faced some hitters). He will begin practices at the Softbank Hawks’ farm facilities on May 6.

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/5/2018, Sanspo 5/5/2018, Sports Hochi 5/5/2018, Sponichi 5/5/2018


See also:

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NPB Standings [Full]
G W L T
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
G W L T
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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