[5/20/2016] Brandon Laird hit home runs in consecutive trips to the plate on May 19

Brandon Laird recorded the third two-homer game of his NPB career during a game against the Softbank Hawks on May 19. The home runs came in consecutive trips to the plate.



[5/20/2016] Rakuten Eagles to field a third team

The media learned on May 19 that the Rakuten Eagles are planning to put together a third team, separate from Ichi-gun and Ni-gun, made up mostly of young players (Ni-gun, Ikusei) that stay back at the Izumi training facilities in Sendai.

The new team is scheduled to play about thirty games a year against university, Industrial League, Independent League, and various club teams. Most of the games will take place at the main field located at the Izumi training facilities.

Source: Sanspo 5/20/2016, Sponichi 5/20/2016

[UPDATE @ 7:32pm]

The Eagles posted an official announcement about their new Ikusei team.

  • the season will begin on May 24 (Tuesday)
  • the team will play about thirty games against university, Industrial League, club, and Independent League teams
  • most games will be played at the main field located at the Izumi training facilities
  • games will not be open to the public
  • the schedule will be released as it becomes available
  • this is not a San-gun team

Source: Rakuten announcement


[5/20/2016] Yakult Swallows interested in Jae-Hoon Ha

The Yakult Swallows are interested in twenty-five-year-old outfielder Jae-Hoon Ha. If discussions go well, they might be able to make an announcement about an agreement within the next few days.

Ha is currently playing for the Tokushima Indigo Socks out of the Shikoku Island League. He is hitting .370 batting average (34-for-92) with five home runs and seventeen RBI in twenty-four games (through May 19). He also has five stolen bases and has crossed the plate twenty-four times. Before joining Tokushima this year, he spent seven years in the Chicago Cubs organization.

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/20/2016


[5/18/2016] Daisuke Matsuzaka resumes playing catch

Daisuke Matsuzaka (right shoulder, right hand) resumed playing catch on May 18. He threw the ball around at the indoor Chikugo facilities for about fifteen minutes at a distance of twenty-five meters. He was deliberate with his throws.

Source: Tokyo Sports 5/19/2016


[5/19/2016] Matt Hague swaps spots on the active roster with Rafael Dolis

Matt Hague returned to the active roster today. He went 22-for-52 with a slash line of .423/.508/.538 in fifteen Ni-gun games.

Rafael Dolis was available to pitch on May 18, but did not because he was not feeling well (no other specifics have been mentioned). He was taken off the active roster today.

Source: Sanspo 5/19/2016, Sanspo 5/19/2016

[UPDATE @ 11:02pm]

Tomoaki Kanemoto told reporters Dolis was taken off the active roster for rest due to a heavy workload. Pitching coach Isao Koda said it was just part of a regular roster move, but also said he could not completely rule out a right shoulder or elbow issue.

Source: Daily Sports 5/19/2016


[5/19/2016] Motohiro Shima could be out until July

The Rakuten Eagles announced today that Motohiro Shima was examined at a hospital in Sendai on May 18 and diagnosed with fractures in the pisiform and triquetral bones in his left hand. He could require over a month for a full recovery.

Source: Sponichi 5/19/2016, Sports Hochi 5/19/2016


[5/18/2016] Youth baseball manager forced players to catch balls with bare hands

A Muya Sports Youth Baseball Division manager in his forties instructed elementary-school-aged players to catch balls with their bare hands. One fifth-year elementary-school-aged player suffered a ruptured tendon during the drill.

According to the Naruto, Tokushima Board of Education, the manager was upset because players could not catch fly balls hit to the outfield during practices on May 5. He instructed the players to catch the balls with their bare hands since they were not going to use their gloves. One player attempted to catch a ball and suffered a ruptured tendon in his left middle finger. His parents contacted the Board and reported the incident.

The team is currently made up of nine second-year to sixth-year elementary-school-aged boys and girls. The manager had over ten years of experience as a volunteer coach. He was also said to have thrown baseballs at players as punishment. When questioned about the incident, he said he went too far and apologized.

Source: Sanspo 5/18/2016


[5/18/2016] Jumpei Takahashi pitches in scrimmage

Jumpei Takahashi (left shin) pitched in a batting practice scrimmage at Chikugo on May 18. He faced Kenji Akashi (rehabbing right shoulder) and threw fifty pitches, including some off-speed pitches. He allowed one could-be hit and walked two.

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/18/2016


[5/18/2016] Ryuma Kidokoro prepares for emergency catcher role

Ryuma Kidokoro added catcher practices to his workouts on May 18. The Softbank Hawks switched to two catchers on the active roster on May 12. Kimiyasu Kudo asked Kidokoro during a Nippon Ham game on May 17 if he could catch in an emergency. The outfield did a little catching when he was in elementary/junior high school.

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/18/2016, Sponichi 5/18/2016


[5/18/2016] Masataka Nashida fined for ejection

Masataka Nashida was given a stern warning and fined 50,000 yen for his ejection due to delay of game on May 17.

With a runner on second and two out in the sixth inning against Orix on May 17, Kazuya Fujita hit a grounder to short and was called out at first base for the final out of the inning. Nashida felt first baseman Brent Morel’s foot came off the bag when he stretched out to catch the throw from Ryoichi Adachi.

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/18/2016


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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