[5/13/2016] Shinnosuke Abe could be ready for Inter-league play

Shinnosuke Abe (right shoulder) has been steadily improving and could be ready for the start of Inter-league play.

Abe’s workouts at Giants Stadium on May 12 included long distance throwing with Toshiya Sugiuchi, catching Kan Otake in the bullpen, and batting practice. Assuming no problems, he might be ready for some playing time as a designated hitter in an upcoming Ni-gun Lotte series that begins on May 17. It would be his first Ni-gun game since April 15.

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/13/2016


[5/13/2016] Kenta Kurihara plays in first game in about two months

Kenta Kurihara suffered a strain in his right calf before opening day. He played in his first game in about two months on May 12.

Kurihara was the starting designated hitter and batted fifth against Ni-gun Yokohama. In two trips to the plate, he flied out to short and lined out to short. He told reporters he was able to put a good swing on the ball when he lined out to short in his second at bat and that he was able to make adjustments during the at bat that helped him regain his timing (he was late on the first two pitches).

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/13/2016


[5/13/2016] Yudai Ono tosses batting practice

Yudai Ono (left elbow) tossed batting practice at Nagoya Stadium earlier today. He faced Takuya Kinoshita and Ryota Ishioka. He threw sixty pitches and added sliders and two-seamers partway through the session. He also broke two bats.

Ono told reporters he was satisfied with the outing because he was able to throw strikes and that he felt no pain. He is slated to pitch in a Ni-gun rehab game on May 21.

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/13/2016


[5/13/2016] Shohei Otani the hitter to sit out Seibu series

Hideki Kuriyama does not plan on using Shohei Otani as a hitter during the Seibu series that begins tonight at Sapporo Dome because he wants the pitcher to focus on winning his next start on May 15. Kuriyama is not as concerned about Otani’s bat, as he is about Otani continuing his development as a pitcher.

Source: Sponichi 5/13/2016, Nikkan Sports 5/13/2016


[5/13/2016] Part of why Jonny Gomes may have left Rakuten

Nikkan Sports picked up a FoxSports article quoting Jonny Gomes about his time with the Rakuten Eagles.

“I hated not being able to talk to all my teammates because of the language,” Gomes said. “I would just sit in front of my locker solo and sit in the dugout and couldn’t talk.

“The earthquake also was scary — if something happened, I couldn’t communicate. Everything else was awesome. Great team, city, food, all of the above.”

Source: Fox Sports 5/10/2016 via Nikkan Sports 5/13/2016


[5/13/2016] Orix Buffaloes sign Matt Clark

According to a number of media reports, the Orix Buffaloes have finalized a contract with twenty-nine-year-old infielder Matt Clark. He has already passed his physical and an announcement is expected soon.

Back in November, Clark tweeted that he was a free agent interested in returning to Japan. He also sent the message to the Softbank Hawks, Orix Buffaloes, and Chunichi Dragons.

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/13/2016, Daily Sports 5/13/2016, Sponichi 5/13/2016

[UPDATE 5/16 @ 9:16am]

The Buffaloes may have unofficially asked Clark to refrain from posting tweets that referred to his contract with the team. Orix has yet to make an official announcement about their agreement.

Source: Sponichi 5/16/2016

[UPDATE 5/17 @ 4:00pm]

The Buffaloes announced that they reached an agreement with Clark. A press conference is scheduled for May 19. He has been assigned the uniform number 44.

Source: Daily Sports 5/17/2016

[UPDATE 5/19 @ 7:16am]

The Buffaloes posted an announcement at their website on May 18 about the signing.

Source: Orix announcement

[UPDATE @ 5/19 @ 10:45pm]

The Buffaloes held a press conference for Clark earlier today. According to media reports, the two sides agreed to a one-year deal worth an estimated thirty million yen plus incentives.

Source: Orix announcement, Tokyo Sports 5/19/2016


[5/12/2016] Hiroki Kuroda resumes playing catch

Hiroki Kuroda worked out at Mazda Stadium on May 12. He ran short dashes before he played some catch and maxed out the distance at about thirty meters. It was the first time he threw the ball since his last outing on May 7 against Yokohama at Mazda Stadium.

Kuroda’s day also included running (stairs, along the outfield fence) and time in the weight room.

Source: Nikkan Spots 5/12/2016


[5/12/2016] Luis Cruz plays in first rehab game

Luis Cruz (left ankle) played in his first rehab game at Ni-gun on May 12. He started at second and batted third against Lotte at Lotte Urawa. He went 0-for-3.

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/12/2016


[5/12/2016] Tsuyoshi Nishioka plays defense in rehab game

Tsuyoshi Nishioka played defense in a Ni-gun rehab game on May 12 for the first time since he was taken off the active roster with pain in his left hamstring. He got the start at second and batted lead-off against Orix. He did not record any hits (0-for-3), but did drive in a run when he grounded out to short with the bases loaded and one out in the fourth. He also stole a base. Nishioka told reporters he could field and hit without any problems (he handled three chances in the game without any problems).

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/12/2016, Sponichi 5/13/2016


[5/12/2016] Kazuya Takamiya has strain in right side

The Tigers announced today that Kazuya Takamiya was diagnosed with strain in his right side on May 11.

Source: Daily Sports 5/12/2016

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
Don't forget to check these out!