[5/11/2016] Luis Cruz to play in rehab game on May 12

Luis Cruz (left ankle) is making good progress and is currently slated to play in rehab game at Ni-gun against Lotte on May 12. If there are no lingering issues, he could make the active roster for the Yakult series that begins on May 13.

Source: Sponichi 5/11/2016, Nikkan Sports 5/11/2016


[5/11/2016] Takahiro Norimoto’s next few starts

According to Sponichi, Takahiro Norimoto’s next few starts after May 12 could come on May 18 against Orix, May 24 against Seibu, and May 31 against Hanshin.

Source: Sponichi 5/12/2016


[5/11/2016] Jumpei Takahashi tosses batting practice

Jumpei Takahashi tossed batting practice to Kenji Akashi at the Chikugo indoor facilities on May 11. He threw forty pitches and allowed six could be hits. It was the first time he faced a hitter since September 5, 2015. He hit 145km/h on the bullpen radar gun.

Takahashi is slated to pitch in a batting practice scrimmage on May 18. If things go well after that, he could pitch in a Ni-gun game some time after May 26. 

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/11/2016, Sponichi 5/11/2016


[5/11/2016] Kyuji Fujikawa to shift to the bullpen

There was a report about Kyuji Fujikawa possibly getting a start on April 15 against Chunichi at Koshien, but more recent articles seem to indicate an assignment to the bullpen for an indefinite amount of time.

Source: Daily Sports 5/11/2016, Daily Sports 5/11/2016, Tokyo Sports 5/11/2016


[5/11/2016] Tsuyoshi Nishioka goes 0-for-3 in rehab game

Tsuyoshi Nishioka played in a rehab game at Ni-gun against Orix at Haruohama on May 11. He was the starting designated hitter and batted lead-off. He went 0-for-3: ground out to second in the first inning, ground out to second (double play) in the second inning, fly out to left in the fifth inning. He was scheduled for three plate appearances and was replaced by a pinch-hitter for his at bat in the sixth.

Nishoka is slated to play defense during his next rehab game on May 12.

Source: Daily Sports 5/11/2016, Nikkan Sports 5/11/2016, Sports Hochi 5/11/2016


[5/11/2016] Yu Sato wins first game

Yu Sato won his start against the Yokohama Bay Stars on May 10 and became the fifteenth rookie in franchise history to win his first Ichi-gun game, first since Kenshin Kawakami on April 9, 1998. Of the fifteen, Tsutomu Ina (August 16, 1953), Hiroshi Gondo (April 9, 1961), and Sato are the only ones to pick up their first victories in starts on the road.

Number of Central League Rookies that Won their First Games since 2000

Yakult Hiroshima Yomiuri Hanshin Yokohama Chunichi
5 5 3 3 3 1

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/11/2016, Sanspo 5/11/2016


[5/11/2016] Takayoshi Kawabata suffers thumb fracture

Takayoshi Kawabata left tonight’s (May 11) game against Nippon Ham at Tokyo Dome after he hurt his left hand while attempting a diving catch in the fifth inning. He was removed from the game and taken to a hospital in Tokyo where he was diagnosed with fracture in the base of his thumb metacarpal.

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/11/2016Sponichi 5/11/2016


[5/11/2016] Mamoru Kishida out with inflammation in shoulder

Mamoru Kishida was examined at a hospital in Funabashi, Chiba on May 11 and diagnosed with inflammation in his right shoulder. There is no timetable for his return.

Kishida was taken off the active roster on May 7 after he complained about pain in his shoulder.

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/11/2016


[5/11/2016] Seibu Lions employee arrested for drug possession

The Seibu Lions announced today that an employee (thirty-year-old male) was arrested by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department on April 4 and prosecuted on April 22 for violating the Cannabis Control Act. He made bail on May 6 and was questioned by team officials on May 7.

According to the Lions, cannabis was found in an international package shipped from the United States addressed to the employee and seized during a customs check at Narita Airport.

The employee joined Seibu in January this year and was in charge of broadcasts and media. Team president Hajime Igo offered a public apology during a press conference today. Director Mitsuo Iida added that they were going to deal with the matter strictly and according to company regulations.

Source: Sponichi 5/11/2016, Nikkan Sports 5/11/2016


[5/11/2016] Sky Perfect Sayonara Award for March/April

Central League

Shota Sugiyama, Chunichi (First Time)

April 16 vs Hanshin at Nagoya Dome. Bottom of the 9th down 3-2 with the bases loaded and one out. Sugiyama recorded a walk-off double to center. The offense was held scoreless over the first seven innings of the game. They managed to plate two runs in the eighth. He swung at the first pitch he saw and picked up the first walk-off hit of his career.

Pacific League

Yuki Yoshimura, Softbank (First Time)

April 17 vs Rakuten at YafuOku Dome. Bottom of the 12th inning with the score tied at seven and a runner on first and no out. Yoshimura blasted a walk-off two-run home run to left-center. He also hit a three-run home run to tie the game in the 9th.

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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