[4/2/2016] Louis Okoye to get the start in center on April 3

First round draft pick Louis Okoye is slated to get the start in center field against Seibu at kobo Stadium on April 3. It will be his first starting assignment at Ichi-gun.

Source: Daily Sports 4/2/2016


[4/2/2016] Dennis Sarfate’s April Fool’s Day prank

Dennis Sarfate surprised his teammates when he announced during a pre-game pitcher’s meeting on April 1 that he suddenly had to return to the United States for a month. Yuito Mori, a close teammate, got a little misty-eyed by the announcement. When he found out it was an April Fools prank, he shrugged off the tears and said he was tricked and that the team would have had a tough time winning without Sarfate in the bullpen for a month.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/2/2016


[4/2/2016] Hosoya ties PL record with triples in three consecutive games

Kei Hosoya tied a Pacific League record earlier today with a triple in his third straight game. He is the twelfth player in NPB history, seventh player in PL history, and fourth player in franchise history to tie the record. The last player to tie the record before Hosoya was Daichi Suzuki in 2013. The NPB record of four was set by Shigeo Nagashima in 1960.

Pacific League

Year Name JPN Name ENG
1954 蔭山 和夫 Kageyama, Kazuo
1955 三宅 宅三 Miyake, Takuzo
1958 本屋敷 錦吾 Motoyashiki, Kengo
1993 浜名 千広 Hamana, Chihiro
2007 早川 大輔 Hayakawa, Daisuke
2013 鈴木 大地 Suzuki, Daichi
2016 細谷 圭 Hosoya, Kei

Source: Sponichi 4/2/2016, Sponichi 4/3/2016, Nikkan Sports 4/3/2016


[4/1/2016] Otani gives up a run at a rural stadium

Shohei Otani was 4-0 with a 0.00 ERA in four starts and 31.0 innings at rural stadiums over his career (through March 31). The scoreless innings steak ended at thirty-six on April 1.

Rural Stadium Appearances

Date Opponent Stadium G Desc IP BF NP H HR SO BB HBP R ER
2013/08/18 Softbank Obihiro RP 1.0 4 25 1 0 1 0 0 0 0
2014/05/13 Seibu Hakodate SP W 9.0 34 126 6 0 9 3 0 0 0
2014/07/16 Seibu Asahikawa SP W 5.0 22 93 3 0 6 4 0 0 0
2015/04/12 Softbank Kumamoto SP W 7.0 26 111 2 0 9 3 1 0 0
2015/06/24 Lotte Asahikawa SP W 9.0 31 127 3 0 11 2 0 0 0
2016/04/01 Softbank Shizuoka SP 6.0 27 105 5 0 6 3 2 1 1

Incidentally, heading into the start on April 1, Otani was 3-4 with a 4.74 ERA in thirteen games against the Hawks over his career.

Source: Daily Sports 4/1/2016, Daily Sports 4/2/2016, Nikkan Sports 4/1/2016, Sponichi 4/1/2016


[4/1/2016] 17th High School Girl’s Baseball Tournament The Invitational

Saitama Sakae High School blanked Komazawa Gakuen Girl’s High School 2-0 in the finals game of the 17th High School Girl’s Baseball Tournament The Invitational on April 1.

Saitama Sakae won the tournament for the sixth time, first in four years.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/1/2016, Tournament Website


[4/1/2016] Masataka Yoshida extended hitting streak to six games

First round draft pick Masataka Yoshida extended his hitting streak to six games from the start of the season and tied the rookie record set by Tatsunori Hara in 1981 and Tomoaki Sato in 2001.

Source: Daily Sports 4/1/2016

[UPDATE 4/2 @ 4:09pm]

Hara, Sato, and Yoshida hold the record for hitting streaks by a rookie from the start of the season since the introduction of the draft system in 1966. Shuzo Aono recorded a hit in eight straight from the start of the season in 1962.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/2/2016

[UPDATE 4/2 @ 7:05pm]

Yoshida’s streak came to an end on April 2. He went 0-for-2 with two walks against Lotte.

Source: Daily Sports 4/2/2016


[4/1/2016] Toshiki Sakurai has discomfort in right elbow

Toshiki Sakurai was taken off the active roster on March 31 with discomfort in his right elbow.

Source: Chunichi Sports 4/1/2016


[4/1/2016] Rakuten Eagles introduce a new mascot

The Rakuten Eagles introduced a new mascot named Switch earlier today. The mascot was born in California on July 4, 2005. He agreed to a contract worth an estimated 1,776 US dollars. A complete profile (in Japanese) can be found at the link below.

Source: Rakuten announcement 4/1/2016

[UPDATE 4/1 @ 20:43]

A little backstory: The Eagles issued a statement to the media that said they were going to announce the addition of a new foreigner. They made it seem like they were going to introduce a new player, but instead brought in Switch. The press conference, and everything leading up to it, was an April Fools prank, but the addition itself is real.

Source: Sponichi 4/1/2016, Daily Sports 4/1/2016


[4/1/2016] Balentien goes 0-for-2 in rehab game

Wladimir Balentien (left side) played in a rehab game at Ni-gun on April 1. He got the start in left and batted third against Nippon Ham. He went 0-for-2 with a walk and left after five innings.

Source: Sports Hochi 4/1/2016

[UPDATE 4/2 @ 7:32am]

Balentien went 0-for-2: G6, BB, G6dp. He could be called up after one more game.

Source: Sanspo 4/2/2016


Injury Notes for Kento Kumabara

Kento Kumabara was hoping to make the opening day starting rotation before the start of the season, but was twice hampered by discomfort in his right side in March.

Source: Sports Hochi 4/1/2016