[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


[4/1/2016] Marcos Mateo to get two days off after throwing sixty-one pitches

Marcos Mateo threw sixty-one pitches during a three inning stint in relief against Yakult on March 31. He will most likely get two days of rest.

The last Hanshin closer to toss three innings in a regular season game was Kyuji Fujikawa on July 30, 2006.

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


[4/1/2016] Buffaloes meet Yoshio Itoi

Team official Ryuzo Setoyama told reporters that they spoke to Yoshio Itoi before a Nippon Ham game at Sapporo Dome on March 29. They congratulated him on his FA option, but did not get into specifics about his status after the season.

Source: Sponichi 4/1/2016


[4/1/2016] Shuhei Takahashi blasts second grand slam

Shuhei Takahashi has hit two grand slams in his career:

  • August 1, 2013 against Hanshin at Koshien
  • March 31, 2016 against Hiroshima at Nagoya Dome

Source: Sponichi 4/1/2016


[4/1/2016] Spring Koshien attracts 500,000

The Spring Koshien committee announced on March 31 that the total attendance for the this year’s tournament was 529,000. Attendance topped 500,000 for the first time in eight years. This year’s total is second most in tournament history since 1989.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/31/2016


Spring Tournament Cheer Awards

  • Grand Prize – Shodoshima
  • Outstanding Performance – Kamaishi
  • Outstanding Performance – Joso Gakuin
  • Outstanding Performance – Kisarazu Sogo
  • Outstanding Performance – Osaka Toin
  • Outstanding Performance – Shugakukan

Source: Sponichi 3/31/2016


[4/1/2016] Samurai Japan: BFA Asian 18U Baseball Championship Preliminary Roster

Pos Name JPN Name ENG High School JPN High School ENG Year
P 鈴木 昭汰 Suzuki, Shota 常総学院 Joso Gakuin 3
P 高橋 昂也 Takahashi, Koya 花咲徳栄 Hanasaki Tokuharu 3
P 早川 隆久 Hayakawa, Takahisa 木更津総合 Kisarazu Sogo 3
P 山﨑 颯一郎 Yamazaki, Soichiro 敦賀気比 Tsuruga Kehi 3
P 藤嶋 健人 Fujishima, Kento 東邦 Toho 3
P 市岡 奏馬 Ichioka, Soma 龍谷大平安 RyukokuDai Heian 3
P 村上 頌樹 Murakami, Shoki 智辯学園 Chiben Gakuen 3
P 吉高 壯 Yoshitaka, So 明石商業 Akashi Shogyo 3
P 髙田 萌生 Takata, Hosei 創志学園 Soshi Gakuen 3
C 大澤 翔 Osawa, Sho 木更津総合 Kisarazu Sogo 3
C 古賀 優大 Koga, Yudai 明徳義塾 Meitoku Gijuku 3
C 九鬼 隆平 Kuki, Ryuhei 秀岳館 Shugakukan 3
INF 綿屋 樹 Wataya, Itsuki 鹿児島実業 Kagoshima Jitsugyo 3
INF 美濃 晃成 Mino, Kosei 高松商業 Takamatsu Shogyo 3
INF 堀江 航平 Horie, Kohei 秀岳館 Shugakukan 3
INF 吉沢 一翔 Yoshizawa, Kazuto 大阪桐蔭 Osaka Toin 3
INF 林中 勇輝 Hayashinaka, Yuki 敦賀気比 Tsuruga Kehi 3
INF 米麦 圭造 Yonebaku, Keizo 高松商業 Takamatsu Shogyo 3
INF 松尾 大河 Matsuo, Taiga 秀岳館 Shugakukan 3
OF 岡田 悠希 Okada, Yuki 龍谷大平安 RyukokuDai Heian 2
OF 安西 翼 Anzai, Tsubasa 高松商業 Takamatsu Shogyo 3
OF 福元 悠真 Fukumoto, Yuma 智辯学園 Chiben Gakuen 2

Source: Samurai Japan announcement 3/31/2016


[4/1/2016] Rakuten to auction off Okoye’s first stolen base

The media learned on March 31 that the Rakuten Eagles are planning to auction off first round draft pick Louis Okoye’s first stole bases (March 26, against Softbank at kobo Stadium). The auction will begin at 9:00pm on April 3. Proceeds will go towards Rakuten’s Tohoku Smile Project.

Source: Sanspo 4/1/2016

[UPDATE 4/12 @ 11:59am]

Okoye’s base received 151 bids and was auctioned off for 216,120 yen.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/12/2016, Auction Listing

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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