[4/26/2016] Taishi Ota taken off active roster with the flu

Taishi Ota was diagnosed with influenza B and was taken off the active roster. Ota traveled with the team to Kobe on April 25 for the Hanshin series, but developed a fever today and was examined at a hospital in Ashiya, Hyogo.

Source: Sponichi 4/26/2016, Daily Sports 4/26/2016


[4/26/2016] Taiki Sekine records a hit in rehab game

Taiki Sekine dislocated his right shoulder when he attempted to steal second during an exhibition game against Hiroshima on March 13. He played in his first rehab game at Ni-gun today against the Futures. Sekine recorded a single to left in the fifth inning.

Source: Sanspo 4/26/2016


[4/26/2016] Takayuki Kajitani plays in first rehab game

Takayuki Kajitani (left side) played in his first rehab game at Ni-gun on April 26. He got the start in center and batted third against the Futures. He recorded a single through the left side in first inning and popped out to short in the third. His day ended after the inning. He did not have any fielding opportunities.

Kajitani tried to swing the bat at 100 percent, but later realized he was swinging at seventy to eighty percent. He is not worried about the injury anymore, but something might still be holding him back.

Source: Sanspo 4/26/2016


[4/26/2016] Possible Orix starters for the next two series

Possible Orix starters for the next two upcoming series:

Softbank at Kyocera Dome (April 26-27)

  • Brandon Dickson
  • Daiki Tomei

Rakuten at Kyocera Dome (April 29-May 1)

  • Takahiro Matsuba
  • Chihiro Kaneko
  • Yuki Nishi

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/26/2016


[4/26/2016] Possible starters for Yomiuri-Hanshin series

Possible starters for the Yomiuri-Hanshin series at Koshien Stadium (April 26-28):

  • Hayato Takagi (YOM) – Shintaro Fujinami (HAN)
  • Kazuto Taguchi (YOM) – Minoru Iwata (HAN)
  • Tomoyuki Sugano (YOM) – Randy Messenger (HAN)

Source: Sanspo 4/26/2016


Takahiro Arai: Countdown to 2,000 hits

Takahiro Arai became the forty-seventh player in NPB history to reach the 2,000 hit milestone on April 26. The defining moment came in the top of the third against the Yakult Swallows with Yoshihisa Naruse on the mound. Arai hit an 1-0 pitch for an RBI double to left.

Some interesting facts about the milestone:

  • Arai is the seventh player to reach 2,000 hits at Jingu Stadium. The other six: Shigeo Nagashima, Isao Shibata, Kazuhiro Kiyohara, Shinya Miyamoto, Motonobu Tanishige, and Alex Ramirez.
  • Arai is the fifth player in Carp history to reach 2,000 hits. The other four: Sachio Kinugasa, Koji Yamamoto, Kenjiro Nomura, Tomonori Maeda.
  • Arai recorded his 2,000th hit in his 2,112nd game. Only seven other players required more games. Of the twenty-two players out of college or the Industrial League that reached the milestone, Arai required the most number of games (the previous record was Hiromasa Arai’s 2,027 games).
  • At thirty-nine years and two months, Arai is the fifteenth oldest player to record 2,000 hits.
  • Arai’s .277 batting average is thirty-fourth on the list.
  • Arai was selected in the sixth round out of college. Only one other player was selected in the sixth or later round of the draft: Yutaka Fukumoto in the seventh round out of the Industrial League (no college). Arai is the first to be selected in the sixth round or later out of college. (Thirty players have reached 2,000 hits since the draft was introduced. Breakdown: seven from the first round, eight from the second round, seven from the third round, four from the fourth round, one from the sixth round, one from the seventh round, and two outside of the draft.)
  • Arai and Hiroki Kokubo (Daiei, Yomiuri, Softbank) are the only players to reach the milestone after leaving and returning to their first team.
  • Arai (1,530) joined Kiyohara (1,740), Tanishige (1,738), Norihiro Nakamura (1,629), and Koji Akiyama (1,607) as the only players to reach 2,000 hits with 1,500 or more strikeouts (at the time they reached the milestone).
  • Arai (1,163) joined Nagashima (2,172), Nakamura (1,971), Michiyo Arito (1,774), and Kinugasa (1,638) as the only players to reach 2,000 hits while playing in at least 1,000 games as a third baseman.
  • TV Ratings for the game (Chugoku Hoso) in Hiroshima was 26.6%. At the moment Arai recorded his 2,000th hit: 20.6%.

Source: Daily Sports 4/26/2016, Sponichi 4/26/2016, Sponichi 4/26/2016, Nikkan Sports 4/26/2016

Youtube videos of the hit: one, two (since these are not official, they can be taken down at any moment)



[4/26/2016] Yokohama unable to finalize deal with Matt McBride

The Yokohama Bay Stars are interested in thirty-year-old Matt McBride. The two sides could be close to finalizing a deal. If negotiations go smoothly, there is a chance he could join the team before the end of the month. The Bay Stars are most likely looking at McBride primarily as a right fielder.

Source: Sponichi 4/26/2016, Nikkan Sports 4/26/2016, Sanspo 4/26/2016

[UPDATE 4/28 @ 8:42pm]

The Bay Stars were unable to finalize a deal with McBride because he was called up by the Oakland Athletics.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/26/2016, Sports Hochi 4/26/2016



[4/26/2016] Kazuo Matsui could be used as a reliever

The Rakuten Eagles could look to Kazuo Matsui as an emergency reliever.

Four of Rakuten’s last six games have gone into extra innings. The bullpen is overworked and Matsui could end up pitching if they run out of arms. The veteran is prepared to do what he can to help the team.

Masataka Nashida started thinking about using Matsui as an emergency reliever during an extra inning game on April 23 against the Seibu Lions at Seibu Prince Dome. Eight pitchers were available and he called on the eighth pitcher in the twelfth inning. Nashida told Matsui he might have to take the mound if the eighth pitcher was unable to make it out of the inning.

Source: Sponichi 4/26/2016


[4/26/2016] Tomoyuki Sugano not expected to miss next start

Tomoyuki Sugano popped a blister on his right middle finger during his last start on April 22 against Yokohama at Tokyo Dome. He is not expected to miss his next start on April 28 against Hanshin at Koshien.

Yoshinobu Takahashi is planning to make a final decision once the team is in Osaka.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/25/2016, Sponichi 4/26/2016


[4/25/2016] Dayan Viciedo powering Chunichi offense

Dayan Viciedo got off to a torrid start this year: he hit home runs in the first three games of the season and recorded at last one hit in his first nine games (16-for-33). He cooled down a bit after that, but is currently in the middle of a six-game hitting streak in which he is 9-for-22 with three doubles, three home runs, four walks, and 11 RBI.

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!