[4/12/2016] Shohei Otani could get a chance to bat for himself when he pitches

Hideki Kuriyama is thinking about letting Shohei Otani bat for himself when he pitches. Injuries to Dai-Kang Yoh and Kenshi Sugiya could force the decision, especially if the offense continues to sputter when he pitches. But there are concerns about losing the designated hitter from the start of the game. Otani has batted for himself in five games in the past, but only where there was no DH..

Date Slot Hitting Pitching Score Opponent Venue
2013/06/18 Fifth 1-for-3, 1 BB, 1 RBI ND, 4.0 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 4 SO, 3 ER 7-4, W Hiroshima Mazda
2014/05/20 Seventh 0-for-3 ND, 5.0+, 5 H, 2 BB, 3 SO, 5 ER 7-5, W Chunichi Sapporo Dome
2014/06/04 Seventh 1-for-2, 1 SO W, 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 BB, 10 SO, 1 ER 6-2, W Hiroshima Sapporo Dome
2014/06/11 Seventh 0-for-2, 1 SO ND, 6.1 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 SO, 1 ER 2-1, L Yomiuri Sapporo Dome
2015/06/06 Seventh 0-for-3, 3 SO L, 7.0 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 11 SO, 1 ER 1-0, L Hanshin Koshien

Note: in 2014, the DH-rule applied to games in the Central League during Inter-league play.

Since the Pacific League added the DH-rule in 1975, there have been four games where pitchers batted for themselves.

Date Team Slot Player Name AB H RBI Score Opponent Venue
1987/10/20 Seibu Ninth Matsunuma, Hirohisa 0 0 0 7-4, W Lotte Seibu
1990/10/11 Seibu Ninth Kudo, Kimiyasu 0 0 0 10-4, W Kintetsu Seibu
1992/10/10 Seibu Ninth Watanabe, Hisanobu 1 1 0 1-0, W Nippon Ham Seibu
1998/10/10 Seibu Ninth Nishiguchi, Fumiya 2 0 0 2-4, L Lotte Seibu Dome

Source: Sanspo 4/12/2016, Sponichi 4/12/2016, Sponichi 4/12/2016, Sports Hochi 4/12/2016, Daily Sports 4/12/2016


[4/12/2016] Buffaloes to call up two of five pitchers in Ni-gun rotation

The Ni-gun Buffaloes have gone with a starting rotation of Kazumasa Yoshida, Sachiya Yamasaki, Koki Saito, Yu Suzuki, and Daiki Aoyama so far this season. The Ichi-gun Buffaloes are planning to call up Yoshida and Yamasaki. They want Yoshida to help bolster the bullpen and Yamasaki for a start against Nippon Ham at Kyocera Dome on April 14.

The Ni-gun team, just like the Ichi-gun team, has been struggling (4-13-1). They will have to overcome a six-game stretch that begins today without two starters.

Source: Sports Hochi 4/12/2016


[4/12/2016] Ryosuke Hirata could be ready to return on April 15

Ryosuke Hirata (left hip) told reporters he was feeling better on April 11. He is now able to run at full speed. He is expected to begin preparations for Ichi-gun by playing in a rehab game at Ni-gun today. He could return to the active roster in time for a Hanshin game on April 15.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/12/2016


[4/12/2016] Ryoichi Adachi set to join Ichi-gun team today

Ryoichi Adachi is set to join the Ichi-gun team today. He could also make the starting line-up against Nippon Ham.

Adachi was hospitalized with ulcerative colitis on January 22. He was released from the hospital and began a rehab program on February 10. He played in his first rehab game at Ni-gun on April 2 and played full games on April 8 and 9. He started preparing for the active roster on April 10.

There are still concerns about his condition for night games — he is still not sure how his body will react and he is still working out how to prepare himself. If he is feeling fine, he could make the starting line-up tonight.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/12/2016


Conditioning Notes for Yuki Matsui

Yuki Matsui was slowed by left shoulder tightness during spring camp this year. He recently told reporters that his fastball was lacking polish because he was unable to do enough throwing before the start of the season.

Matsui has had to change his approach to make up for the difference. He has been throwing more sliders than change-ups because he feels there is not enough of a difference between his fastball and change-up. He is also throwing more cutters as well, a pitch he started using in September last year.

Matsui is hoping to be at 100 percent by the summer.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/12/2016


[4/12/2/2016] Yakult starters for Yomiuri Series

Possible Yakult starters for the Yomiuri series that begins today:

  • April 12 – Yoshihisa Naruse
  • April 13 – Shohei Tateyama
  • April 14 – Yasuhiro Ogawa

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/12/2016


[4/11/2016] Yamaico Navarro set to make Ni-gun debut on April 12

Yamaico Navarro is set to make his official NPB debut in a Ni-gun Lotte game against Yomiuri at Lotte Urawa Stadium on April 12. Navarro told reporters he looked forward to playing and seeing live pitches. He also said he wanted to thank everyone that supported him by helping the team win.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/11/2016

[UPDATE 4/12 @ 2:55pm]

Navarro got the start at second and batted third against Ni-gun Yomiuri.

First at bat: first inning, none on, two out, single to left off Kan Otake
Second at bat: fourth inning, runner on first, no out, walk, off Kan Otake
Third at bat: fifth inning, runner on third, two out, fly out to center off Kan Otake

His day ended after his at bat in the fifth inning.

Source: Daily Sports 4/12/2016, Tokyo Sports 4/12/2016


[4/11/2016] Iguchi homers in twentieth consecutive season

Tadahito Iguchi hit his first home run of the season on April 10. He has hit at least one home run every season since his rookie year, including his time in the MLB. He joined Ichiro Suzuki (1993-2015, twenty-three years) and Hideki Matsui (1993-2012, twenty years) as the only players that spent time in both the NPB and MLB to hit a home run in at least twenty consecutive seasons. Iguchi and Matsui began their streaks in their first year.

Iguchi is the seventeenth player in NPB history to hit at least one home run in twenty or more consecutive seasons. He joined Tadashi Wakayabashi (two at forty-two years in 1950) and Katsuya Nomura (three at forty-three years in 1978) as the only players in franchise history to hit a home run in the year they turned forty-two or older.

Source: Sanspo 4/11/2016


[4/11/2016] Mogi Eigoro drives in lone run in 1-0 win

The Rakuten Eagles beat the Nippon Ham Fighters 1-0 at kobo Stadium on April 10. Mogi Eigoro drove in the lone run of the game. He joined Takero Okajima (August 26, 2012 against Nippon Ham) as the only players in franchise history to drive in the lone run in a 1-0 victory during their rookie year.

Source: Sponichi 4/11/2016


[4/11/2016] Fujikawa made first appearance at Koshien Stadium since 2012

Kyuji Fujikawa started a game against Hiroshima on April 10. It was his first game at Koshien Stadium since September 13, 2012 against Yakult and his first game as a starter since October 6, 2002 against Yakult.

Fujikawa took the loss on April 10. He is now 0-4 in six starts at Koshien Stadium over his career. He also gave up seven runs in the game and set a new career high. His previous high was five, set on August 11, 2002 against Chunichi at Nagoya Dome and October 6, 2002 against Yakult at Koshien Stadium.

Source: Sponichi 4/11/2016, Nikkan Sports 4/11/2016, Sanspo 4/11/2016

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
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