[4/8/2016] NPB giving players a chance to come clean

The NPB has decided to temporarily ease up on their punishments for players and staff that may have gambled on baseball in the past, so long as they step forward and disclose their incidents between April 6 and 25.

Players and staff that are caught gambling on baseball are either banned for life (Article 177, if they bet on their own games) or suspended from a year up to an undetermined amount of time (Article 180, if they bet on games other than their own). The NPB’s decision to temporarily ease up on punishments will only affect players/staff that may have bet on games other than their own and could potentially keep suspensions to one year if they come clean, cooperate, and show remorse.

The league and all twelve teams have set up a support hotline for players and staff to use. They will be accepting anonymous requests for support. Names of players/staff that admit to gambling on baseball will not be disclosed until the investigation committee is ready to release its report.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/4/2016, Nikkan Sports 4/5/2016Sponichi 4/4/2016, Sponichi 4/5/2016Daily Sports 4/5/2016, Daily Sports 4/6/2016

As of April 4, the NPB has not yet been able to sit down with Shoki Kasahara because they have not been able to agree to terms for their meeting. Kasahara has asked the NPB to provide him with a list of questions they might ask him and the NPB wants full assurance that the list will not be leaked to the public. The NPB has not been able to get a firm commitment from him.

Source: Sponichi 4/4/2016


[4/8/2016] Ishikawa and Yamaguchi set to rejoin the Ichi-gun team today

Takehiro Ishikawa (right elbow) is set to join the Ichi-gun team today.

Shun Yamaguchi (right ankle) will also join the Ichi-gun team today, ahead of his first Ichi-gun start on April 9 against Yakult.

The Bay Stars are expected to start Shoichi Ino, Yamaguchi, and Kenta Ishida during the Yakult series that begins today. Yasutomo Kubo’s next start will most likely be pushed back from April 9 to April 12 against Hanshin.

Source: Sports Hochi 4/8/2016


[4/8/2016] Tadashi Settsu will be taken off the active roster

Tadashi Settsu has struggled in his three starts so far this season. On April 7, he started a game that the Hawks ended up losing 17-8. It marked the first time the team gave up seventeen runs in a game since July 19, 2002. It also marked the first time the team fell three games under 500 since July 24, 2013. Settsu will be taken off the active roster for a tune-up.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/8/2016, Nikkan Sports 4/8/2016

03/25 RAK L 3.0 21 7 0 5 0 0 0 0 6 5 15.00 15.00 0.00 4.00
04/01 HAM 7.0 29 5 1 2 1 5 0 0 3 3 7.20 6.30 4.50 1.90
04/07 LOT L 4.1 21 7 1 2 0 2 0 0 7 7 9.42 5.65 4.40 1.95

[4/8/2016] Shohei Otani’s next start could come on April 10

Shohei Otani’s next start will most likely be pushed back a day to April 10. He twisted both his ankles while running the bases in a game against Seibu on April 6.

Otani’s next start was already pushed back because of a blister on a right finger, but the extra day would give him more time prepare and heal. The Fighters also have an opening on April 10: Kohei Arihara will miss the start because of a back strain.

Takayuki Kato could get Otani’s start on April 9.

Source: Sponichi 4/8/2016, Nikkan Sports 4/8/2016, Daily Sports 4/8/2016

[UPDATE 8:14pm]

Otani threw forty-eight pitches in the bullpen on April 8. He did not appear to have any difficultly moving around. He is expected to make his next start on April 10 against Rakuten.

Source: Tokyo Sports 4/8/2016, Daily Sports 4/8/2016


[4/8/2016] Hayato Sakamoto leaves after tweaking leg

Hayato Sakamoto tweaked his leg while running to first on a single to right in the sixth inning of last night’s game against Hanshin. He motioned to the dugout after getting to first and was replaced by a pinch-runner. His condition does not appear to be serious. He is expected to make the starting line-up today.

Source: Sponichi 4/8/2016Daily Sports 4/8/2016


[4/8/2016] Buffaloes planning to start Kaneko, Nishi over the weekend

The Orix Buffaloes are scheduled to play a two-game series against Softbank over the weekend. Chihiro Kaneko is lined up for the start on Saturday. The start on Sunday would normally go to Brandon Dickson, but the Buffaloes could instead turn to Yuki Nishi.

Nishi has struggled in both his starts this season. He gave up six runs (all earned) on seven hits and three walks and lasted just three plus innings during his last start on April 5 against Rakuten.

Source: Daily Sports 4/8/2016


[4/8/2016] Tony Blanco could be hurt

Tony Blanco may have suffered a strain in his right leg, according to a brief mention in a Nikkan Sports article. He has not played in a game at Ni-gun since April 1.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/8/2016


[4/7/2016] Walk like a Yanagita

Yuki Yanagita has just seven hits in thirty-six at bats but also seventeen walks in fifty-three plate appearances. He has walked at least once in all eleven games so far this season.

Walk count: 2, 3, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 1, 2, 1, 1

When Yanagita walked on April 6, he pushed his streak of at least one walk a game to ten since the start of the season and tied the NPB record set by Koichi Oshima in 2000. He extended the record to eleven on April 7.

The NPB record for longest streak of at least one walk a game, starting at any point during the season, is eighteen, set by Sadaharu Oh between June and July 1970.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/7/2016, Sponichi 4/8/2016


[4/7/2016] Randy Messenger notches tenth career victory against the Giants

Randy Messenger won his start against the Yomiuri Giants on April 7. He is now 10-11 against the Giants over his career. Only two other Hanshin foreign pitchers have more victories against the Giants: Gene Bacque (17-23) and Matt Keough (13-12).

Source: Daily Sports 4/7/2016


[4/7/2016] Daisuke Matsuzaka out with a fever

Daisuke Matsuzaka skipped practices on April 7 because he was not feeling well (fever). He was examined at a hospital in Fukuoka and a flu test came back negative.

Source: Sports Hochi 4/7/2016, Tokyo Sports 4/7/2016

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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