[3/31/2016] Hiroki Yokoyama wins first NPB game

Second round draft pick Hiroki Yokoyama picked up a victory in his first game on March 30 against Chunichi and became the eleventh rookie pitcher in franchise history to record a win in his first outing, first since Kazuki Yabuta on July 1, 2015.

Yokoyama also joined Ryutaro Sugiura (April 7, 1951) and Hiroki Kuroda (April 25, 1997) as the only rookies in franchise history to record a win and an RBI.

Sixth round draft pick Oscar Nakaoshi picked up a victory during his outing on March 27 against Yokohama. Hiroshima became the first team in the Central League since Yomiuri in 1960 (Ritsuo Horimoto, Masaki Oscar Nakaoshi) to field two rookie pitchers that recorded their first career wins within their team’s first five games of the season.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/31/2016


[3/31/2016] Shun Takayama blasts first career home run

Shun Takayama blasted the first home run of his NPB career during a Yakult game on March 31. The home run led off the start of the game and came against Kyle Davies. Takayama is the first rookie in franchise history since Tomochika Tsuboi in 1998 to hit a lead-off home run for his first career blast.

Source: Tokyo Sports 3/31/2016

[UPDATE 4/1 @ 6:54am]

Thirty Japanese players, including Takayama, recorded lead-off home runs for their first career home runs (eleven Central League, fourteen Pacific League, five single league). The last player before Takayama was Shogo Nakamura in 2015. Of the thirty, ten were rookies, including Takayama and Nakamura (seven since the two league format began in 1950).

Since the start of the two leagues, three players have recorded lead-off home runs in the top of the first inning for their first career home runs: Yuki Miyazaki in his second year in 2012, Seiya Suzuki in his second year in 2014, and Takayama in his first year in 2016.

Takayama joined Yoshito Fujino (July 1, 1944) as the only rookies in NPB history that can say their first career home run was off the first pitch of a game.

Source: Sponichi 4/1/2016, Sanspo 4/1/2016

See also:


[3/31/2016] Shinsaburo Tawata tosses batting practice

Shinsaburo Tawata is working his way back from a right shoulder injury he suffered in May 2015. He tossed batting practice at Seibu 2 Stadium on March 31. He threw forty-five pitches to Hotaka Yamakawa and Nien Ting Wu at about sixty percent. It was the first time he faced live hitters in about a year.

Source: Tokyo Sports 3/31/2016, Sanspo 4/1/2016


[3/31/2016] Messenger’s first outing at Jingu since 2014

Randy Messenger started the Yakult game at Jingu Stadium on March 31. It was his first appearance at the stadium since August 5, 2014.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/31/2016


[3/31/2016] Scoring change: HAN vs YAK, March 29, 2016

The NPB announced a scoring change on March 31.

Hanshin vs Yakult on March 29

  • Tsuyoshi Ueda was credited with an infield hit in the bottom of the 6th.
  • Takashi Toritani was given an error.

Source: official announcement 3/31/2016


[3/31/2016] Hiroshi Katayama to return to pitching

Hiroshi Katayama attempted a conversion to infielder in February 2015. The Eagles announced today that he will go back to pitching. Katayama decided to go back to pitcher because his left elbow is feeling better.

Source: official announcement 3/31/2016Sports Hochi 3/31/2016


[3/31/2016] Obiki taken off active roster with lower back pain

Keiji Obiki was taken off the active roster on March 31 with lower back pain. He may have tweaked his back while running the bases in the fourth inning of a game against Hanshin on March 30.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/31/2016, Sanspo 4/1/2016


[3/31/2016] Takeaki Tokuyama out with the flu

Takeaki Tokuyama was examined at a hospital on March 31 and diagnosed with influenza A.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/31/2016


[3/31/2016] Yoshitaka Muto tosses shutout inning in rehab game

Yoshitaka Muto had surgery to clean out his right elbow in October 2015. He pitched in his first rehab game on March 30. He tossed a shutout inning in relief and topped out at 144km/h. He needed only seven pitches for the inning.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/31/2016


[3/31/2016] Shohei Otani homers in his second straight game

Shohei Otani homered in his second straight game on March 30.

Home runs in consecutive games:

  • July 10 and 14 in 2013
  • June 29 and July 5 in 2014
  • August 28 and 29 in 2014
  • March 29 and 30 in 2015

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/31/2016

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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