[3/1/2017] The latest on Shohei Otani (through April 4)

Updates on Shohei Otani’s right ankle:

Otani threw thirty pitches to a standing catcher during pre-game practices on April 4.

Source: Daily Sports 4/4/2017

Otani made about fifty throws into a net during practices at Sapporo Dome earlier today.

Source: Daily Sports 3/28/2017

Kuriyama indicated on March 27 that he might use Otani out of the bullpen.

Source: Sponichi 3/28/2017, Nikkan Sports 3/28/2017, Daily Sports 3/28/2017

Otani will be focusing primarily on his hitting, over pitching and running, until his right ankle fully heals.

Source: Sponichi 3/26/2017

Otani did not play in today’s game against the Chunichi Dragons. The Fighters wanted to give him some rest. They also wanted to give him some time to focus on his training in general.

Source: Daily Sports 3/20/2017

Otani might be ready to make an appearance as a pitcher in April, if not a little sooner.

Source: Sports Hochi 3/14/2017, Sponichi 3/14/2017

Otani recently received a new pair of high-top cleats designed to limit mobility in and provide better support for his ankle when throwing the ball. He threw a few pitches off a mound on March 12, including seven to a squatting opponent.

Source: Sponichi 3/13/2017

The Blue Jays, Dodgers, Astros, and Rangers were among the seven MLB teams at the game on March 11.

Source: Tokyo Sports 3/13/2017

Otani is slated to join the Ichi-gun team on March 14. He is set to play in the exhibition game against Yokohama at Sapporo Dome on the same day.

Source: Daily Sports 3/12/2017

Fifteen scouts from seven MLB teams were at the game on March 11.

Source: Sponichi 3/12/2017

Otani played in a Kyoiku League game against Rakuten today and went 2-for-2 with three RBI. He made the starting line-up at designated hitter and batted third. He recorded an RBI single to center off Takaaki Yokoyama in his first at bat and a two-run home run to right off Yokoyama in his second at bat.

Source: Daily Sports 3/11/2017, Sponichi 3/11/2017

As of March 7, Otani is close to running the bases at full speed. Depending on the condition of his right ankle, he could be ready to play in a Kyoiku League game against Rakuten at Kamagaya on March 11. Assuming no setbacks, he could be ready to play in an Ichi-gun exhibition game as a hitter on March 14 against Yokohama at Sapporo Dome.

Source: Sponichi 3/7/2017, Nikkan Sports 2/8/2017, Daily Sports 2/8/2017

Otani added slides during base-running practices on March 5.

Source: Sponichi 3/6/2017

Hideki Kuriyama is planning to send Otani to the Ni-gun facilities after practices on March 5 because the Ichi-gun team will be on the road for games between March 7 and 12. Kuriyama wants to make sure he has enough time (and space) to continue his workouts. He might also be able to play in Ni-gun games on March 11 and 12. He will rejoin the Ichi-gun team when they return to Sapporo Dome.

Source: Daily Sports 3/4/2017, Sponichi 3/4/2017

Otani continued to do base running exercises during practices at Sapporo Dome today. He ran drills to first base and second base. He also added third base to the mix today. He hit two over the fence on thirty-eight swings during batting practice. He made strong contact the opposite direction.

Source: Daily Sports 3/2/2017

Otani threw about thirty baseballs into a net off a bullpen mound at Sapporo Dome on March 1. It marked the first time he threw off an incline since January 22. He hit eleven over the fence during batting practice.

Source: Sports Hochi 3/1/2017, Daily Sports 3/1/2017

Otani might head to Kamagaya to continue his training when the Ichi-gun team travels to Fukuoka for a three game series that begins on March 7. He might also be ready to play in his first game on March 11 against Ni-gun Rakuten at Kamagaya.

Otani hit seven over the fence on forty-two swings during batting practice at Sapporo Dome on February 28. He also did some running on the base paths.

Source: Sports Hochi 3/1/2017

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Rakuten 143 77 63 3
Orix 143 63 79 1
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