[3/2/2017] Samurai Japan: Time might be running out for Motohiro Shima

Motohiro Shima is taking things a little slow because of some tight in his legs. WBC Manager Hiroki Kokubo is exploring the possibility of giving Shima an inning during a practice game against Orix on March 5. If the catcher’s condition does not improve, Kokubo might consider a replacement. Ginjiro Sumitani is a possibility.

Kokubo would like to have three healthy catchers on the roster because it will give him the option to burn through a catcher with a pinch-hitter and still have a back-up in case of an injury.

Source: Daily Sports 3/2/2017, Sports Hochi 3/2/2017, Tokyo Sports 3/2/2017, Sponichi 3/2/2017, Nikkan Sports 3/2/2017

[UPDATE 3/3 @ 10:19pm]

Shima is still not fully recovered from his right calf injury (tightness). He told reporters after practices on March 2 that he could probably play if needed, but not at full strength. He also indicated that he was concerned he might do more harm than good. There is a good chance he will be replaced.

Source: Sponichi 3/3/2017, ZakZak 3/3/2017

[UPDATE 3/6 @ 11:04pm]

Shima rejoined to the Rakuten Eagles today at Kurashiki Muscat Stadium. He played catch, took batting practices, and participated in infield drills. Masataka Nashida would like to see him ready to play in games some where around March 20.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/6/2017, Daily Sports 3/6/2017

[UPDATE 3/15 @ 1:17am]

Shima is currently slated to play in his first exhibition game on March 16 against Hiroshima at Shizuoka. Takayuki Kishi is scheduled to start the game. Nashida wants to give the catcher a chance to catch Kishi for about two innings. Shima told reporters he was close to 100 percent in everything, other than running.

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

[UPDATE 3/16 @ 9:54pm]

Shima played in an exhibition game against Hiroshima on March 16. He started at catcher, batted eighth, and played three innings. He struck out swinging in his only at bat in the third inning.

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NPB Standings [Full]
G W L T
Hiroshima 67 41 25 1
Hanshin 64 37 27 0
Yokohama 66 31 33 2
Yomiuri 65 29 36 0
Chunichi 67 28 36 3
Yakult 65 25 39 1
G W L T
Rakuten 60 40 20 0
Softbank 67 42 25 0
Seibu 63 35 26 2
Orix 64 29 35 0
Nippon Ham 64 27 37 0
Lotte 66 20 45 1
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