[6/1/2017] The latest on Shohei Otani (June updates)

Shohei Otani took fifty-three swings during live batting practice and hit seventeen over the fence (including eight in row).

Scouts from the Padres and Orioles were at Kamagaya on May 31.

Source: Nikkan Sports 6/1/2017, Sponichi 6/1/2017

[UPDATE 6/3 @ 9:19pm]

Two officials from the Reds were at Kamagaya on June 2.

Otani ran six thirty-meter dashes at about sixty percent. He took forty-two swings during live batting practice and hit four over the fence. After workouts, he went to a hospital in Tokyo for a periodic examination.

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

[UPDATE 6/4 @ 6:51pm]

Otani was told he was making good progress on his recovery during his periodic examination on June 2. However, he was also told that there was a difference in muscle mass between his two legs (less in the left leg). Trainers are planning to give Otani at least another week to strengthen the left leg. Base-running exercises will be pushed back until trainers feel he is ready.

Source: Sponichi 6/4/2017Sports Hochi 6/4/2017

[UPDATE 6/5 @ 11:24am]

Otani took forty-three swings during live batting practice on June 4 and hits nine over the fence. He has the day off today.

Otani has another periodic examination scheduled on June 16.

Source: Nikkan Sports 6/5/2017

[UPDATE 6/7 @ 6:52pm]

Dan Evans (Blue Jays) was at Kamagaya on June 6.

Source: Nikkan Sports 6/7/2017, Sponichi 6/7/2017

[UPDATE 6/9 @ 9:39pm]

Otani threw to a squatting catcher in the bullpen on June 8. With the catcher squatting on home plate, he threw thirty-one baseballs.

Source: Nikkan Sports 6/9/2017, Sponichi 6/9/2017

[UPDATE 6/11 @ 1:37am]

Otani took thirty-seven swings during live batting practice on June 9 and hit twelve over the fence. He also did some light running with cleats (eight thirty meter dashes).

Source: Nikkan Sports 6/10/2017

[UPDATE 6/11 @ 10:08pm]

Otani took forty-six swings during live batting practice today and hit sixteen over the fence. He hit six in a row at one point. He also reached the big screen (about 140 meters) twice and broke one of the LED panels.

Added additional details about the big screen on 6/12 @ 5:16pm

Source: Nikkan Sports 6/11/2017, Nikkan Sports 6/12/2017

[UPDATE 6/14 @ 2:18pm]

Otani threw forty forty-one pitches in the bullpen on June 13. He threw thirty to a standing catcher and eleven to a squatting catcher. He mixed in six curveballs. This was the first time he threw a session at regulation distance (18.44 meters). Bullpen catcher Mitsuhisa Nakayama caught the session and felt Otani was throwing around 150km/h (he estimated the pitcher topped out at 152km/h).

Otani kept his workouts light today. Assuming no setbacks, he might be able to resume base-running practices on or after the 20th.

Source: Sponichi 6/14/2017, Nikkan Sports 6/14/2017, Nikkan Sports 6/14/2017Daily Sports 6/14/2017, Sanspo 6/14/2017

[UPDATE 6/14 @ 3:02pm]

Otani took forty-two swings during live batting practice today. He did not hit any over the fence, but did focus on hitting the ball toward left-center. He did some short dashes after batting practice and also played some light catch.

Source: Sports Hochi 6/14/2017, Sponichi 6/14/2017

[UPDATE 6/17 @ 1:37am]

Otani was told during a periodic examination on June 16 that there was still a difference in muscle mass in his legs. He ran dashes at sixty percent during afternoon workouts. He will be able to start base-running exercises once he is running at eighty percent.

Source: Sponichi 6/16/2017

[UPDATE 6/17 @ 4:04pm]

Otani will begin running at full speed next week (he will start at eighty percent and work his way up to 100 percent). Assuming no problems, he could begin workouts without the help from trainers. He might be able to play in his first rehab game before the end of the month.

Otani’s periodic examination on June 16 was his last for the hamstring.

Source: Sports Hochi 6/17/2017, Nikkan Sports 6/17/2017

[UPDATE 6/18 @ 12:53pm]

Otani focused on pitcher practices on June 17 (no batting practice). He threw forty-two pitches in the bullpen — twenty to a standing catcher and twenty-two (six curveballs and sixteen fastballs) to a squatting catcher.

Source: Nikkan Sports 6/18/2017, Sponichi 6/18/2017

[UPDATE 6/18 @ 9:44pm]

Otani took thirty-eight swings during live batting practice today. He did not hit any over the fence. He also ran dashes.

Source: Sponichi 6/18/2017

[UPDATE 6/19 @ 1:44pm]

Otani ran five thirty-meter dashes with cleats at sixty to seventy percent during workouts at Kamagaya on June 18. He also ran the distance between the foul poles four times in regular sneakers. He could join the Ichi-gun team for practices and an evaluation on June 20.

Source: Sports Hochi 6/19/2017

[UPDATE 6/20 @ 9:31pm]

Otani joined the Ichi-gun team at Sapporo Dome for practices today. The coaches will spend the next two days checking to see if he is ready to return to the active roster.

He took thirty-nine swings during live batting practice and hit seven over the fence.

Otani’s left leg is apparently at about ninety percent.

Source: Sponichi 6/20/2017, Sports Hochi 6/20/2017, Daily Sports 6/20/2017

[UPDATE 6/21 @ 12:25am]

Hideki Kuriyama was not fully satisfied with Otani’s progress.

Source: Nikkan Sports 6/20/2017, Daily Sports 6/20/2017

[UPDATE 6/21 @ 12:30pm]

Kuriyama’s biggest concern is Otani’s ability to run at full speed. During practices on June 20, he did some running with cleats outside of Sapporo Dome on natural grass at about seventy percent. If there is some doubt about his running ability, his return to the active roster will most likely be pushed back.

Source: Daily Sports 6/21/2017, Nikkan Sports 6/21/2017, Sponichi 6/21/2017

[UPDATE 6/21 @ 5:36pm]

Otani took thirty-six swings during live batting practice today and hit four over the fence. He also did some running on the natural grass soccer field next to Sapporo Dome.

Source: Sponichi 6/21/2017, Daily Sports 6/21/2017

[UPDATE 6/21 @ 9:58pm]

Kuriyama is planning to wait until the last minute to decide whether or not Otani is ready for the active roster.

Source: Sanspo 6/21/2017, Nikkan Sports 6/21/2017, Nikkan Sports 6/21/2017

[UPDATE 6/22 @ 10:26pm]

Otani told reporters on June 21 that he felt he might not be able to perform at optimal levels this year because of his injuries and that he had to do his best within the allowed limits.

Source: Sanspo 6/22/2017

[UPDATE 6/23 @ 5:04pm]

Otani was added to the active roster today.

He swung the bat thirty-seven times and hit seven over the fence during pre-game batting practice. There are still concerns about is leg since he participated in base-running practices in his warm-up sneakers and ran at seventy percent.

Source: Daily Sports 6/23/2017, Tokyo Sports 6/23/2017

[UPDATE 6/24 @ 2:34pm]

Otani threw forty-two pitches in the bullpen today. He also ran some dashes on artificial turf while wearing cleats.

Source: Nikkan Sports 6/24/2017

[UPDATE 6/26 @ 11:03am]

Otani ran the bases while running cleats during pre-game practices on June 25. He ran at about sixty to seventy percent.

[UPDATE 6/29 @ 6:06pm]

Otani is slated to pitch in a rehab game at Ni-gun on July 1 against the Seibu Lions at Kamagaya.

Source: Sports Hochi 6/29/2017, Nikkan Sports 6/29/2017

[UPDATE 6/30 @ 12:03pm]

Otani threw about forty pitches in the bullpen on June 29 (fourth session since he hurt his hamstring, second session since he returned to the active roster). He headed to the Kamagaya facilities after his workouts to prepare for his Ni-gun outing on July 1. He has not pitched in game since October 22, 2016.

According to Sports Hochi, Otani will pitch an inning on July 1 and then return to the Ichi-gun team the following day.

Otani is still unable to run at full speed. A team trainer told reporters they were keeping him at seventy to eighty percent until they knew how his body handled the pitching workload.

Source: Sanspo 6/30/2017, Sponichi 6/30/2017, Daily Sports 6/30/2017, Sports Hochi 6/30/2017

[UPDATE 7/1 @ 1:39am]

The game Otani’s is scheduled to pitch in on July 1 will broadcast by GAORO Sports.

Source: Sponichi 6/30/2017

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