The Nippon Ham Fighters and Yakult Swallows agreed on a trade. The Fighters will send twenty-seven-year-old Hirotoshi Takanashi and twenty-one-year-old Kengo Ota to the Swallows for twenty-nine-year-old Ryo Akiyoshi and twenty-seven-year-old Ryota Yachi.
[UPDATE 12/18 @ 10:44am]
The Fighters held a press conference for Akiyoshi and Yachi on December 17. They were assigned the uniform numbers 39 and 32, respectively.
Source: Nippon Ham 12/17/2018
[UPDATE 12/19 @ 1:09am]
The Swallows held a press conference for Takanashi and Ota on December 18. Takanashi was assigned the uniform number 14, Ota the number 46.
Source: Yakult 12/18/20180 Comments
Shoheh Otani was announced as the winner of this year’s Japan Pro Sports Grand Award on December 20. The Hiroshima Carp and Nippon Ham Fighters were recognized with Outstanding Performance Awards. Hirotoshi Takanashi won the Rookie and Top Rookie Award.0 Comments
If Shohei Otani makes the World Baseball Classic roster, Hideki Kuriyama might not give him the opening day start. There is enough time in the schedule for Otani to prepare (he would get at least seven days of rest if Samurai Japan makes it to the finals), but there are other factors to consider on top of possible fatigue, like having to readjust to the NPB baseball after working with the WBC baseball.
Extra rest might be beneficial for Otani. Masahiro Tanaka followed a similar path in 2013 (the opening day start went to Takahiro Norimoto) and went on to go 24-0 before heading off to the Majors.
Kohei Arihara and Hirotoshi Takanashi are possible alternate opening day starters, if Kuriyama decides not to go with Otani.0 Comments