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Friday, March 29, 2019

2019 Opening Day Roster: What can we decipher?

The opening day roster was announced yesterday afternoon and has confirmed a few things and thrown into doubt some others.


The above is just a copy-paste from the roster I've updated on Wikipedia. We have a 27 man roster that essentially doesn't tell us a whole lot more than we already could have predicted. Masaru Watanabe and Masataka Iryo have performed well in pre-season and have earned their spots in the team. Naomichi Donoue and Toshiki Abe also join the top team for opening day on the back of their solid form. 

The bullpen is also a bit of the same old, same old with Yu Sato and Hiroshi Suzuki representing the youth while Daisuke Sobue and Keisuke Tanimoto bring a bit more experience. We then have a smattering of Matayoshi and Tajima to even out a bullpen which looks alright on paper. Add in a hard throwing Joely Rodriguez and one can only start to hope. Ryosuke Oguma to me looks the only one out of place but he might be used for some long-relief innings if required. 

Our starters in Yokohama appear to be Shotaro Kasahara, Daisuke Yamai and Yuya Yanagi. This was just about the rotation I would have picked. This would mean that Yudai Ono, Kazuki Yoshimi and Enny Romero will likely be pitching in the following home opening series. Yamai has always had an uncanny knack for doing well at the Baystars home ground while it is an old stomping ground for Yuya Yanagi. Kazuki Yoshimi is spared blushes as far as I'm concerned by starting his season in Nagoya. With the presence of Yamai in the rotation, I think this explains why Ryosuke Oguma is there. He could pick up a couple of innings should Yamai's start go sour. 

The lineup is still a bit hard to read and will still depend on whether Yota Kyoda starts or not. If he does, I expect him to lead-off, if not, I expect Oshima to lead-off. It's a bit of a hard read. 

On another note, it marks the first starting day roster in a while without a rookie on the card. Akira Neo would have been lightly penciled in to make the starting day roster prior to his injury but unfortunately even the likes of Akiyoshi Katsuno and Kodai Umetsu were unable to break through this time around. 

We're now all of 10 hours away from play-ball so let's get excited! 

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