Kanemoto Orders 1st Rounder to Rest
Start on Opening Day All but Official
At the Central League Fan Meeting 2016 (on the 14th at Pacifico Yokohama), Hanshin manager Tomoaki Kanemoto (47) revealed his thinking about giving outfielder Shun Takayama (22) three days of forced rest in preparation for being a starter on Opening Day.
At the podium at Fan Meeting, he basically made official that the rookie first round draft pick would be in the starting lineup on Opening Day by saying, “As long as he gets comfortable he should be able to hit the ball pretty well.” When asked by the media if he was in fact going to make him a starter, he more or less confirmed by saying, “If he keeps hitting the way he has been, there’s no way I could get away with leaving him out of the lineup.”
It has to be because they are counting on using him as a regular player from Opening Day onward. Management has thought about the fatigue factor and have ordered Takayama to rest. “He didn’t play in yesterday’s game (he was subbed in, though), so it’s practically a three-day weekend… well, maybe two and a half days. If he lets his body rest again, perhaps we will see even better things out of him.”
Though his hitting streak at Koshien was on the line on the 13th, a stretch that dated back to his high school days, the youngster made his physical conditioning a higher priority than an insignificant record. On this day, one on which there was no practice, he took part in an event, and on the 15th his workout will be a light one. “It’s his first year, so if he’s not feeling tired yet, something’s wrong.” They’ll adjust his workload so that he’s in prime condition for March 25th.