Part of the Carp’s slogan for 2015 is “Red Rising,” and that’s exactly what the club has been doing the past few years. Hiroshima has increased its win total in each of the past four seasons. With former ace Hiroki Kuroda back in the fold, Hiroshima fans hope to reach even greater heights this year.

The Carp leading the CL in home runs last year might have been a little flukish, but the CL’s second-best offense in 2014 should still find ways to score runs. One thing Hiroshima should do well is get on base. Yoshihiro Maru (who hit .310 and led the CL with 100 walks and tied for the lead with a .419 on-base percentage) is among the best in that category, and Ryosuke Kikuchi and Kosuke Tanaka aren’t bad either.

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