It seemed, on the surface at least, to be with a palpable sense of early-season panic that Shinnosuke Abe was back behind the plate for the Yomiuri Giants during their series against the Hanshin Tigers over the weekend.

He might have been sore on Monday, but Abe looked like the cure to the Giants’ early-season ills for a couple of games. Pressed back into action with the team not playing well early, Abe played his part and it was enough to help lift the rest of the team around him just enough to make fans wonder if his return to catching will be brief, or permanent.

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