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NPB News and Notes from 10/27

by on Oct.26, 2008 @ 11:56 pm, under NPB

Sports Hochi: Shinnosuke Abe should be ok to DH and pinch hit for the upcoming Nippon Series. He hit 65 balls off a tee, then took 55 swings at soft-toss pitches.

Sankei Sports: It appears as though every potential FA other than Kenshin Kawakami is ready to re-commit to the Dragons (Morino, Ibata, and Araki). Hitoki Iwase still hasn't officially stated what he plans to do, but it would appear that he will also stay.

Sankei Sports: Ikuro Katsuragi has informed the media that he will be using a longer bat next season, going from 33.5 inches to 34 inches. The average bat used in the NPB is 33.5 inches; the longest bats at 34.5 inches are used by Kurihara (Carp) and Tamura (Softbank); the longest bat on the Tigers used belonged to Arai at 33.75 inches.

Daily Sports: Hanshin Tigers manager Akinobu Mayumi has said that he will stick to using Arai and Kanemoto in the 3 and 4 positions in the lineup next seasons. He said that he would also like to focus on communication to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Daily Sports: Tomoaki Kanemoto has been invited to join TV Asahi's broadcast team during the second game of the Nippon Series. If Kanemoto agrees, it will mark the second time he has sat in the booth during a Giants game.

Sankei Sports: The Dragons aren't very happy with Woods. Shinnosuke Nishikawa (owner of the club) lashed out at Woods saying that "What he told you, he only told you (the press). He hasn't said anything to me. And in the end, he doesn't decide salaries, the staff does!" Nishikawa also said that this was a business and that he has no idea how things will turn out. Seems like both sides will be playing "hard to get" this winter.

Sankei Sports: The Tigers are targeting 34-year-old righty, Daisuke Miura (Yokohama Bay Stars) this off-season. There are rumors going around that the Tigers might offer the free agent a 4-year deal worth about $12M. The Bay Stars have apparently offered Miura a 4-year deal worth about $10M.

Sponichi: Katsuya Nomura won't be making his list of top players to be used by whoever becomes the manager of the WBC. Nomura stated that "Picking the manager should be the number 1 priority right now. Players can come after that."

Sponichi: Kenji Furukubo will be joining the Yakult Swallows coaching staff. He will become the Ni-gun Battery Coach. The previous Ni-gun Battery Coach Hiroshi Takahashi, will become the new Training Coach. Furukubo was the Catching Coach for the Ni-gun Dragons this past season. This move was made to help reinforce the team's catching coaching staff. Incidentally, Catching Coach is probably equivalent to Catching Instructor. I'm not quite sure what the Battery Coach would be though. Based on the descriptions I've read, they apparently help catchers with signs and their leadership skills.