Here's another part of the new rules introduced to help speed the game up that was mentioned in a separate article at Sanspo:
Pitchers can be warned and then removed from the game for creating delays in between innings (2 min 15 sec) and during pitching changes (during an inning: 3 min 15 sec / between innings: 2 min 45 sec).
I'm not sure why pitchers are being so heavily penalized. I'll also see if I can get a complete list of rule changes.
...Yoshinobu Takahashi will begin training with Group A players today. Up until now, he's been training primarily with Group C players as he rehabs his lower back injury. Takahashi had been ramping up his practice sessions lately, including batting practice and running drills with spikes into his workouts.
Explanation on Groups: Group C is primarily made up of players rehabbing from injuries. Group A is more or less comprised of all the heathly starting players.
...Norichika Aoki was the starting left fielder in his first practice game of the season. He batted third and went 1-for-3 in the game with a stolen base. Aoki also had 4 chances out in left and handled them without any incident.
...Kyuji Fujikawa is nursing an injury in his right inner thigh, but says he's all right (he apparently injured it back on the 8th).
Fujikawa initially thought about taking a break from throwing, but instead held a bullpen session yesterday, tossing 21 pitches. He ended session after feeling satisfied with his throwing.
...Marc Kroon (Yomiuri Giants) is trying to pick up a couple of new pitches: the shuuto and a two-seam fastball. He mixed both of his new pitches during a free batting practice session yesterday. Of the 28 pitches he tossed, 11 were shuutos (and of the 28 pitches he three, 16 were balls). The hope is to use the shuttos against right-handed batters and the two-seamer against left-handed batter.
...The Nikkan Sports 2009 NPB Player Register (プロ野球選手写真名鑑) will be available begining the 14th. The register will come in two different sizes: a pocket-size edition (380yen) and full-size edition (950yen).
Gunma Diamond Pegasus vs. Shinano Grandserows
Niigata Albirex BC vs. Ishikawa Million Stars
Toyama Thunderbirds vs. Fukui Miracle Elephants
...The Kansai Independent League season begins on the 12th. Not wating any time, Yoshihiro Nakata, manager of the Kobe 9 Cruise, has announced that he intends to give Eri Yoshida a chance to pitch on opening day against the Osaka Golf Villicanes at Kyocera Dome.
...Daisuke Matsuzaka tooks some cuts in the batting cage yesterday and hit 13 over the fence (out of 28 swings). He even managed drill one over for 440ft.