...Left field might end up being an interesting position for Samurai Japan. If you'll think back to the Olympics, G.G. Sato was the left fielder and made a couple of errors that led to key runs scoring. After that you'd think more care would be taken with left field, and yet Japan doesn't actually have any real LFer's on the current roster of 33.
During seat knock practice (situational fielding practice) today, Atsunori Inaba, Nobuhiko Matsunaka, and Seiichi Uchikawa took turns out in left. Norichika Aoki (who had been practicing in left field prior to WBC training camp) spent his fielding time in center.
...Sadaharu Oh appears satisified with Samurai's Japan's progress so far.
"Beginning with Ichiro, it seems like everyone reported to camp in great shape. Preparing a little early so that they'll be ready for camp is great. ... There's good communication going on with the coaches too. And there's no need for them to think about results right now."
...Samurai Japan will be playing 2 practice games against the Yomiuri Giants on the 21st and 22nd at Sun Marine Stadium in Miyazaki.
...Samurai Japan's big three (Daisuke Matsuzaka, Yu Darvish and Hisashi Iwakuma) worked in the bullpen today. Both Matsuzaka and Darvish tossed 56 pitches each while Iwakuma tossed 65.
...Lotte Marines Yuki Karakawa tossed 55 pitches in a private bullpen session with manager Bobby Valentine. The media was also shut out from the session.
...Some more details on new Ham Fighters signee, Luis Jimenez: he signed a 1-year deal worth $200,000. He will be wearing the number 14.
...Yokohama Bay Stars Kimiyasu Kudo tossed 145 pitches in his bullpen session today. He turns 46 on May 5th.
"I wasn't feeling very good about the pitches I was making, and that's why I kept on throwing. I was just trying to get a grasp on something, but I couldn't. ... There's nothing wrong with my legs and my elbow feels good. I plan on focusing on my off-speed pitches moving forward," said Kudo after his session.
...Hanshin Tigers Yuya Ando offered his opinion on the 15-second rule after his bullpen session today:
"It's a short amount of time. It's going to be really tight. It'll be close to impossible if we can't agree on a sign. ... I'll have to work on it during the exhibition games. If I can nail it during the exhibition games, then I think I'll be alright for the regular season games."
...Hanshin Tigers Chris Resop did not practice today due to a bout of acute gastroenteritis.
...WBC training camp photos from February 16 (Sanspo).
...Training camp photos from February 16 (Sanspo).