...Yomiuri Giants Yoshinobu Takahashi continues to rehab his way back from a lower back injury. For the first time during training camp, Takahashi faced a live arm during batting practice -- he took 13 cuts against Micheal Nakamura.
Said Takahashi, "I suppose I'm making some progress. And I was able to swing the bat pretty well today."
...Chunichi Dragons Takuya Asao tossed 201 pitches in his bullpen session yesterday (the first time he has thrown so many pitches). Asao provided a bridge to Hitoki Iwase last season, but would like to try and secure a spot in the rotation this season.
...Munenori Kawasaki stayed behind for extra fielding practice yesterday. He stayed behind an extra 30 minutes to took ground balls from Tatsunori Hara. Munenori is competing with Hiroyuki Nakajima to be the starting shortstop for Samurai Japan.
Kawasaki also logged in some time at third base earlier in the day during situation batting practice.
Said Hara of Kawasaki, "I like the atmosphere he brings to the table. He's a mood maker. And I think he does well in game situations."
...Kosuke Fukudome is trying to make sure that he gets a starting spot on the final Samurai Japan roster. For the second straight day he collected a hit during situational BP. He also played all three outfield positions when he was on the field.
Said Fukudome, "I was able to hit some balls foul while getting the hit so I feel good about the AB. And I think my body is beginning to react to the off-speed pitches better. Things are falling into place."
...Norichika Aoki managed to hit a home run off Daisuke Matsuzaka during situation BP yesterday. And for the first time this WBC training session, he was able to spend some time in left field when he was on the field.
...Samurai Japan's big three performances during situational BP yesterday:
- Daisuke Matsuzaka - 14 batters, 2 hits, 1 walk, 6 Ks
- Yu Darvish - 9 batters, 1 hit, 2 K, 1 walk, 31 pitches
- Hisashi Iwakuma - 10 batters, 2 hits, 1 K, 36 pitches
...Senichi Hoshino dropped by WBC camp yesterday. He also spoke to Hara to give him some pointers and advice.
"It's easy to say back-to-back championships, but we're talking about a short series. It'll be important to play each game, 1 game at a time," said Hoshino.
...Training camp photos from Feburary 18th (Sanspo).
...WBC training camp photos from Feburary 18th (Sanspo).