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NPB: Fujikawa trying out the change; some notes on Sho Nakata

by on Jun.24, 2009 @ 1:28 am, under NPB


...Craig Brazell took 54 cuts during BP on Tuesday and hit 6 over the fence.

...The Tigers will likely start Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi, Yuya Ando, and Atsushi Noumi during a three game series against the Bay Stars starting on the 26th. Yasutomo Kubo, Minoru Iwata, and Shinobu Fukuhara will likely follow for the Dragons series starting on the 30th.

...Kyuji Fujikawa has been working on a new pitch: the change.

Said Fujikawa, "Yes. I asked if I could toss some during situational BP. I was able to try out my new pitch then. I can't really make any specific comments on it. Today, it was all about giving it a try so I wasn't really worried about my control. I know what to work on next."

Daiki Katayama has been catching Fujikawa and said, "There's no sink to the pitch, just something to throw the batter's timing off. He started messing around with it during bullpen sessions, but has never tried it during a game."

...Ryo Watanabe also appears to be working on a new pitch, but he hasn't been very forthcoming about it.

"I did try out a new pitch," said Watanabe. He continued, "I can't really say anything about it though, other than I got batter's to swing at it."


...Yu Darvish's comments on Sho Nakata's somewhat brief stay in Ichi-gun:

This guy, he's no good. [During games] he'd sit off to the side and wouldn't raise his voice once [to cheer].

But Nakata did manage to hit a 2-run homer in front of Fighters' manager Masataka Nashida on Tuesday in a Ni-gun game against Yakult. For those keeping score, Nakata did also strike out twice giving him 45 in 162 at bats (42 games).


...Katsuya Nomura's comments on newly acquired Todd Linden:

He said he has all three tools (run, hit, glove) but I can't believe what he says. I have to see what he's capable of with my own eyes.

...Masahiro Tanaka will be appearing in a Kirin beer commercial alongside his father. The parent-son/daughter Kirin commercial concept has been well-received by the public and now it will be Tanaka's turn to show what his relationship is like with his father over a glass of beer (camera crews filmed about 2 hours worth of conversation between Tanaka and his father and will then edit that down TV commercial length).

This will be Tanaka's fourth national commercial, 1 behind that of Yu Darvish.


...Swallows' ownership has put their stamp of approval on what Shigeru Takada's has done as manager of the team so far this season.

"Regardless of how he does, we want him back next season. He did sign a 3 year deal. I want him to keep managing without worrying about anything," said Tadashi Suzuki, club president and acting owner.

Takada is currently in the second year of a 3-year contract.


...Tom Mastny will likely be joining the Ichi-gun starting rotation at some point after the 26th when the Bay Stars take on the Hanshin Tigers.

The front office is also apparently taking a look at a number of foreigners for the starting rotation, making this fairly critical time for Mastny.


...Tatsunori Hara spent an hour tossing BP to Taishi Ohta at practice on Tuesday.

0 comments on “NPB: Fujikawa trying out the change; some notes on Sho Nakata

  1. knucklehead7

    Were there any other comments from Darvish or anyone else on the Fighters about Nakata? It seems like it would have been better to pull him aside and tell him face-to-face than go through the media, but maybe the players tried that.

  2. Gwynar

    I’m not really sure under what circumstances Darvish’s quotes were taken. The article makes it seem like it was something a reporter happened to hear, rather than it being said directly to a reporter.

    I think for the most part, the coaches have spoken to Nakata directly, but have also been vocal to the media as well.

    In some ways, it almost seems like they’re trying to "de-program" him and make him "fit" into their standards a little better.

    But then maybe I’m reading into things a little too much.

  3. knucklehead7

    I understand players need to fit in, but people react to things differently. Maybe he was intimidated by the situation and had a hard time fitting in. There’s a lot of things that could be going on, especially considering how cocky some of his comments have appeared in the past.

  4. Gwynar

    I think the comments Darvish made weren’t made directly to reporters. And I think that for the most part, the coaches have spoken to Nakata directly about what they think are his problems. But at the same time, those comments have also made the papers.

    In Japan, it’s very common not to deal with problems directly, but rather "through" other people. I don’t know if the team is trying to employ some of that here, but they could be.

    Incidentally, Darvish also had some problems when he first joined the Fighters — he was caught smoking (underage) and if I’m not mistaken, he was being something of a rebel / loner at first. He may be one of the few players on the team that might understand what Nataka’s going through.

  5. knucklehead7

    Thanks for the information. I just wouldn’t try to read too much into how Nakata behaved this first time up, at least the part where he seemed to stand off a bit. I can imagine it was a bit intimidating and people react to things differently.