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Around the NPB Horn: Dragons, Tigers, Carp, Buffaloes, Eagles, Lions, and Giants

by on Oct.28, 2009 @ 10:17 am, under NPB

Chunichi Dragons

...Tony Blanco is thinking about bringing his family over to Japan, now that he has a 2-year deal.

Said Blanco, "I'm thinking about inviting my family over to Japan for the exhibition games in March.  I think that will allow me to focus on playing baseball more."

When his wife and 2 children were in Japan between May and July, Blanco hit .314 with 26 home run; when his family wasn't in Japan, he batted .240 with 13 home runs.

Hanshin Tigers

...Akihiro Yano is working his way back from a fractured right ankle.  Since he's still rehabbing his right ankle, his training has been limited to things like riding a stationary bike, stretching, pool training, and basic weight training.

...Keisuke Kano was hoping to compete for the starting catcher's job next season but that issue now appears moot.

Said Kano, "All I can do right now is focus on improving my skills."

...There were 9 TV cameras and about 100 reporters during Kenji Johjima's press conference yesterday.

...The Tigers will likely use Tomoyuki Kubota in the starting rotation again next season.

Hiroshima Carp

...Masayuki Hasegawa finished his 14th season with 3 wins and Kenjiro Nomura thinks he lacks spirit.

Nomura has penciled Hasegawa to start a practice game against Softbank on the 29th.

Orix Buffaloes

...Akinobu Okada wants Tuffy Rhodes back next season.

"The PL has a DH.  I think we need him next season.  Without doubt ... I told the front office the same thing," said Okada.

Rhodes made 400M yen this season.  The team was said to be considering a salary cut by as much as 50%, but may back-off on such an aggressive cut in order to keep him with the team.

...The Buffaloes might try to pull off a draft-and-trade in order to help solidify their bullpen.

Rakuten Eagles

...Koichi Isobe will be a Ni-gun developmental coach next season.

Seibu Lions

...Fumiya Nishiguchi met with team officials for a second meeting on Tuesday and said that he likely won't exercise his FA option.

"In continuance from our last meeting, we were able to hold positive discussions.  It made me want to finish out my career here. ... I'd like to try and make the rotation next year.  I'm going to buckle down and try again," said Nishiguchi.

Yomiuri Giants

...The Giants announced that Yukio Arai and Katsunori Nomura will be joining their coaching staff next season.

Yukio Arai - former Nippon Ham Fighters Ni-gun batting coach > Giants' Ni-gun batting coach

Katsunori Nomura - former Rakuten Eagles Ichi-gun battery coach > Giants' Ni-gun battery coach