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Around the NPB Horn: The Reverse Flamingo Batting Method

by on Oct.31, 2009 @ 1:47 pm, under NPB

Chunichi Dragons

...Kazuki Inoue retired after the season and is already working with Kei Nomoto.  Inoue spent about an hour and a half with Nomoto helping him with his swing (soft toss and the batting cages).

Hanshin Tigers

...Ikketsu Sho tossed a 41-pitch bullpen session on Friday.  Sho has been tweaking his form to try and squeeze out more velocity on his pitches.  And pitching coach Kubo believes that some of the changes in his delivery could result in him throwing 150km/h.

...Takashi Toritani said that he will be focusing on his legs this off-season -- everything with regards to fielding, hitting, and base running.

...Hirotaka Egusa is part of the "No Throw" group of pitchers this Fall and will focus on strengthening his lower body.

Said Egusa, "I won't be throwing any pitches so I'll focus on running and weight training.  I can't really do either during the season."

Egusa did appear in a career high 62 games this season but started to slow down towards the end.  Because of this, the team has allowed him the chance to rest his arm.

...Batting coach Atsushi Kataoka appears to be prescribing his one-legged soft toss batting practice routine to other Tiger players.  Not only was Yuya Nohara using the method during practice on Friday, but so were Hiroki Uemoto and Keisuke Mizuta.

Said Kataoka, "This is to help work on the upper body.  When you swing, the upper body doesn't get much work.  Working with the body and against the body are two different things."

Note: the media seems to have a nickname for the Kataoka's training method: the "Reverse Flamingo Batting Method."  For those that missed my other update, this method entails doing soft toss drills while standing on one leg.  Right-handed batters  stand on their right legs while left-handed batters stand on their left leg.

...Kenji Johjima is out fishing.

Hiroshima Carp

...Takaya Kawauchi (P) was given his walking papers earlier today.  Kawauchi has been battling shoulder problems over the last 2 years and hasn't managed to appear in any games (not even at Ni-gun).

Ikusei pitcher Tatsuya Yamanaka was also let go.

Orix Buffaloes

...The Buffaloes will likely look into trading for some position players.

Said Akinobu Okada, "We do have more pitchers now, but we don't have a lot of position players.  There might be teams with a need for pitching, so we'll have to look into those teams."

...Kozo Shoda said that he will work with Osamu Hamanaka to try and help him regain his stroke.  Shoda was Hamanaka's batting coach back when he hit 20 homers with Tigers in 2006.

Softbank Hawks

...Sadaharu Oh said that he will drop by the Miyazaki Fall camp that begins on November 3rd.

Oh avoided getting too involved with the team this past season since he wanted to give first year manager Koji Akiyama some breathing room.  But starting this off-season, it appears Oh wants to help the team out in a more proactive way.

Yakult Swallows

...The Swallows will decide on what to do with Yuhei Takai during Fall camp.  Takai has been working out in the outfield but the team ultimately has the final say in where he ends up playing.

Yokohama Bay Stars

...Yuta Naito will be filing a marriage certificate with  Saori Ishikawa sometime in mid-December.  The two are already living together and were dating since March 2008.