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Around the NPB Horn: Takai gets another shot at pitching, Ohtonari shaves his head

by on Nov.01, 2009 @ 4:08 pm, under NPB

Hanshin Tigers

...Assistant chief trainer Ishihara announced Saturday (10/31) that Tatsuya Kojima had meniscus surgery on his left knee.

The surgery took place on the 30th and there is currently no information on when he will return.

...The Tigers are thinking about scheduling a game in Nagaski Prefecture (where Kenji Johjima hails from) at some point, but it will likely have to wait until the 2011 season.

...Atsushi Fujimoto told reporters that he met with the Hanshin Tigers and was informed by the team that they would like him to return next season.  The discussions apparently didn't go any further than that though.

Fujimoto earned his FA option this season and still has not decided what he intends to do.

...Kodai Sakurai took 101 swings during BP on Saturday and hit 12 over the fence.

...Takashi Toritani is working on hitting pitches on the inside portion of the strike zone.  During an afternoo BP session, he took 125 swings of the bat and hit 17 over the fence.

...Tomoyuki Kubota is working on modifying his delivery.  It seems as though his body was opening up too quickly and throwing off his balance when throwing fastballs.

...Kenji Johjima and Tomoaki Kanemoto might battle it out for the number 4 spot in the line-up.

...Now that the draft is over, the Tigers will likely hold another internal meeting on 11/3 to continue their discussions on how to move forward with team improvements during the current off-season.  Next in line on the to-do list?  Quite likely foreign player acquisitions.

Hiroshima Carp

...Takaya Kawauchi willing to returning to Hiroshima as an Ikusei player, this after being let go by the team on Sautday.

Orix Buffaloes

...Shinya Nakayama has only appeared in 28 games over the last 4 years.  It appears he might have a chance to prove his worth in 2010 as Akinobu Okada seems impressed by the lefty.

"Nakayama throws better than the lefties Hanshin has.  His fastball has more power than Noumi's. ... It took Noumi 5 years to get where he is.  Noumi will be playing in his 5th year next season.  It would be a waste not to use him," said Okada.

Softbank Hawks

...Kenji Ohtonari shaved his head to fulfill a promise he made.

Prior to his start against the Nippon Ham on 10/4, he promised battery coach Tetsuya Matoyama and the catchers Hidenori Tanoue and Katsuki Yamazaki that he would shave his head if he lost the game.

...The Hawks announced that they are parting ways with Michitaka Nishiyama (P) and Tsubasa Fujii (INF).  No word on what the two players intend to do moving forward.

Yakult Swallows

...Yuhei Takai is getting one last chance to prove his worth as a pitcher during Fall camp.  During the second day of camp, Takai held a bullpen session and modified his delivery and dropped his arm down for a sidearm delivery.

(Plans for his conversion to an outfielder have apparently been put on hold.)

...Hirotoshi Ishii is attending Fall camp for the first time since 2000.  At 32, Ishii is he oldest player on the Fall camp roster.

...The Sallows announced on Saturday that Kenichi Matsuoka will undergo surgery on his right elbow sometime in early November.  The team expects him back within about a month.