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Around the NPB Horn: Masahiro Tanaka begins 1-week training in Arizona

by on Nov.09, 2009 @ 2:19 pm, under NPB

Chiba Lotte Marines

...Tasuku Hashimoto will likely make an official announcement regarding his FA status on Tuesday (11/10).

Hanshin Tigers

...Kenji Johjima has received an offer from the Japanese Pro Mah-Jong League to make an appearance at their 2nd Annual Triathlon Championships in January 2010.

...The Tigers may take a look at Shugo Fujii and Hisanori Takahashi.

...Tomoyuki Kubota hurt his left arm during soft-toss BP on 11/5 (exactly how, I'm not sure).  Kubota went to the hospital on the 7th and was diagnosed with an internal bruise in his left forearm.

While Kubota isn't able to use his left arm, he is still able to train using his right arm.

...If Atsushi Fujimoto exercises his option, the Yakult Swallows will likely throw their names into the hat for his services.

....Ryo Asai took 123 swing and hit 26 over the fence during BP on Sunday.

Nippon Ham Fighters

...Yu Darvish thanks the fans for their support over the year on his personal blog.

Orix Buffaloes

...Chihiro Kaneko will be holding a 3-day fast.  This will be the third straight off-season he has incorporated fasting into his training program.

"There are no visible changes that I can think of, but you do lose weight.  It's a way to rest the internal organs that have been abused during the season, a way to heal the body from within," said Kaneko.

...The Buffaloes will likely meet with So Taguchi after 11/20 (when the MLB window of exclusivity closes).

...The Buffaloes are taking a look at ex-Hanshin Tiger Rick Guttormson (currently pitching for the KIA Tigers in the KBO).

Rakuten Eagles

...Masahiro Tanaka appears to be ready to accept Marty Brown's less is more approach to managing starters.

Brown has placed limits of about 100 pitches on his starters and Tanaka appears to think that throwing less will allow him a better shot at staying healthy over the course of a full season.

"Of course, I don't mind pushing myself a little when it's needed," said Tanaka.  "But it isn't like I can go full throttle over the course of a full season.  I just really want to stay healthy so that I can stay in the rotation."

He also added, "I heard from the trainers that pitchers that toss 200+ innings tend not to do very well the following season."

Tanaka took off to the States with Satoshi Nagai and Shinichiro Koyama on Sunday for an overhaul.  They will be training at facility in Arizona that's used by a number of Majors Leaguers, including Randy Johnson.

"I want to see what kind of training methods they use in the States and add the good ones into my own training program.  It's possible I may even train on my own next year," said Tanaka.

...The team will hold a retirement ceremony for Koichi Isobe during Fan Appreciation Day on 11/23.

Yakult Swallows

...Kazuki Fukuchi has his eyes set on batting .300 and stealing 40 bases next season.

Fukuchi managed to steal 42 bases this past season but fell short of the .300 mark (.270).

...Yoshinori Sato tossed 145 pitches in a bullpen session on Sunday.  Sato is currently working on his curve to use against the Giants.

"I surprised to see how Darvish held the Giants down using a curve during the Nippon Series.  It would make things easier for me if I can get ahead in the count using off-speed / breaking pitches," said Sato.

Yomiuri Giants

...According to Tatsunori Hara, Alex Ramirez, Dicky Gonzalez, and Wirfin Obispo will participate in the Japan - Korea Championships.

...The Giants will begin full squad practice for the Japan - Korea Championships on the 10th.

Other

...Makoto Imaoka took situational BP at the Naruohama training grounds on 8th in preparation for the 12-team tryouts on the 11th.