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Around the NPB Horn: Nakata (CHU) working on new pitches, Darvish and Dass to train together

by on Nov.17, 2009 @ 1:30 pm, under NPB

Chiba Lotte Marines

...With Tae-Kyun Kim eying the Majors, he will likely look to Tadahito Iguchi for advice.

Chunichi Dragons

...Kenichi Nakata tossed a 110-pitch bullpen session on Monday.  Nakata is currently working on picking up a number of new pitches.

Nakata can currently throw a fastball, curve, shuto, change, and two kinds of sliders and fork balls.  He's now trying to pick up a faster slider, change, and shuto.

Hanshin Tigers

...Merchandising for Kenji Johjima has begun.  He's already signed on for a line of "Gorilla Goods."

...Fall practice for both Ichi-gun and Ni-gun players is now over (the final day was Monday).

...Akinobu Mayumi felt that Hiroki Uemoto made the most of his Fall camp and was the player that improved the most.

Nippon Ham Fighters

...Yu Darvish and Romash Tasuku Dass will be training together at Miyazaki, beginning in January.

Darvish was apparently the one to invite Dass to train with him.

Orix Buffaloes

...Tomotaka Sakaguchi will be working out with So Taguchi again this off-season.  He has been working out with Taguchi since 2007.

...Akinobu Okada plans on inviting his foreign players to Spring camp from the first day (2/1/2010).

Foreign players traditionally join their teams later in the month for Spring camp.  This past Spring camp, Jose Fernandez and Alex Cabrera arrived on the 14th, followed by Tuffy Rhodes on the 20th.  Only Greg LaRocca was at camp from the very first day.

...The Buffaloes will begin selling fan club memberships for their 2010 season starting on the 20th.  Interested parties will be able to purchase memberships from club stores or from their official site.

Rakuten Eagles

...Masahiro Tanaka returned from his overhaul in Arizona on Monday.

Said Tanaka, "There were some training methods I've never done.  It was a hard session.  It was a new experience for me.  I learned a lot."

Seibu Lions

...Kimiyasu Kudo selected the number 55 because it'll make it easier for kids to cheer for him.  It's also his birthday (5/5/1963).

And there's one more reason: it contains the number 5, in honor of his former teammate, Masao Fujii.  Fujii wore the number 15 and passed away at the age of 31 in 2000 due to health reasons.

Kudo has also said that he plans on doing whatever it takes to help the team, including starting, relieving, closing, coaching, and even giving advice to Yusei Kikuchi.

Yakult Swallows

...Norichika Aoki is looking forward to an ankle-pain-free season in 2010.  He's hoping he'll be able to run a lot better now that both his ankles have been cleaned out.

He'll begin rehab training on the 17th in Saitama.

Yokohama Bay Stars

...Takao Obana wants Hayato Terahara to aim higher.

"He's been setting his goals to low.  I want him to try for 15 wins [next season]," said Obana. "I want him to keep his place in the rotation over the course of the season.  He needs to get double-digit wins or my calculations will be off."

Yomiuri Giants

...Marc Kroon will undergo surgery sometime this month.

"Rehab will take about 6 weeks.  I don't know if I'll be ready for bullpen sessions at camp, but I'd like to be ready to throw the ball around," said Kroon.

Other

...Masahide Kobayashi hopes to have a decision on where he'll be playing next year some time in December.

...Katsuya Nomura's thoughts on Kenji Johjima:

I don't want to waste my time on a stupid player like that.  [He] lacks common sense. ... It's a horrible misunderstanding.  A catcher that thinks like a pitcher.