...Minoru Iwata is planning on starting his training on New Year's Day. Until then, he'll likely take it easy.
...Kenji Johjima will have a chance to break in Koshien Stadium before the regular season. As of now, the Tigers have an exhibition game scheduled for March 13th, 2010. The opponent is still unknown.
...If Masanori Fujihara manages to stick at Ichi-gun, the Tigers could have four left-handed pitchers in the rotation next season: Minoru Iwata, Atsushi Noumi, Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi, and Fujihara.
...The Tigers announced on Thursday that they parted ways with their US-based scout Thomas O'Malley. The club will now work more closely with their other US-based scout, Andy Sheets.
Nippon Ham Fighters
...The Fighters are in the process of signing Masao Kida to a contract. An official announcement will likely be made sometime soon.
No other details are known at this time.
...The Eagles are having their final players' meeting in Korea this year, a first for the club.
Masahiro Tanaka took off for Korea on Thursday to attend the meeting. He'll also have a chance to meet KBO pitcher Jung-Keun Bong for a Sendai Broadcasting TV program.
Bong pitched at the WBC and went 2-0 in 4 games against Japan. Bong also has experience pitching in the Majors (Braves and Reds).
Perhaps Bong can give Tanaka some points on how to pitch against Tae-Kyun Kim (LOT) and Bum-Ho Lee (SOF).
...Yoshinobu Takahashi would like a shot at trying the outfield one more time. Not sure how much that will help him in terms of getting more playing time, but it certainly can't be any worse than first base.