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Around the NPB Horn: 2010 season could be Osamu Hamanaka’s last

by on Dec.09, 2009 @ 4:19 pm, under NPB

Hanshin Tigers

...Kenji Johjima flew back to the States at some point to go through some things he left at his home in Seattle.  But according to some reports, it appears that he also hooked up with his Alan Nero and may have picked his brains on how things are currently shaping up during the Winter Meetings.

No, this has nothing to do with Johjima having second thoughts about leaving the Majors, but rather could have something to do with potential players the Tigers might be interested in signing.  At least that's what Sanspo is suggesting.

...Ken Nishimura will be working on brushing up his fastball during the off-season in order to compete for the setup role in the bullpen.

Nishimura picked up a change during his time at the Arizona Fall Leagues in October, but believes his fastball will be important to his success.

...The Tigers hired Ben Rivera to be their scout in Latin AmericaAndy Sheets will continue to be the team's main scout out of the US.

...Team owner Shinya Sakai's comments on Shinobu Fukuhara's drop in salary:

This is a results based industry.  If you don't put up results, [getting a raise] will be that much more difficult.  But [in this case] it's not so much about the player, but more about the team's poor performance.

Nippon Ham Fighters

...19 of 24 base runners were successful at stealing bases when Shinya Tsuruoka caught Yu Darvish this past season.  He's hoping that will get Darvish to check the runners on base a little more carefully next season.

Orix Buffaloes

...After seeing his salary drop 43M yen, Osamu Hamanaka said that he will consider retiring next season if he has another bad season.

Hamanaka finished the 2009 season with a .208 batting average (16-for-77 over 26 games).

Yomiuri Giants

...Shugo Fujii stopped over at the Giants training facilities in Kawasaki to get some practicing in on Wednesday.  He showed up at 10am and was given a tour of the facilities.  After that, he ran for about an hour and played some catch indoors.