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Around the NPB Horn: Yoshinori Sato working out with Daisuke Matsuzaka

by on Jan.17, 2010 @ 11:12 am, under NPB

Chiba Lotte Marines

...Tae-Gyun Kim will be making an appearance on NHK's Learning Hangul through TV (テレビでハングル講座). NHK will be recording the episode with Kim on the 20th during one of his practice sessions at Chiba Marine Stadium.  The episode itself is set to air on 2/24 at midnight.

Hanshin Tigers

...Kenji Johjima held a baseball clinic for elementary school kids in Sasebo on Saturday.  He also participated in a game against them -- he batted third and was the starting pitcher of his own team, the Joh's.

Johjima tossed 78 pitches and gave up 6 runs on 7 hits over 8 innings of work; he also struck out 2.  At the plate, he went 1-for-4 with 2 RBIs.  His team ended up losing in extra innings.  The game lasted 1 hour and 35 minutes.

Satako Urata (beach volleyball), Takemi Nishibori (beach volleyball) and Sachiyo Yamada (lacrosse) also made appearances in the game as members of Johhima's team.

...Atsushi Noumi, Keisuke Kano, and Kazuya Tsutsui opened their training up to reporters on Saturday (they're currently working out at a sports gym in Okinawa).

Noumi told reporters that he could be ready to make an appearance in a practice game against the Nippon Ham Fighters on 2/13.  While Noumi hasn't thrown any bullpen sessions, he has logged some time as a BP pitcher, throwing about 70-100 pitches at about 80% strength.

Kano worked out for about 4 hours on Saturday.  His theme for 2010 is positive thinking.

...Tatsuya Kojima held a bullpen session on Saturday; he threw about 30 pitches to a standing catcher.  Kojima had surgery on his left knee last October and told reporters that he wasn't feeling any pain and that he should be ready for the start of Spring camp.

...Tomoaki Kanemoto met up with Takahiro Arai on Saturday for a cedar-stick burning ceremony.  Their session started at 3:30pm and last about an hour and a half.  Kanemoto later told reporters that he doesn't want to attend another cedar-stick burning ceremony with Arai again because he's a distraction.

Nippon Ham Fighters

...The Fighters held an event to show off their 2010 food line at Tokyo Big on Saturday.

Sho Nakata showed up to the event without any yellow stripes in his hair.  He told reporters that he never intended to go to Spring camp with that hair style.  He also jokingly said that he might try shaving his head next.

Yu Darvish told reporters at the event that he working on making sure he's ready for the start of the season, but isn't really thinking about being the opening day starter at this point.  When reporters asked Darvish about Nakata's hair style, he said it had nothing to do with him.

Rakuten Eagles

...Kohei Hasebe is working on learning a curve.  Hasebe currently throws a fastball in the mid 140km/h range, two types of sliders, and a change.

The Eagles are hoping Hasebe finally turns the corner this season after an inconsistent 2009 season (he was out for most of his rookie year after a knee injury that ended up requiring surgery).

Softbank Hawks

...Bum-Ho Lee saw 150 pitches during his BP session on Saturday.  He also plans on working out today.

Lee also spoke to club representatives on Saturday about his batter walk-up music.  He will likely pick out a popular Korean song.

In related news, Nobuhiro Matsuda said that he wouldn't give-up third base without a fight and that he wouldn't lose out to Lee.  And while Matsuda originally listed his own personal stat goals of batting .300 and hitting 30 homers, he told reporters on Saturday that he wanted to become a good defender that can also run and steal about 40 bases.

Yakult Swallows

...Shinya Miyamoto and Kyohei Muranaka took part in a baseball clinic organized by the Japan Athlete Entertainment Support group on Sunday.  About 70 kids showed up to the clinic.

Miyamoto looked to Muranaka at one point during the clinic and said the he wanted him to win at least 10 games this season and to perhaps aim for 15-16.

...Yoshinori Sato is currently working out with Daisuke Matsuzaka in Arizona.  Seems he realized he needs to work more on his trunk muscles after he had a chance to watch Matsuzaka pitch in person.  Matsuzaka also gave Sato advice on his blister problems, suggesting that he could tap his fingers on a desk to help strengthen the pads and that he shouldn't let his fingers soak in warm water.

Yokohama Bay Stars

...Shun Yamaguchi told reporters on Saturday that he'd like to throw 300 pitches a day during Spring camp in order to increase his stamina.  He also said that he was afraid of throwing his curve when he was a closer.  Yamaguchi re-gained some confidence in his pitch after seeing Yu Darvish throw his curve against the Yomiuri Giants during the Nippon Series.

Yamaguchi is currently working out with Kentaro Kuwahara and Masato Sugimoto.

Yomiuri Giants

...Masahide Kobayashi told reporters on Saturday that he doesn't plan on throwing any bullpen sessions until Spring camp.


...The Hanwha Eagles out of the KBO hired Nobuhiro Takashiro to a general coach (1-year deal).  Takashiro had been working with the Eagles as a temporary instructor since October last year.  He will be joining the team in Hawaii on the 18th.