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Around the NPB Horn: Bum-Ho Lee to attend two training camps

by on Jan.19, 2010 @ 6:45 pm, under NPB

Chiba Lotte Marines

...Hiroyuki Kobayashi and Yasuhiko Yabuta will be anchoring the bullpen this year.  And it seems they've been dubbed the "KY Combi."

For those that don't know Japanese: KY also happens to be short for "Kuki Yomenai," which in turn refers to someone who doesn't know how to read situations very well.  In other words, someone who says something at the wrong place at the wrong time.  Of course, the combo of Kobayashi and Yabuta will want to be anything but KY.

...Tae-Gyun Kim took batting practice using a 1-kg training bat (he took about 65 swings) on Tuesday.  It was only his second day of BP (he started on Monday).

...Yoshihisa Naruse wants to be the opening day pitcher.  He also opened his workouts up to the media on Tuesday.  His training menu included running and playing catch.

Chunichi Dragons

...The Dragons plan on having three closers this season.  Hitoki Iwase will be the first choice out of the pen, but they also plan to use Takuya Asao and Akifumi Takahashi in the closer role when needed.  It seems this is more a proactive decision to start grooming Iwase's replacement.

Although the club is saying that they only plan to go with the three closer rule if Iwase is having problems.

Iwase did experience some right arm problems towards the end of the 2009 season.

Hanshin Tigers

...The Tigers will be adding extra padding on the walls at Naruohama Baseball Stadium this year in order to provide more protection for players that crash into the walls.

...Kyuji Fujikawa tried relying on his off-speed pitches last season but will return to throwing more fastball again this season.  He was apparently thinking about conserving his arm so that he'll be able to play more games in the future.  Fujikawa has decided to drop that method of thinking and get back to throwing heat, regardless of whether or not it might end up making his career shorter.

Hiroshima Carp

...Ken Takahashi held his first bullpen session of the year on Monday.  He threw about 30 pitches and mixed in a few off-speed pitches (sliders and shutos).  He wants to be fully ready for the first day of Spring camp.

...Normal is a relative term: Kenjiro Nomura told reporters that his training camps are not tough, but rather just a return to the norm.  In other words, he's basically saying that Marty Brown's training camps were too easy on the guys.

Nippon Ham Fighters

...Sponichi is carrying an article that mentions how the Fighters will need to heavily rely on their pitchers to carry the team in 2010, especially in the face of losing their power bat (Terrmel Sledge).

Softbank Hawks

...Bum-Ho Lee plans on joining the Doosan Bears (KBO) for their Spring camp that begins on the 20th in Miyazaki before heading to the Hawks' Spring camp that begins on February 1st.

Lee's 3-hour training on Monday included running, long distance throwing, and soft toss BP.

...Nobuhiko Matsunaka's workouts in Guam appear to be going quite well.  Seems he hasn't felt any pain in his knees.  He also told reporters that he wants to start the season in the outfield instead of at DH.

...Hidenori Tanoue wants at least 65M yen in 2010.  The Hawks' last offer was apparently 48M yen (up 21.5M yen).  The two sides will meet for the third time on the 20th.  It seems Tanoue also plans on bringing an agent along if he can't strike a deal during this next round of negotiations.  He also doesn't want any incentives and will be using historical information regarding other catchers and their salaries to help state his case.

...Koji Akiyama likes Lee's drive to play third base, but he also plans on talking to him about it during Spring camp.  Akiyama would like to use Lee at a number of different positions so that he can give other players a chance to play some third.

...Nagisa Arakaki was seen dragging a tire as part of his training menu on Monday.

...Hiroshi Shibahara returned to Fukuoka on the 18th to continue his training.  He has managed to drop about 6kg since last year.

...The Softbank Hawks announced on Tuesday that Shingo Kan was hired as conditioning coach and that Kengo Nakahara was placed in charge of rehab.

Yakult Swallows

...The Swallows will be holding a special sale on merchandise with Norichika Aoki old number 23 on it, beginning the 20th.  His replica uniform will go for 5,000 yen and a special fukubukuro 23 bag (which will include at least one autographed item) will go on sale for 15,000 yen.

Yokohama Bay Stars

...As mentioned before, the Bay Stars have extended a tryout invitation during Spring camp to Ricky Barrett.  It seems Barret will now be joining the Bay Stars on the 16th before undergoing through a 5-day tryout.

The Bay Stars are currently looking for one more left-handed arm.

...Kenjiro Tanaka is working on bulking up his lower body this off-season with weight and lots of running.

...Sponichi lists the following five pitchers for the starting rotation this season: Daisuke Miura, Naoyuki Shimizu, Hayato Terahara, Shun Yamaguchi, and Futoshi Kobayashi.  I'm guessing Stephen Randolph is also in as well.  That's really not a bad rotation.

In all, the Bay Stars added 12 new players to their team during the off-season.

Yomiuri Giants

...Four players will likely compete for the set-up job this season: Kiyoshi Toyoda, Masahide Kobayashi, Micheal Nakamura, and Daisuke Ochi.  Toyoda (157), Kobayashi (233), and Nakamura (103) have a combined 493 saves between the three of them.

...Kobayashi told reporters that because he won't be throwing any bullpen sessions until February 1st, he wants to be given as many chances to pitch in exhibition games so that he'll be ready for the regular season.  Actually, it seems he just wants as many chances to pitch against live hitters.


...More from the player survey I mentioned earlier: 74% of players surveyed said that they were worried about their lives after baseball.