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Around the NPB Horn: Fighters likely to appoint another pitching coach before 26th

by on Jan.22, 2010 @ 9:18 am, under NPB

Chiba Lotte Marines

...Tadahito Iguchi told reporters on Thursday that he plans on getting Tae-Gyun Kim to lose some more weight by making him run.

Kim has already lost 6kg since his arrival in Japan after checking in 10kg overweight.

Chunichi Dragons

...Takuya Asao and Hirokazu Ibata returned from their training in Guam on Thursday.

Asao had been playing catch at long distances and told reporters that he's ready to start throwing bullpen sessions.  He also said that he wouldn't mind closing if needed in that role (in reference to the Dragons' preliminary plan of having Asao and Akifumi Takahashi ready as closer options in case something happens to Hitoki Iwase).

Hanshin Tigers

...The Tigers appear to be set on giving Keiichi Hirano a shot to move to second baseman during Spring camp.  Teruyoshi Kuji, fielding and base running coach, told reporters that they plan on using him as a second baseman during Spring camp in hopes that he can win a starting job.

...Hirotaka Egusa played some catch at a distance of about 50 meters at the Naruohama training facilities on Thursday and told reporters that he felt he could hit 150km/h this season.  Egusa had been working out at Midori Clinic in Mie until Wednesday.

...Takahiro Arai and Tomoaki Kanemoto made appearances at High Priest Ekan Ikeguchi's New Year Party on Thursday.  About 800 guests were in attendance.

...Minoru Iwata attended the 53rd Annual Kansai Sports Award Ceremony on Thursday and was given an award for participating in the WBC last year.  Iwata has been working on building up his body so that he can win 15 games and toss 200 innings this season.

...Ikketsu Sho will likely start the year at Ichi-gun Spring camp.  He has also been penciled in to make a start for a practice game against the Nippon Ham Fighters on 2/13.  Sho started his throwing program on the 5th and has already held two bullpen sessions where he's thrown 100+ pitches.  On Thursday, he held a 30-pitch bullpen session at the Naruohama training facilities.

Nippon Ham Fighters

...Masataka Nashida told reporters on Thursday that he felt the team needed another pitching coach and wanted to appoint someone prior to the organizational meetings on the 26th.

...Atsunori Inaba announced the start of his Ai Project on Thursday.  The goal of the project is to provide 1,300 schools in Hokkaido with relay batons.  He's hoping to donate about 300 sets (6 batons per set) of batons a year.

Orix Buffaloes

...So Taguchi may not be a Buffalo yet, but Akinobu Okada already has him penciled in for an Ichi-gun start at Spring camp.

Rakuten Eagles

...Hisashi Iwakuma returned from his training in Guam on Thursday.  He also spent about an hour working out at the indoor training facilities at Kleenex Stadium; he played catch at a distance of about 40 meters.

Iwakuma reminisced with reporters about how Shigeru Kobayashi was his pitching coach when he made his pro debut.

Seibu Lions

...Takayuki Kishi told reporters during his workouts on Thursday that he wanted to record double-digit wins this season.

...Kazuhisa Ishii has his sights set on double-digit wins and recording his 2,000th career NPB strike out.  He's currently sitting on 1,849.

Softbank Hawks

...Hiroki Kokubo is looking towards Yuya Hasegawa as his successor for the 3-hole in the line-up.

Yakult Swallows

...Shigeru Takada currently has Yuhei Takai penciled in as an outfielder to start the year at Ichi-gun Spring camp.  Takada wants to give Takai a chance to show how far he's come along in his conversion from pitcher to outfielder this off-season.

Takai is continuing to stick to his 1,000 swings per day routine.

Yomiuri Giants

...Tetsuya Utsumi, Tetsuya Yamaguchi, Shun Tono, and Norihito Kaneto returned from their training in Guam on Thursday.

...Marc Kroon told reporters after arriving in Japan on Thursday that he isn't 100% sure he'll retire after the season.  A lot will depend on how things go for him this year.