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Around the NPB Horn: Bryan Corey, Bill Murphy, and Tony Barnette arrive in Japan

by on Jan.26, 2010 @ 11:01 pm, under NPB

Chiba Lotte Marines

...Bryan Corey and Bill Murphy both arrived in Japan on Tuesday.

Corey is hoping to improve upon the numbers he posted back when he played for the Yomiuri Giants in 2004 (1-1, 5.48 ERA, 23.0 IP, 30 H, 17 K, 10 BB, 18 R, 14 ER), while Murphy told reporters that he doesn't mind where he pitches, in the rotation or out of the pen.

...Tsuyoshi Nishioka admitted to Sponichi on Monday that he was dating fashion model Naoko Tokuzawa.

Chunichi Dragons

...Hitoki Iwase was spotted at Nagoya Stadium for the first time this year.  He told reporters that more than throwing, he wanted to focus on continuing to strengthen his body during Spring camp.

...62 players flew into Okinawa on Tuesday.  They'll all take part in mini camp through to the 31st and then slide into Spring camp on 2/1.

Hanshin Tigers

...Akinobu Mayumi and the Tigers were set to make final adjustments to the Spring camp rosters during a staff meeting on Monday, but it was decided to push those decisions off until the 28th.

...Kentaro Sekimoto closed out his training in Okinawa on the 23rd and resumed his workouts at the Naruohama training facilities on Monday.  His training included running dashes and fielding practice.

While in Okinawa, Sekimoto kept a pretty tight schedule, taking 1 day off for every 6 days of training.  He also took about 700-800 swings a day.

Hiroshima Carp

...Tomohiro Umetsu held a 27-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday.  Umetsu is currently working his way back from a right shoulder injury he suffered in June last year.  There was even talk of surgery at one point, but he's managed to rehab the shoulder and has been able to throw without any pain.

Nippon Ham Fighters

...Yu Darvish and Sho Nakata will be starting the year at Ichi-gun Spring camp.

Orix Buffaloes

...So Taguchi told reporters that he doesn't mind hanging with the younger players during the day, but  doesn't think he'll be able to hang with them in the evening because he won't be able to keep up.

Taguchi headed out to Miyakojima for joint training camp on Tuesday.

Rakuten Eagles

...Hisashi Iwakuma held his second bullpen session in as many days on Tuesday and threw about 70 pitches.  His session lasted 20 minutes.

Softbank Hawks

...Kenji Ohtonari returned from his training at Kinki University on the 24th and resumed his workouts at the Saitozaki training facilities on the 25th.  Ohtonari ballooned out to 92kg at one point during the off-season, but has since managed to drop about 4kg by limiting his alcohol intake.  He has already tossed two bullpen sessions and plans on throwing another on the 26th.

...It seems Ohtonari may have temporarily lost his spot in the rotation.  On Monday, pitching coach Ikuo Takayama said that there were three spots available in the rotation.  Toshiya Sugiuchi, Tsuyoshi Wada, and D.J. Houlton will likely take the first three spots.

Other pitchers like Shota Ohba, Sho Iwasaki, Nagisa Arakaki, Kazumi Saito, Yoshiaki Fujioka, and Hideaki Takahashi.

Seems the team wants to push everyone to fight for their jobs.

...Hiroshi Shibahara worked out at Yahoo Dome on Monday and took some BP in the cages for the first time this year.

Shibahara also managed to lose 3kg during the offseason (from 82kg to 79kg) and is looking forward to Spring camp in his lighter body.

...A total nine pitchers (including Shinsuke Ogura, Kenji Ohtonari, and Sho Iwasaki) held bullpen sessions on Tuesday.

...Yuya Hasegawa gained about 3kg during his training in Arizona.  On Monday, he took BP practice in the batting cages for the first time this year.

...During Fall camp, the Hawks held early morning BP at 9am but will shift that to an 8:45am start (with a meet time of 8:15am).

...The Hawks are relying on former ballplayers to help them sell ad space at Yahoo Dome.

Yakult Swallows

...Tony Barnette arrived in Japan on Tuesday and told reporters that he hopes to be in the starting rotation.  Barnette has already thrown bullpen sessions back in the States and has studied up on Japan via Yomiuri Giants Marc Kroon.

Yokohama Bay Stars

...Takao Obana dropped by rookie mini camp in Yokosuka on Tuesday.  He also had a chance to watch Shuichi Murata workout and was surprised at how different he looked with the weight loss.

Yomiuri Giants

...Most of the Ichi-gun Giants' players flew into Miyazaki on Tuesday to take part in a 4-day mini camp that begins on Wednesday.

About 200 fans and media personnel greeted the players at Miyazaki airport.

...The Giants held a press conference for Chih-Lung Huang at the player dorms in Kawasaki on Tuesday.  Huang told reporters that he wanted to polish his skills in Japan and that he looked forward to a possible match-up against Chunichi Dragons Wei-Ying Chen.  He also apparently has confidence in his fork and sinker.

His uniform number will be 118.

...The Giants announced the following uniform number changes on Tuesday (I may have posted these before, but these are now official):


Turney, John 95 > 120
Naito, Shigeto 96 > 121
Ito, Hiroshi 97 > 122


Kimura, Shota 92 > 15
Nishimura, Kentaro 30 > 35
Takeshima, Yuki 95 > 113
Tsuburaya, Hidetoshi 32 > 52
Ijuin, Takahiro 96 > 114
Kudo, Takahito 34 > 0
Matsumoto, Tetsuya 64 > 31


...The umps held a joint practice session on Tuesday at Jingu Stadium.  The umps will now split up into two groups and continue their training at Jingu Stadium and Koshien Stadium.  Training will run through to 2/8.

The head of the PL umps also took the opportunity to check out the video replay equipment at the stadium in preparation of the PL's adoption of replays on close home run calls.

...The NPB and Player's Association met on Tuesday and discussed, amongst other things, Free Agency rules (the Player's Association wants domestic and international requirements set at 7 years) and international competitions (like this year's Asia Games and the Intercontinental Cup, as well as the Asia Series and the Global World Series).