...Ken Nishimura will be taking a foot massager along with him to Spring camp.
...The Tigers are planning on giving Takahiro Arai extra fielding practice during Spring camp. The team originally wanted to give Arai extra fielding practice last Spring, but held off on doing so because of his back pains. Now that he's healthy, they plan on working him hard.
...Takahiro Aoki, Takayuki Ohshima, and Jumpei Shinoda all held bullpen sessions on the first day of joint mini camp.
Aoki tossed 60 pitches, including the cutter that he's been working on learning.
Nippon Ham Fighters
...Sho Nakata finished out his training with Chiba Lotte Marine Tsuyoshi Nishioka on the 20th and has been working out at a gym called Total Workout. He has been getting training advice from Kazuhiro Kiyohara's trainer Kevin Yamasaki.
...The Buffaloes have hired Kazuo Yamaguchi to be a part of their scouting department, effective 2/1.
...So Taguchi's first game in a Buffalo uniform could come as early as an intra-squad game on 2/10.
...Seems Hisashi Iwakuma received an unofficial notice from Marty Brown on Monday that he'll be the opening day starter. If he does indeed get the nod, it will be his 4th consecutive opening day start (5th overall).
...The contract G.G. Sato signed yesterday includes incentives that max out at 15M yen (OPS is one of them). This will also be his first Spring camp since 2007 where he won't be paying for expenses out of his own pocket.
...Sadaharu Oh likes the idea of the Global World Series and is willing to provide support to the cause if called upon.
...Atsushi Fujimoto drove over 6 hours from his home in Nishinomiya City, Hyogo, to the player dorms in Toda City, Saitama on Monday -- he left his house at 7am and arrived at the player dorms at 1:45pm.
...Hirotoshi Ishii is trying to get back onto the Ichi-gun roster after having left shoulder surgery back in 2006. He held a bullpen session on Monday and tossed about 30 pitches with the catcher standing.
Ishii also spent about 2 weeks working out in Saipan earlier this month.
Yokohama Bay Stars
...Shuichi Murata closed out his training in Amamiohshima and resumed his training in Yokosuka. Murata apparently lost 3.5kg during his 2-week long training in Amaiohshima and currently weighs 92kg. His goal is to drop his weight down to 90kg to put less strain on his legs.
Murata will also go from using high cut to low cut cleats this season, a change that will shave about 80 grams off his feet. There's also talk that he might go with a bat that's 10 grams lighter than his usual 960-970 gram bat.
Murata has been working out 7 hours a day, from 10am to 5pm.
...Takahiro Saeki, Toshihiro Noguchi, Shigeru Morikasa, and Tatsuhiko Kinjo will likely be start the year at Ni-gun Spring camp so that they can get ready at their own pace. They will then join Ichi-gun camp on the 20th after Ni-gun camp ends.
...More on Tetsuya Utsumi's new pitch, the cutter:
I throw it like a two-seamer, but to keep it from acting like a shuto, I apply some pressure on the ball with my middle finger.
...Michihiro Ogasawara finished up his training in Miyazaki on Monday and will get ready for the joint mini camp that begin on the 27th (also in Miyazaki).
His last day of training on his own lasted 8 hours and included running, weight lifting, and fielding practice. He also took some soft toss BP (150 tosses) and some regular BP (79 pitches).
...The Giants will be promoting BP pitcher Yasuyuki Kawamoto to Ni-gun pitching coach. The team is hoping Kawamoto will be able to help develop some of the young left-handed pitching talent.
All four of their current pitching coaches are right-handed.
...Ryuichi Kajimae still hasn't managed to get over his equipment being stolen out of his car.
...Yoshinobu Suzuki (Vice President of The Baseball Federation of Japan) met with Kunio Shimoda (NPB) on Monday to once again request that the NPB send players to the Asia Games in November.
Said Suzuki, "The Japan Olympic Committee has also requested this, and we also think that fielding an all-pro team would be best. We want to see results."
...Hirokazu Ibata, acting chair of the NPB Player's Association, dropped by the Japan Student Baseball Association offices in Shibuya in order to discuss the relationship between the two entities and see what more can be done in order to support each other more.