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Draft News and Notes: Masanori Fujihara heads down to Okinawa

by on Jan.26, 2010 @ 11:38 am, under NPB

Hanshin Tigers

...Tigers' rookie mini camp closed out on Monday.

Masanori Fujihara held a bullpen session on the last day of mini camp.  He tossed 31 pitches to a standing catcher and then 11 pitches to a squatting catcher.  Fujihara will now head to Okinawa in order to get a head start on Kazuhito Futagami.

Futagami also held a bullpen session and tossed 25 pitches to a squatting catcher.  And while Futagami probably also wants to head to Okinawa early as well, he won't be able to, at least not until the 29th -- he has a few loose ends he needs to tie (he's short 8 credits) at Hosei University.

Seibu Lions

...Former Kintetsu Buffalo Hideyuki Awano dropped by Lions' rookie mini camp on Monday to watch Yusei Kikuchi pitch a bullpen session.  Awano raved about the flexibility in Kikuchi's elbow and said that he could easily throw 200 innings this year.

Awano tossed 249.2 innings in his first year.  He then followed that up with 220.1 innings in his second year and 235.2 innings in his third year.

...Seems Ginjiro is also itching to catch Kikuchi.  He visited rookie mini camp on Monday to see Kikuchi, and perhaps be his bullpen catcher.  Instead, Ginjiro arrived late and missed out on watching Kikuchi hold his bullpen session.

When he was told Hosokawa caught him, Ginjiro apparently replied by saying that he also wants to catch Kikuchi and will try again on Tuesday.

...Kikuchi will likely start throwing "real" bullpen sessions beginning today -- real as in with the catcher squatting instead of standing.

...Kikuchi is making a point of not watching or reading anything with him in it because he doesn't want issues that come up in the media to affect his way thinking.  Kikuchi also doesn't seem to care about what people think about him.