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Around the NPB Horn: Masahiro Tanaka, no bullpens until next month

by on Jan.27, 2010 @ 11:09 am, under NPB

Hanshin Tigers

...Kodai Sakurai is hoping to take at least 1,000 swings of the bat per day during Spring camp.

Hiroshima Carp

...Keisuke Imai tossed his first bullpen session on Tuesday.  Earlier in the year (1/7), Imai got some tips on pitching mechanics and how to throw the shuto from LA Dodgers' Hiroki Kuroda.

...Yuki Saito also held his first bullpen session on Tuesday and tossed 31 pitches.

...The Carp took uniform measurements for four players, including 22-year-old pitcher Juan Javier, out of their Dominican Republic Carp Academy on Monday.

Javier had his 15-minutes of (mis)fortune earlier on when word got out in December that he really wasn't a 16-year-old pitching phenom.  The Carp still signed him to an Ikusei contract worth 2.4M yen.

Nippon Ham Fighters

...The Fighters want Sho Nakata to focus on playing the outfield, even though he'll continue to be registered as an infielder.

It'll be interesting to see how he'll fit into the outfield.  It's already pretty crowded with Yoshio ItoiAtsunori Inaba (125 G), (119 G), Hichiro Morimoto (106 G), Tomochika Tsuboi (36 G), Toshimasa Konta (41 G), and Kazuya Murata (32 G).

Rakuten Eagles

...Masahiro Tanaka normally throws a few bullpen session during January, but has decided to wait until Spring camp this year.  He has, however, been playing catch at a distance of about 40 meters.

Tanaka had been training at the Nihon Aerobics Center in Chiba until the 25th.

Seibu Lions

...The Lions will hold their send-off ceremony on the 28th in Saitama.

Softbank Hawks

...The Hawks may turn to trades as a means to improve their team.  The team is currently looking for another starter.

Yakult Swallows

...Tatsuro Hirooka was back at the Jingu indoor training facilities providing advice to players, amongst them, Norichika Aoki, Hiroyasu Tanaka, and Yuhei Takai.

...Atsushi Fujimoto worked out at the Jingu indoor practice facilities for the first time since joining the team on Tuesday.  He was apparently surprised that fans waited around for a chance to see players walk to and from the club house and the indoor practice facilities.

...The Swallows are likely looking for Tony Barnette to be a starter, perhaps their number three behind Masanori Ishikawa and Shohei Tateyama.

Incidentally, Barnette is drawing comparisons to Tom Cruise and Keanu Reeves.  Almost seems like the media is working on trying to help the Swallows win over some female fans.  For the female fans: he has a girlfriend back in the States.

Yokohama Bay Stars

...Not only does Takao Obana think Shuichi Murata looks great, he also believes Murata will be able to set some new personal highs in homer runs and RBIs.

Yomiuri Giants

...As the new team player rep, Tetsuya Utsumi told reporters that he wanted to try to become more involved with other players (read: take more of a leadership role), regardless of whether they might be older or younger than him.

He also said that he was feeling greatly physically and might even try to get into the bullpen over the next few days if it's warm enough.

...Wirfin Obispo arrived in Japan today.  Obispo took part in the Winter Leagues in the Dominican Republic and pitched in about a game a week.  He told reporters he's in great condition and is looking forward to Spring camp.

Obispo will be joining up with the rest of the team in Kawasaki on the 28th.

...The hotel where the Ni-gun Giants' players are staying will be taking extra precautions to protect their guests from the flu and other nasty viruses.  Those precautions include using state-of-the-art equipment that removes bacteria contained in the air.  Each of the devices cost about 200,000 yen and 11 of them installed in various areas at the hotel.

The Giants also rent out air purifiers for each of the bed rooms at the Ichi-gun player's hotel (about 5,000 yen per purifier for a grand total of about 400,000 yen) during Spring camp.