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Around the NPB Horn: Yuya Ando and Minoru Iwata to compete for OD start

by on Jan.27, 2010 @ 3:44 pm, under NPB

Hanshin Tigers

...Yuya Ando and Minoru Iwata will be competing against each other for the role of opening day pitcher.  Pitching coach Takashi Yamaguchi told reporters that he know which will be in the rotation by mid to late February.

Softbank Hawks

...Shinsuke Ogura held a bullpen session on Tuesday with the catcher squatting and threw about 100 pitches.

...Yuichi Honda returned to Japan on Tuesday from his training in Saipan -- it was the first time he trained overseas.

While in Saipan, Honda centered most of his workouts around running and also worked on the first few steps he takes while running the bases and fielding the ball.

...Nine players held bullpen sessions on Tuesday, including Kenji Ohtonari, Sho Iwasaki, and Ogura.

Ohtonari tossed about 30 pitches and Iwasaki tossed about 90 pitches.

...The Hawks will be working on gathering more information about players from other teams in case they decide to make upgrades to their rotation via trade.

...Tatsuya Ide (OF / base running coach) wants his players to run more this year and would like to see the team steal at least 144 bases.  And he specifically pointed to Yuya Hasegawa and Nobuhiro Matsuda taking more chances on the base paths.

Yokohama Bay Stars

...Takao Obana told reporters that he plans on visiting Ni-gun Spring camp in Kadena at least twice during the first session of Ichi-gun Spring camp.  And beginning the second session of Spring camp, Obana aggressively swap players in and out of Ichi-gun camp depending on their performances.

Yomiuri Giants

...Shun Tono wants to throw at least 2,010 pitches during Spring camp.  In order to hit that total, he also said that he'd like to try throwing 300 pitches a couple of time.  Tono is hoping to build up shoulder strength and stamina by pushing himself to throw more pitches during Spring camp.

...Toru Murata stayed behind in Kawasaki to continue his training and held a bullpen session on Wednesday, throwing 65 pitches.