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Around the NPB Horn: Yamasaki Takeshi + Kimiyasu Kudo add up to 88 years

by on Jan.28, 2010 @ 12:41 pm, under NPB

Chiba Lotte Marines

...The Marines announced that they will be increasing the number of games (from 2 to about 36) in which they sell seats that "come with" a baseball commentator.

A group of five former players including Michio "Mr Lotte" Arito, Mitsuchika Hirai, and Kazumi Sonokawa will be providing the commentary.

There will be a total 25 seats available per game.  Seats will run from 12,000 yen to 13,000 yen and will include a boxed lunch and tea.  Details on how to purchase these tickets will be made available at the Chiba Lotte Marines official site in the coming days.

Chunichi Dragons

...Takuya Asao held his first bullpen session of the year on the first day of joint mini camp and tossed 55 pitches.  He's currently working on making a few changes to his delivery.

...The Dragons had some problems with equipment theft last Spring camp and decided to add fencing around the bullpen area to keep unwanted visitors out.

Hanshin Tigers

...Tomoyuki Kubota tossed a 24-pitch bullpen session on Wednesday.

...Kohei Shibata has been watching Yakult Swallow Norichika Aoki since last Fall for ideas on how to improve his hitting.

Shibata took 37 swings during BP on Wednesday and then spent about an hour after general practice to work on his bunting.

...Wei-Chu Lin used a training bat (about 20-30 grams heavier than his usual bat) during BP hit 13 for home runs out of 76 swings.

...Kodai Sakurai took 68 swings of the bat on Wednesday and hit none for home runs.

...Ikketsu Sho is working on adding an "Iwata forkball" to his repertoire.

...More on Atsushi Noumi's bullpen session on Wednesday:

Noumi e tossed a total of 24 pitches.  12 pitches came with the catcher standing and the other 12 with the catcher squatting.  5 of the first 12 pitchers were sliders.  All of the last 12 pitchers were fastball.

Hiroshima Carp

...Justin Huber arrived in Japan on Wednesday.  The Carp will be holding a press conference for Huber, Carlo Alvarado and Jeff Fiorentino on Thursday.

...2010 Carp merchandise will go on sale beginning February 1st at 10am.  According to Sponichi, there are 150 new items (although the Carp site mentions something about there being over 500 items).  You can see some of those new items by clicking into the first link.

Nippon Ham Fighters

...Yu Darivsh will have a chance to make his first start of the year during either an intra-squad game on the 20th or an exhibition game against the Swallows on the 21st.  Seems the team will allow Darvish to make the decision.

Orix Buffaloes

...So Taguchi doesn't plan on taking any breaks during Spring camp.  He told reporters that at his age, he needs to keep his body moving every day.

Rakuten Eagles

...The Eagles will be throwing Katsuya Nomura a party on Thursday in celebration of both his appointment to the position of honorary manager and of becoming only the 5th manager in to record 1,500 victories.

...After hearing so much about him, Takeshi Yamasaki would love to dig in against Yusei Kikuchi.  Yamasaki is also looking forward to facing Kimiyasu Kudo -- their combined ages added up to 88.

Softbank Hawks

...Tsuyoshi Wada is hoping to compete with Toshiya Sugiuchi to be the Opening Day starter.

...Bum-Ho Lee told reporters that he got married to Yun-Mi Kim just before leaving Korea.  Seems they got married a little ahead of time so that Kim wouldn't have to worry about returning to Korea every 3 months.

Yakult Swallows

...Yoshinori Sato and Tatsuyoshi Masubuchi returned to Japan on Wednesday from their training in Arizona.

Seems the two had some problems when they stopped over in Los Angeles on their way to Arizona: the machines wouldn't read Sato's fingers so he had to be detained for about 30 minutes until security sorted things out; and the metal detectors went off on Masubuchi face, likely because of the metal bolt he needed after being struck in the chin with a batted ball.

They both also gained some weight: Sato gained 3kg and Masubuchi 2kg.

Sato also had a chance to work out with Daisuke Matsuzaka and was given the following three pointers for success:

Throw as much as you can while you're still young.  Something like 2,000 during Spring camp.

Don't let the blisters get you down, think positively.  Work on making the fingertips stronger.

Throw the slider as you would a fastball.  And get used to throwing it when you play catch.

...Shohei Tateyama returned to Japan on Wednesday from his training in Hawaii.  He told reporters that as part of his training menu to strengthen his lower body, he ran 250km over the 23 days.

...The Swallows found out that Eulogio De La Cruz won't be arriving in Japan until sometime in February.  Seems he's having problems with his visa.

Yokohama Bay Stars

...Yataro Sakamoto told reporters that he doesn't want to jump around from being a reliever to a starter and would like to secure a job as one or the other.

Yomiuri Giants

...Shinnosuke Abe told reporters on Wednesday that he wanted to go for the "triple 3." As in .300 batting average, 30 home runs and 3 stolen bases.

Abe maxed out at 4 in his second season in the pros, but hasn't be able to steal more than one base in a season since.

...Tetsuya Yamaguchi tossed 23 pitches during his bullpen session on Wednesday.  He threw at about 80% capacity.

...Yoshinobu Takahashi took some soft toss BP and then took about 43 cuts against a live pitcher.

...Wirfin Obispo is planning on working on his forkball during Spring camp.