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Seibu Lions: Kikuchi takes too long to warm-up?

by on Feb.03, 2010 @ 7:15 am, under NPB, Spring Camp

=== 11:00pm JST

...Yutaro Osaki hurt his right shoulder on Wednesday and returned to Tokyo.  He'll join group B on Thursday in Saitama.

...Hideaki Wakui, Kazuyuki Hoashi, and Takayuki Kishi all held bullpen sessions at the same time on Wednesday.  Wakui threw 44 pitches, Hoashi 31 pitches, and of course, Kishi threw 17.  Yusei Kikuchi studied their bullpen sessions for possible hints on how to pitch.

...Yasuyuki Kataoka is working on two changes to his approach at the plate this season: 1) Going with an open stance and 2) pivoting on his left foot instead of his right foot -- in other words, getting the weight to transfer smoothly from the back foot to the front foot.

=== 6:30pm JST

...Takayuki Kishi held his first bullpen session during Spring camp on Wednesday.  He threw 17 pitches, including 1 curve.

...Yusei Kikuchi didn't take part in morning workouts on Wednesday.  The coaches told Kikuchi to skip morning workouts to rest.  In addition to throwing for the second consecutive day on Tuesday, he also had to appear in a few TV interviews.

...Kikuchi wasn't entirely happy with his bullpen session.  And it seems there was another changing of the hats.  Nikkan Sports mentions that some time around the 56th pitch, Kikuchi got a smaller cap and then started throwing a lot better.

So is it the hat?  Or is it just needing a lot of pitches in order to warm up?

...Kikuchi took part in infield drills with other players like Hideaki Wakui, Takayuki Kishi, Hiroyuki Nakajima and Yasuyuki Kataoka for the first time on Tuesday.  He didn't make any noticeable fielding or throwing miscues.

...Yosuke Okamoto held a bullpen session on Tuesday and threw 57 pitches (including the curve).

=== 2/3/2010 7:15am JST

...The Lions think Yusei Kikuchi needs too many pitches to loosen up.  Seems it takes him at least 50 or so throws before he's ready.  And even then he's apparently still a little shaky with his control.  The Lions will likely make Kikuchi play some catch at distances of about 40m before stepping foot into the bullpen.

The Lions also had someone stand in the batter's box for 32 of the 78 pitches Kikuchi threw and had the umpires keep track of the count.  He "faced" 6 batters, striking out 5 and walking one.

...Takeya Nakamura also faced live pitching on Tuesday, swinging the bat 45 times while hitting 7 over the fence.  Nakamura also swung the bat about 100 times for the soft toss BP session he held after general practice.