...A note from Sunday's practice game against the Hiroshima Carp:
Hisashi Takayama hit two 2-run homers (first and fourth innings) and sandwiched a single in the third.
...Yusei Kikuchi has been penciled in to throw BP on the 23rd. Hisanobu Watanabe stepped into the batter's box after Kikuchi 54th pitch in the bullpen. Both Kikuchi and Watanabe were happy with his session. (It seems Kikuchi is also getting closer to figuring out his delivery -- he's now raising his right leg and pausing it briefly before taking his stride. According to the rules, a pause is allowed so long as there's no vertical movement.)
If Kikuchi pitches well during his BP session, he could win himself a shot at pitching in a game against the Yomiuri Giants (practice game on the 26th and exhibition games on the 27th and 28th). This will likely be his only shot at getting a chance to pitch in an exhibition game since his schedule gets a little busier in March. On 3/3 Kikuchi will attend an NPB rookie meeting in the city and on 3/6 he has his graduation ceremony at Hanamaki Higashi. What Kikuchi will do in between 3/3 and 3/6 is not yet known, but he will likely work out in Tokorozawa. That means he probably won't return to the team until 3/9.
...Masahiro Abe attended early morning BP on Saturday (start time around 7am).
...Additional notes from Saturday's intra-squad practice game:
Hideaki Wakui topped out at 142km/h.
Yasuyuki Kataoka collected three hits.
Takumi Kuriyama collected two hits, including a double in his 4th at bat.
Takeya Nakamura fouled a ball off his left leg and was removed from the game.
Abe started at second and batted 7th.
...Nakamura didn't accompany the team to the practice game against the Hiroshima Carp. He instead stayed back and spent time working on his swing. He told reporters that his leg was fine.