=== 3/9/2010 1:48am JST
...Matt Murton has been working on gathering as much information as he can (by going over videos of pitchers and speaking to the coaches) on Central League teams during the last few weeks so that he'll be ready for the regular season. Exhibition games against other teams in the Central League begin on the 10th with the Yomiuri Giants. After that they'll have two more games against Pacific League teams with the rest all against Central League teams.
=== 4:02pm JST
...Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi gets the start against the Nippon Ham Fighters on the 9th. Tatsuya Kojima, Randy Messenger, and Kyuji Fujikawa are all scheduled to make an appearances in relief. Yasutomo Kubo will likely pitch against the Yomiui Giants on the 10th. Casey Fossum will likely get the start against the Orix Buffaloes on the 11th.
Pitching coach Takashi Yamaguchi told reporters that due to the schedule, most starters will likely see about three innings of work, supplemented by 50 pitches in the bullpen.
=== 3/8/2010 12:48pm JST
...After throwing 23 pitches in the bullpen on Sunday, Minoru Iwata threw 47 pitches during BP while facing Yuhei Kai and Kosei Fujii. Daily Sports reports that the BP was more like a simulate game where he faced 13 batters and gave-up 5 could-be hits. He was also originally scheduled to face just 9 batters.
Iwata will now throw 100+ pitches at some point this week in preparation for a start during an Ikusei League game on the 13th or 14th. Pitching coach Yasuo Kubo told reporters that there are 7-8 pitches vying for a spot in the rotation and that Iwata was one of them.
...Tomoyuki Kubota has been working his way back from some right shoulder tightness. On Sunday he pitched in his first exhibition game and threw a scoreless inning inning in relief -- he faced three batters, threw 10 pitches, struck out one, and topped out at 146km/h. Kubota also threw a change that he's been working on (since Spring camp in 2008), one that comes in low in the 120km/h range.
...Yuya Ando will likely pitch on the 14th against the Yomiuri Giants and the 20th against the Hiroshima Carp. On Sunday he started and threw three perfect innings -- 9 batters, 36 pitches, 4 strike outs. Ando also threw about 10 change-ups during his outing.
...Kenji Johjima doesn't plan on changing his approach when the team faces the Yokohama Bay Stars on opening day. The reason why something like this even comes up is because Takao Obana and Johjima were both on the same Daiei Hawks (Obana as pitching coach). Personally, I think it's a non-issue. Just the media trying to drum up a rivalry.