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Toshihisa Nishi signs with the Lancaster Barnstormers and more

by on Mar.12, 2010 @ 2:40 pm, under MLB

In preparation for his outing on the 12th, Hisanori Takahashi played some catch after general practice on Thursday.  He was originally set to pitch on the 11th, but the outing was pushed back a day.  Takahashi told reporters that he was glad he had an extra day of rest.

Ryota Igarashi tossed an inning of relief against the Boston Red Sox on the 11th.  He faced 6 batters, gave up 3 hits (all doubles), struck out 1, and allowed 2 runs (both earned).  Igarashi apparently had a tough time keeping his fork and slider down low in the zone.

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Junichi Tazawa did not give up any runs in his two innings of work against the New York Mets on the 11th.  He faced 7 batters, did not give up any hits, walked 1, and struck out 2.  He retired the side in order in the 8th and then walked the first batter he faced in the 9th before retiring three straight to end the game.

Daisuke Matsuzaka was in the middle of playing catch on the 11th when he suddenly stopped.  There was some concern that it might be another injury, but it turns out the hot cream he put on his right shoulder was too strong and was irritating his skin.  After taking a shower to wash the cream off, the shoulder was feeling fine again.  After general practice he returned to the field and played some catch with his interpreter.

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Akinori Iwamura started at second and batted lead-off against the Tampa Bay Rays on the 11th.  He went 0-for-3: strike out, GIDP, ground out to pitcher.  Hew as lifted in the 5th on defense.

He told reporters he was happy to meet up with some of his former teammates -- he spent some time chatting with Carl Crawford and B.J. Upton prior to the game.

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Kei Igawa was set to pitch on the 11th, but the game was canceled due to rain.  His next outing will likely come on or after the 13th (he won't be traveling with the team on the 12th).

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Hideki Matsui spent about 30 minutes in the cages on the 11th.  On speaking to reporters about playing in the outfield, Matsui said that he wasn't even thinking about an opening day start in the field.

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Hiroki Kuroda threw 36 pitches in the bullpen on the 11th in preparation for his outing against the Texas Rangers on the 14th.  He also spent some time hanging out with Timo Perez, a player that spent a few years with the Hiroshima Carp in the late 90s.  Incidentally, Perez signed with the Carp through their academy in the Dominican Republic.

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Kenshin Kawakami spent about an hour lifting weight prior to general practice on the 11th.  He told reporters that he practices were much shorter in the US and that he isn't given enough things to do.

Takashi Saito told reporters that he plans on placing more focus on running and weight training for his current workouts at Spring training.  He will likely get to pitch again on the 16th.

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Ichiro Suzuki started in right and batted lead-off against the San Francisco Giants on the 11th.  He went 1-for-4 with a stolen base: double then stole third base,  ground out to pitcher, line out to second, fly out to left.  He was replaced on defense in the 5th.

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Koji Uehara tossed a shutout inning in relief against the Minnesota Twins on the 11th.  He faced the minimum three batters and struck out two.  For his third outing during Spring training, Uehara focused in on his fork.

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Seems Toshihisa Nishi signed a contract with the Lancaster Barnstormers (IND, Atlantic League).  Nishi returned to Japan on the 10th and will be returning to the States for Spring camp with Lancaster in early April.  Nishi is hoping to catch the eye of an MLB scout.

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Tomokazu Ohka arrived in Cancun on the 6th.  The Mexican League regular season begins on the 17th.  Ohka told reporters that conditions weren't very good and that he was feeling a little stressed.  He also added that he's fully committed to doing his best, regardless of where he might be playing baseball.