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Rakuten Eagles: April 23, 2010

by on Apr.23, 2010 @ 2:56 pm, under NPB

4/24/2010 1:26am JST

...Pitching coach Yoshinori Sato worked directly with Hiromichi Fujiwara (making adjustments to his mechanics) for the second day in a row on Friday.

4/23/2010 2:56pm JST

...Masahiro Tanaka threw about 50 pitches in a bullpen session on Thursday.  He also worked on a new pitch: a fast curve with vertical break that comes in at about 120km/h.  On Wednesday, pitching coach Yoshinori Sato suggested that Tanaka give the pitch a try (it was a pitch that Sato threw and was dubbed the Yoshi Ball).  Seems Tanaka is already comfortable with the pitch as he told reporters that he plans to throw it during his next start.

Tanaka now has a pitcher repertoire that includes a fastball, curve, two types of sliders, a fork, a two-seamer, a change, and now the new curve.

...Hiroshi Katayama has been pitching effectively out of the bullpen.  And with the Eagles still struggling to find arms to follow Hisashi Iwakuma, Tanaka, and Satoshi Nagai in the starting rotation, it seems they might turn their attention towards Katayama.

...Marty Brown was apparently happy about the rain cancellation because it gave him time to "communicate with the players." And while the demotion of Kenji Tomura means there's an opening in the rotation, Brown feels the team will be fine with what they have for now.  It appears Andy Phillips might also be close to rejoining the team soon.