The Rakuten Eagles' 2nd round of fall practice ended today. Head / batting coach Koichi Tabuchi told reporters that the hitters were finally beginning to use their lower bodies similarly and that he wanted everyone to be ready for simulated games and intra-squad games as soon as spring camp begins. He also said that even though the last two weeks went by quickly and there were plenty of players he met for the first time, everyone still managed to get on the same page with regards to the new direction the team was heading in.
The Eagles also gave batting practice pitcher Kanemoto (金本泰尚) a nice send-off at the end of practice: after Masahiro Tanaka picked up a fungo bat and swung and missed at a pitch low, the players ran onto the field and tossed him into the air. The club offered Kanemoto an extension, but he turned it down to pursue a job at Asami Country Club.
In other team news:
On Tuesday, the six outfielders, including Ryo Hijirisawa and Akihisa Makida, were given about 40 minutes of extra fielding practice that entailed flagging down an undetermined number of fly balls hit all over the outfield (from foul pole to foul pole).
The Eagles apparently plan on converting infielder Hisashi Kawata back to a catcher. The Eagles originally draft Kawata as a catcher in the 2005 draft before converting him into a DH / 1B in 2008. Kawata's conversion is apparently all about being prepared in case one of the other catchers on the team goes down with an injury.