Tatsuya Shiokawa saw his salary for 2011 drop 3.5M yen to 12.5M yen on Friday. So in addition to losing the number 1 to Akinori Iwamura. Seems Shiokawa is taking this as a wake-up call as he will also have to compete with Iwamura and Kazuo Matsui for a starting job next season.
Said Shiokawa, "I had a lot of pressure my first year. I knew I wasn't doing quite as well as other players wearing the number 1. More than my uniform number changing, I'm upset about my performance this past season. ... During my rehab (right elbow surgery) I had a change to strengthen [my arms]. Both arms grew about 4cm. I think I'm ready to start hitting the baseball harder. There are some things I'd like to steal [from the two of them] and the club is also pushing for us as well."
Motohiro Shima will be the Eagles chief player rep next season. At 26, he will become the youngest chief player rep in club history. Shima is taking over for Hisashi Iwakuma.
Masato Nakamura is planning on becoming more aggressive at the plate again next year. Under Marty Brown, Nakamura ended up being more cautious and ended up swinging the bat later.
Matsui is working out at both second and short.
Said Matsui, "I want to be able to play well where ever they put me. At short, you need to use your legs a lot and be aggressive at times. Second is different and because of that, I'm also doing some things for that."
And it seems one of those things is strengthening his shoulder in order to make stronger throws.
Iwamura held a baseball clinic in Yamaguchi for about 80 kids in Yamaguchi earlier today as part of his AKI Project.