The Hanshin Tigers closed out their extended Ni-gun camp taking place at Naruohama on Tuesday. Part of the final day of camp included a 3,500 meter run. Seems Ni-gun manager Haruki Yoshitake is planning on starting spring camp with the same exact run to see if the properly worked out during the winter (they'll be checking for changes in finish times).
Batting coach Yutaka Wada told reporters that he thought it might be better to bat Matt Murton out of the 5 hole in the line-up next season. It seems Wada thinks that 5 hole will become a very important spot in the line-up next year, especially with the new NPB regulation baseball.
Said Wada, "With the ball changing, we might not be able to hit as many home runs and extra bases as we did this year. It would be nice if we can keep the line-up we used this season... But over the last few years we've had trouble finding a good number 5 hitter. Ideally, we'd like a player that could be a "cushion". Murton could be that player."
In other words, he wants to avoid having Craig Brazell, Takahiro Arai, and Kenji Jojima clumped together in the line-up. Wada's ideal 5 hitter can drive in runs, create scoring opportunities, and extend innings.
Tomoaki Kanemoto also appears to be an option for the 5 hole (while the above is based on a Sanspo article, Daily Sports is carrying a version that's pushing Kanemoto for the 5 spot).
Naoto Tsuru finished moving his stuff out of the players dorm. Seems he got his own place.
Keisuke Kano thinks he could provide the team with the most value to the team by being both an outfielder and catcher next season, even though the club wants him to focus on playing the outfield (and enforced further with the addition of Akihito Fujii).
Shunsuke Fujikawa was a police chief for a day on Tuesday. Fujikawa is trying to get used to eating more. While Fujikawa ended the season at the same weight he started the season at (70kg), he also lost 3kgs during the summer months. In addition to the eating, Fujikawa is also hoping to bulk up a bit more, and pointed to how Kanemoto and Takashi Toritani arrived to practice early during the season in order to lift weights.
Former Hanshin Tiger Norihiro Akahoshi is holding a charity auction (12/1 - 12/10) with the help of 7 other active players: Naohisa Sugiyama, Shinobu Fujihara, Shunsuke Fujikawa, Atsushi Fujimoto, Keiji Obiki, Osamu Hamanaka, and Takahiro Okada.