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Hanshin Tigers News and Notes: December 13, 2010

by on Dec.13, 2010 @ 2:17 pm, under NPB

Yuya Ando is looking to regain some of the trust / confidence the team may have lost in him after a rocky season (19 G, 2-3, 52.0 IP, 7.27 ERA).  So instead of pushing himself too hard to secure his fourth consecutive opening day start (a feat that would tie a club high set by Shigeru Kobayashi), Ando would much rather work on making sure he builds up a body that'll last a full season.

Said Ando, "Instead of pushing myself [to win the opening day start], I think it'll be better for the club for me to work on build a body that can pitch a full season.  I haven't done very well the last two seasons and it's important for me to regain everyone's trust."


Shinobu Fukuhara would like to pitch in the starting rotation next season and is working on polishing up his fastball during the winter.  And after Masahiro Yamamoto (Chunichi) pointed out during the season that his stride might be a little short, he's managed to regain a little something on his fastball.


Tomoyuki Kubota worked out at Naruohama on Sunday.  Kubota plans on sending his agent in to handle his upcoming salary negotiations.


Keiichi Hirano held a baseball clinic of his own at Jingu Stadium on Sunday (he rented the place out for two hours at 240,000 yen) and invited the Meguro Nishi Senior little league team.

Hirano also reflected on his game against the Swallows at Jingu Stadium on 7/17 when he threw his helmet down.

"It's not good to drag thing along, but when I think of [that game] when I threw my helmet, and then all the kids that were watching the game...  I was trying so hard to do my job and it was done in the heat of the moment.  That's something I never want to do again," said Hirano.


Yuya Nohara is working out with his brother, Shota Nohara, this winter.  Shota originally had plans to become a boat racer but had to give up when he outgrew the age restrictions.  The age restrictions were loosened recently (from 21 to 30) and Shota decided to give boat racing another try.  He's got a long road ahead though as he'll need to drop about 20kg (from 70 to 52).  And that's not actually a bad thing, since Yuya is trying to lose / maintain his weight during the off-season as well.

Yuya is also planning on working out in Saitama during the off-season, the same thing he did when he played in the Industrial Leagues.


Norihiro Akahoshi apparently thinks Hiroki Uemoto is exactly the kind of player the Tigers need on the Ichi-gun roster.

"I think he's a type of player [the Tigers] need on the Ichi-gun roster," said Akahoshi.  "I have high expectations for him.  But in order to considered the next Akahoshi, I think he'll need to steal at least 20 bases."

Akahoshi not only considers Uemoto a pesky hitter that can make pitchers throw a lot of pitches, but also a solid base-runner.  All he needs is more polish.


Senryokuai Takahiro Shoda is still looking for a team to play for.  At this point, it seems he'll play anywhere (Japan or overseas).