Kenji Jojima had his second post-op exam on Thursday and was cleared to come off the crutches (about 2 weeks earlier than initially planned). Jojima also dropped by the Koshien clubhouse to go over data from the 2010 season and to begin working on plans for the 2011 season.
Keisuke Kano recently sat down with head coach Katsuhiko Kido and finally received permssion from the Tigers to work out at as both a catcher and an outfielder next season. While Kano's main focus will be his conversion to an outfielder, he'll also continue to catch whenever he can (since it would be a waste to throw that experience away).
Kano had back surgery on 11/11 and has been making good progress -- he started swinging a bat on the 9th.
Ryo Asai is looking forward to working out with Satoru Kanemura this winter. Asai will be joining Shinjiro Hiyama in Guam in January, the same location where the Samsung Lions will be working out.
Said Asai, "Samsung always works out in the same place that Hiyama spends his winter. It'll only be a brief amount of time in the beginning, but I'm hoping it'll work out."
With the Hanshin Tigers signing a 1-year extension with Randy Messenger, they now have 68 players on the 70-man roster. GM Shoji Numasawa told reporters that the club was more or less finished signing foreign players for the time being. They will apparently continue to look into Hideki Okajima.
Tomoyuki Kubota was a guest on ABC Radio's Sports-ni Pitatto on Thursday and said he wanted to break Jeff Williams' NPB record of 141 career holds next season. Kubota is currently sitting on 110 (good for second on the all-time list behind Williams). ... Kentaro Sekimoto and Ken Nishimura visited the children's ward of the Kobe University Hospital on Thursday. Nishimura spoke of three keys to his success next season: improving himself physically by doing a better job of maintain his weight; re-evaluate pitching plans by looking over the data; and working on pitching that have some drop, like a fork ball.