Naoto Tsuru is using the off-season to improve his conditioning and stamina so that he can hit his 2011 goal of tossing 100+ innings at Ichi-gun for the first time in his career (he also has his eyes on double-digit wins and the starting rotation). Ni-gun pitching coach Kiyooki Nakanishi would also like to see Tsuru throw anywhere from 100 to 150 innings next season.
In addition to Takumi Akiyama and Masashi Nohara, Shunsuke Fujikawa will be joining Team Jojima for training in January.
Fujikawa worked out (playing catch and running) at his Alma mater (Kinki University) on Sunday. He'll continue his training at Kinki University until the 22nd and then make visits to Fukuoka (home town) and Hiroshima (Koryo High School). He'll also pay his respects to Hiroyuki Oze by visiting his grave.
Akiyama plans on hitting a number of hot springs when he returns home to Saijo this winter (for about 2 weeks).
Keiichi Yabu will be getting Akinobu Okada's old number 80.
Seems the club gave Yabu the option to pick from the numbers 77, 78, 79, and 80. Before selecting the number 80, Yabu also placed a call to Okada for permission.
FWIW: 77 was Senichi Hoshino's old number and 78 was former Ni-gun manager's Katsuo Hirata number.
Owner Shinya Sakai still hasn't written his New Year's Cards to the team, but does intend on sending them out again this year.
Yasutomo Kubo was a guest on Mainichi Broadcasting Systems' radio program MBS Toragumi Tigers Live on Sunday. Kubo told listeners that he wanted to improve his hitting and planned on sneaking in some BP during lunch hour at spring camp.