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Chunichi Dragons News and Notes: December 21, 2010

by on Dec.21, 2010 @ 5:08 pm, under NPB

Hirokazu Ibata would like to play in every exhibition game on the 2011 schedule.  On Monday, he spent about 3 hours practicing at Nagoya Stadium.  Ibata also didn't accompany the team on their victory trip to Hawaii and instead held a 10-day mini-camp in Kumamoto (he even rented out a stadium at 3,000 yen a day that included lights for night practice).

"I think I might be the only player in the NPB to practice so much at this time of the year," said Ibata.  "My body is ready for the season.  I think I was practicing close to 8 hours a day."


The Chunichi Dragons didn't sign Joel Guzman as a replacement for Tony Blanco, but rather as an insurance policy (and as motivator) for when Blanco hits another rut (like he did this season).  But if Guzman happens to take off, the Dragons are also ready to play him over Blanco.  And if the two are playing well, they may leave both in the starting line-up.

Said head coach Shigekazu Mori, "We'll probably use whichever is hot.  Blanco just needs to be himself.  But if he [gets into a slump] like he did this year, it's possible he might not make the starting line-up.  If both are doing well, it should be ok to use both at the same time.  I'm sure the manager will figure out what to do during [spring] camp."


The Chunichi Dragons announced on Monday that 26-year-old Kei Nomoto married a 28-year-old woman named Kana Minekawa (? 峰川佳奈) filed marriage papers back on 12/1.

4 comments on “Chunichi Dragons News and Notes: December 21, 2010

  1. Isaac

    Looks like Guzman is a former SS and played 30+ games in right field last year in the minors.
    Sounds like they think of him as only a first baseman.
    I would at least try him out in RF, that’s a position they could really upgrade.

    1. Alex

      Hello Isaac,

      I agree with your line of thinking, they could defintely use another bat in outfield. Fujii and the Donahue brothers are weak at the plate. Man, I wish my “rut” at the plate still results in a 32 HR/86 RBI year. Dragons need to relax with Blanco.

      Also, seeing how Ibata only played 53 games last year and is getting older…how is it a good idea that he plays all these exhibtion games?

  2. Isaac

    Yeah, I hope they give Guzman a shot in RF.
    They have some good defensive CFs to cover Wada and whoevers in right.
    Keep hoping Fujii will break out, he had a good 2009.
    Totally agree about Blanco, they need to get off the guy’s back. Every player has a slump occationally and I don’t think they got him to hit for a high avg.
    He’s there to hit bombs and knock guys in, which (like you said) was not that far off from his first year. Sophmore slumps happen regularly, he just needs to adjust to how the pitchers have adjusted to him. Management is just going to make the situation worse.

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