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1/5/2011: Junichi Tazawa, Ichiro Suzuki, Hiroyuki Kobayashi

by on Jan.05, 2011 @ 1:22 pm, under MLB

Junichi Tazawa worked out for about 2 hours at a facility in Kanagawa on Tuesday.

"I'm making good physical progress, the only thing left is the elbow I had surgery on" said Tazawa.  "I'd like to be able to pitch in games by March, so I need to work on getting that back.  I'd like to try and be ready by opening day."

Tazawa added, "I haven't thrown any pitches in Japan and I'm a little afraid, but I'm also looking forward to being able to throw."

Tazawa will be returning to the US shortly in order to continue his training at Fort Myers.

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Hiroki Kuroda started working out at Mazda Stadium today -- about 1.5 hours of weight training and playing catch.

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Ichiro Suzuki started swinging the bat during practice at Skymark Stadium on Tuesday.  He was apparently pulling on pitches and hitting line-drives.  Ichiro plans on continuing his training in Japan until mid-February.

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Hiroyuki Kobayashi told reporters that he'll probably start up his training in the New Year on Thursday.  He'll also be heading out to Okinawa later this month and will also be working out with some MLB baseballs.

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Ryota Igarashi apparently has plans to begin workouts in Arizona on the 4th.

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For lunch on Tuesday, Hideki Matsui ate at a Chinese restaurant in the ANA Crown Plaza Hotel in front of Kanazawa Station.  There's apparently a belief in China where you eat food taken from parts of animals where you're feeling pain -- Matsui ate two servings of a dish called Shark Collagen, Abalone, and Pigs Feet Stew (虎鮫コラーゲンとアワビと豚足の煮込み).

Matsui's mentor, Tomoshige Yamashita, also gave Matsui some Sadaharu Oh books (6 in all) to read.

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Yahoo Sports' Darren Pare figures that Kei Igawa is the 2nd worst free agent signing by the New York Yankees.  A snip:

As a Yankee fan you would have hoped that the Yankees had learned their lesson with over-hyped Japanese pitchers after Hideki Irabu. Unfortunately they did not and wound up spending a total of $46 million, $20 million for a five year deal and a $26 million posting fee, for Kei Igawa. The 31 year old left handed pitcher is still signed through 2011, but hasn't sniffed the big leagues since 2008. He has only pitched in 16 games in the majors since he came over. He spent 2010 in AAA with an ERA of 4.32.

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