If the Tigers front office ask Akinobu Mayumi to help recruit Hiroyuki Kobayashi, he'll be more than happy to:
I'm leaving it up to the front office, but if they ask, and if it'll help, I'll get involved.
As mentioned a number of times before, the Tigers are looking for a bridge to Kyuji Fujikawa and feel that Kobayashi is the perfect fit (and it's the one spot they're still worried about). And it seems the idea format would be Tomoyuki Kubota to Kobayashi to Fujikawa. In the end, this is all about trying to make sure that Fujikawa doesn't have to toss more than an inning an outing.
Mayumi also said that Kenji Jojima will likely start spring camp in Okinawa where it's warmer; that the team isn't going to rush Tomoaki Kanemoto back, and that means they aren't going to rush him to be ready by opening day; and that while he has Matt Murton penciled in for the lead-off spot, he really wanted his center fielder to bat first (that would in turn drop Murton to 6 and extend the line-up) and it seems Mayumi is hoping Shunsuke Fujikawa will not only win the starting CF job, but also the lead-off spot as well.
In other team-related news:
Ryo Watanabe worked out at Naruohama on Saturday (running, playing catch). He'll be moving on to the Koshien facilities today and will continue his workouts with Shinobu Fukuhara. He told reporters that he'd like to toss 2-3 bullpen session before the start of spring camp.
Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi worked out in Amamioshima on Saturday. Shimoyanagi apparently asked retired track and field star Koji Ito (now working as an advisor for Konan University's Women's Track and Field team) for advice back in December and found that his body was out of balance, most likely due to the right knee surgery he had in 2008. He also working with a physical therapist. Shimoyanagi also told reporters that his wife gave birth to a girl back in October.