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Yuki Saito News and Notes: January 14, 2011

by on Jan.14, 2011 @ 10:56 am, under NPB

This post will be updated with information as it becomes available so keep checking back if you have any interest in Yuki Saito.

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It appears the reason why the Fighters want to start Saito off at Ichi-gun camp is so that he can work with Yu Darvish.

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The first round of Saito merchandise will include four items:

Commemorative baseball that has the name and uniform numbers of all six 2010 draft prospects - 900 yen

Mobile phone strap with the number 18 and "SAITO" printed on it - 600 yen

Face towel - 1,200 yen

T-Shirt - 2,800 yen

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The new black glove Saito started using yesterday has his name and uniform number (YUKI 18) stitched into the area near the thumb.  The webbing area has a design that conjures up the image of the letter S.  And it seems he switched over to a black glove because it was the team color.  He still isn't sure if he'll use it during games though.

During his first game of catch with Masahiro Inui (3rd round), Saito threw the ball about 59 times.  His second game of catch started at 50 meters and they slowly moved closer together until they were about 30 meters apart.  At that point, Saito started throwing his slider, change, cutter, and two-seamer.  To finish up, they moved in even closer until they were about 20 meters apart.

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The NATAS  natas doughnut shop in Kamagaya will be selling Yu-chan doughnuts.  And if they get popular enough, they could also ended up being sold at the main branch in Maebashi, Gunma.

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Tobu Railway will be putting up posters with directions on how to get to Kamagaya Stadium after Kamagaya Station and Shin-Kamagaya Station fielded over 200 cases of fans asking for directions on the first day of prospects' training camp.  At Shin-Kamagaya, around 600 passed through the station over a 30-minute period beginning at 8am, that was apparently 10 times the amount compared to the same time from last week.

The posters will go up at Shin-Kamagaya Station, Kamagaya Station, and Funabashi Station as early as today.

Wonder how long it'll be before we start hearing of fans stealing the posters.

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Daisuke Matsuzaka told reporters on the 11th (Japan time 12th) that he felt Saito was good enough to make Japan's international competition roster and that he looked forward to pitching alongside Saito during the next World Baseball Classic.  Saito responded by saying that he was flattered but still needed to build up his confidence before he could even be considered.

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Saito wore a pink neck warmer and sunglasses during practice today.

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Saito told reporters after practice today that he felt a little sore, but otherwise felt fine.  He also said that he was ready to pitch in the bullpen.

During the lectures that take place in the morning, players are learning about the history of the club (back from when they were known as the Toei Flyers).

Today also marked the end of the first block of prospects' training camp.  Saito could toss a bullpen during the second block of camp that begins on the 16th.