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Various News and Notes from Around the League: January 15, 2011

by on Jan.15, 2011 @ 11:45 pm, under NPB

Chunichi Dragons

Hitoki Iwase worked out at World Gym, with other players like Masahiro Yamamoto, on Friday.  He also played catch at a distance of about 50 meters.

Yamamoto is working on polishing up his curve.  He had some difficultly with the pitch last season (it slipped out of his hand twice during the Nippon Series) and he's going to change some things around to see if he can throw it without worrying about it slipping out of his hand.

Both Iwase and Yamamoto worked out at World Gym in the morning today and spent the afternoon working out at an indoor facility.

General player training began at Nagoya Stadium yesterday.  50 players, including the 5 players from the 2010 draft class, took part in the practice (running, playing catch).  General player training will last until the 25th.  After that, a large portion of the players will move into Okinawa on the 26th in preparation for the start of spring camp on 2/1.

Yakult Swallows

Yoshinori Sato worked out at Toda Stadium on Friday and told reporters that he wanted to do a lot of throwing during spring camp.  Regarding his high of 262 pitches in one day during spring camp last year, Yoshinoi said that he was just throwing without much thought and that this year, he would be working toward a goal: polishing up a two-seamer he's working on and taking care of his body (in other words, he wants to increase the quality of his bullpen sessions).

25-year-old Mikinori Kato held a wedding reception with his wife, 33-year-old Sayaka Matsumoto, at a hotel in Minato-ku, Tokyo today.  About 90 people attended, including teammates Tatsuyoshi Masubuchi and Yasuhiro Ichiba.

Yokohama Bay Stars

Naoto Watanabe wants to do a lot of running this season.  Throw in Takehiro Ishikawa and Hichori Morimoto and  the Bay Stars have three players that have three players that have stolen 30 bases at least once during their careers.

Shintaro Ejiri worked out at Bay Stars Stadium in Yokosuka today.  He also played a little soccer with other players like Shigeru Kaga and Yataro Sakamoto before starting his practice session.

Chiba Lotte Marines

Tomoya Satozaki worked out in Chiba today.  His day started at 9am (and last until around 1pm) with some weight training, playing catch, BP, and fielding practice.

Toshiaki Imae was presented with TV Asahi's Hodo Station Big Sports Award yesterday.

Rakuten Eagles

Tatsuya Shiokawa worked out in the indoor training facilities at Kleenex Stadium today.  Shiokawa is still in the process of rehabbing the right elbow he had surgery on last fall.  He told reporters that he felt no discomfort and was able to practice at full strength.

Since the addition of Senichi Hoshino, fan club membership has skyrocketed.  As of the 14th, the Eagles have received 47,613 applications, that's at a much quicker pace than last year, when they ended with about 73,000 members (an all-time high for the Eagles).  55% of those applying for memberships are also from the Sendai area, compared to 50% from last year.  Additionally, about 40% of the memberships are for the upper tier packages.

Seibu Lions

Kazuhisa Ishii apparently borrowed some farm land in Chiba and plans to grow his own vegetables.  When asked about Tatsuya Oishi (1st round), Ishii said he didn't really have an interest in other people and that he would leave the coaching up to other players like Hideaki Wakui and Takayuki Kishi.  He also added that his goal for the year was to rack up double-digit wins and toss 150 innings.

Softbank Hawks

The media learned on Friday that adidas Japan will be signing an equipment agreement with Kazumi Saito.  While it isn't a full official contract, adidas will still provide Saito with things like training wear, sneakers, and various other equipment.

Saito was turned into a rehab training coach this season in order to give him more time to focus on his own rehab training.

The Softbank Hawks met with Hiroshi Shibahara's agent today in an attempt to work something out.