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Yomiuri Giants News and Notes: January 15, 2011

by on Jan.15, 2011 @ 9:32 pm, under NPB

Hidetoshi Kiyotake returned to Japan on Friday after spending 5 days in the US.  Kiyotake (and 6 other members of the front office) spent some time in Florida with New York Yankees baseball executive, Damon Oppenheimer to discuss things like how to discover new talent.  The Yankees also told the Giants that each year, they start with a few thousand possible draft candidates and ultimately squeeze that down to about 150.

The Yomuri Giants apparently came away from the trip feeling that there were a number of changes they could make to help them with their program.

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Tetsuya Utsumi has been donating randoserus (children's backpack) to various childcare facilities since 2008 (one for every strikeout he records).  He told reporters on Friday that he'd like to try and donate 200 this season.  And he'll be turning to the fork he's trying to pick up to help him accomplish that feat.

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Hideki Sunaga tossed about 60 pitches to a squatting catcher in the bullpen today.  Sunaga has actually taken things a little slowly this winter -- when he was with the Nippon Ham Fighters, he used to toss bullpen session in December, but this winter, he spent most of his time in December running and didn't toss his first bullpen until 1/13.

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Yuki Furukawa worked out at Giants Stadium today (playing catch, throwing in the bullpen to a standing catcher, running).  Furukawa dropped his arm angle down last year, ended up hurting his shoulder, and failed to log any inning at the Ichi-gun level.  Furukawa told reporters today that he no longer cared about throwing from the side and just wanted to get back to the level he was at in 2009.

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Tetsuya Matsumoto is trying to improve his hitting (and strengthen his arms) by swinging the bat with one hand during soft toss BP.  On Friday, Matsumoto swung a 1.2kg training bat a total 240 times (120 with each hand).  After that, he swung the bat an additional 120 times (with both hands).

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Shinnosuke Abe has been working closely with the younger players in Guam: he gave hitting advice to Ikusei catcher Genki Kawano and hit a bunch of grounder to Daisuke Fujimura.

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Taishi Ota worked out for about 5 hours at Giants Stadium on Friday.