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Central League News and Notes: January 17, 2011

by on Jan.17, 2011 @ 6:24 pm, under NPB

I'll keep this post updated throughout the day.

Chunichi Dragons

The players couldn't get any training down outside on Sunday due to the inclement weather -- outside temps were at -2.9 degrees Celsius and at around 4pm there was about 9 cm of snow on the ground.  The players were stuck indoors (running, fielding, playing catch, BP).

Hiroshima Carp

Shota Dobayashi told reporters that he had a chance to toss the ball (about 30 baseballs) to Tomoaki Kanemoto during one of his soft toss BP sessions in Hiroshima.  Said Dobayashi, "The better the hitter, the easier it is to toss the ball.  Kanemoto was amazing.  Since his back leg doesn't move, his swing trajectory is always the same.  I've tossed baseballs to a lot of players but watching Kanemoto was something else."  The soft toss stint with Kanemoto reaffirmed Dobayashi's convictions to strengthen his lower body.  And since last season, Dobayashi has managed to put on 5kg and was excited to find that he was able to feel a big difference during his own BP sessions.

Taketo Kawaguchi told reporters that he took about 10 pages of notes during his one week of training with Hideki Okajima that took place at the end of last year.  He also said he tossed about 300 pitches over a three-day period at the start of the year (he used the bullpen at the Oji Seishi training grounds) and found that he was throwing the ball better.

Yakult Swallows

Junji Ogawa doesn't plan on taking any breaks during the first half of spring camp.  Since the Ni-gun group will also be working out in Okinawa during the first half of February, he's trying to set the schedule so that he'll be able to watch over Ni-gun training when the Ichi-gun players are taking the day off.  Ogawa also spent some time watching rookie workouts at the Toda Ni-gun training grounds today.

Kyohei Muranaka's change-up has been given the nickname the Kunimasu Change.  Kunimasu (or Oncorhynchus nerka kawamurae) is a fish that was thought to be extinct, but was recently discovered to be alive by Japanese comedian / fish expert Sakana-kun.  And since Murnaka and Sakana-kun apparently look alike...

Yokohama Bay Stars

Takao Obana would like to see his pitchers keep opponents to 3 runs or less and would like to see his offense score 4 or more runs this season.

The Bay Stars are planning on holding a major staff meeting sometime later this month.  Amongst the people that are expected to attend: team president Takao Kaji, managing director Teiji Sato, Obana, general coach Tetsuji Okamoto, team captain Shuichi Murata, Bay Stars' chief player rep Shinji Niinuma, and long-term veteran Daisuke Miura.  This appears to be a part of Obana's plan to improve communication.

Yataro Sakamoto would like to win a spot in the starting rotation and has been working on his conditioning this winter.