Welcome to Yakyubaka.com

Pacific League News and Notes: January 17, 2011

by on Jan.17, 2011 @ 4:23 pm, under NPB

I'll keep this post updated throughout the day.

Orix Buffaloes

The Buffaloes at Skymark Stadium (staff and players) took a moment of silence (about a minute) to honor the victims of the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake at 12:00pm today.

Chihiro Kaneko will try to learn as much as he can from Chan-Ho Park.  It seems he's also glad Park joined the team because it'll hopefully mean fewer cameras on him:

"Ace?  I'm not that kind of pitcher.  I feel embarrassed when people call me that.  I'm grateful that good pitchers like Park are coming.  It means less eyes on me.  I just want to do things under the radar."

Regarding the possibility of being an opening day starter:

"I don't want to practice with the goal of being the opening day starter.  [Not focusing on that] makes things easier.  It's not that I don't want the opening day start, but what I want more is to provide a stable presence in the rotation through the full season.  Even if [the manager tells me I've got the opening day start], I don't want to think about it."

Even though Mamoru Kishida doesn't throw a fork, he'd still like a chance to ask Kazuhiro Sasaki some questions about how he throws the fork because Kishida apparently throws his change as if he were throwing a fork.

The Buffaloes held a staff meeting today to set their spring training schedule and to begin putting together an outline for where players will be playing.  As of now, it appears the team will be taking 41 players (up 6 from last year) to Ichi-gun camp.  A finalized roster will be released at a later date.

Nippon Ham Fighters

Atsushi Ugumori is getting a chance to work directly (fielding and hitting) with Shinya Miyamoto (YAK).  Ugumori is listed as an outfielder but has been working out at first as well.  The two are currently working out in Ehime.

Naoki Miyanishi participated in a demonstration for e-Tax software at the team offices in Sapporo today.  He also told reporters that he was thinking about picking up a new pitch during spring camp, something with downward movement.

Masaru Takeda worked out for about 4 hours in Hitachiota, Ibaraki today (running, playing catch).  Tomoya Yagi, Yutaka Otsuka, Takahiko Nomaguchi, and Tetsuya Matsumoto also worked out with Takeda today.

Rakuten Eagles

Nikkan Sports reports that Hisashi Iwakuma told fans at a talk event yesterday that he looked forward to the upcoming season and hoped that the competition between he and Masahiro Tanaka would help propel the team to a good season.  He also added that younger pitchers should take advantage of having two "textbooks" they can study from (textbooks = Iwakuma and Tanaka).  Note: both Sanspo and Sponichi include the word "coach" in similar reports (as in, Iwakuma will act like a coach to the younger players this season).

Pro-wrestler Hiroshi Tanahashi dropped by Kleenex Stadium today and met with Iwakuma.

Seibu Lions

Yusei Kikuchi tossed 30 pitches to a standing catcher at Seibu 2 Stadium today.  He told reporters his goal this season was to make it up to the Ichi-gun roster.

Ginjiro jumped in for a time trial run (he wanted to show the rookies a thing or two) today during the rookies cycling training session at Seibu Keirin and broke his own club record with a time of 1m 24.39s.

Softbank Hawks

Yuichi Honda took off for Saipan with Soichiro Tateoka yesterday.  Honda is looking to take 200 swings of the bat (soft toss) everyday.  Tateoka will be practicing his swing with a new bat that's a bit longer than the one he used last season (from 33.5 inches to 34 inches).

Toru Hosokawa wants to accomplish three things this season: improve his runners thrown out percentage to 50%; keep the team's pitching ERA under 3.50; see to it that pitchers toss 20 or more complete games.

Tadaatsu Nakazawa finished out his workouts with Kenji Jojima's (HAN) training group in Sasebo, Nagasaki on the 14th.  He worked out for about 3 hours in Fukuoka today (fielding practice, strength training).

The Softbank Hawks are thinking of assigning Alex Cabrera a personal out-of-stadium baseball catcher during spring camp.  The spring camp stadium (Ivy Stadium) is 100 meters to left and right and 122 meters to center.  And since Cabrera can hit the ball pretty far and the Hawks are thinking of ways to help protect any fans that might be walking by.  In addition to have someone stand outside of the stadium with a glove on, the Hawks are also thinking about improving the outfield netting.