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Pacific League News and Notes: January 22, 2011

by on Jan.22, 2011 @ 5:21 pm, under NPB

This post will be updated throughout the day.


Chiba Lotte Marines

The Marines held a staff meeting at Chiba Marine Stadium today.  As of now, it appears Takashi Ogino will start the year at Ichi-gun spring camp.  And according to Norifumi Nishimura, Ogino is currently at about 80%.

Nippon Ham Fighters

Sho Nakata started his workouts with trainer Kevin Yamazaki in Hawaii on Friday.  The workout lasted about 5 hours and included playing catch, taking BP, and running hills.  He'll be in Hawaii until the 27th.

Yoshio Itoi's goal for the year: bat .300, hit 30 homers, and steal 30 bases.  On Friday, he spent about 3 hours working out at Kamagaya (he's been working a lot on his lower body).  Itoi was working out at Hamamatsu, Shizuoka but will now continue his training at Kamagaya.

Orix Buffaloes

Akinobu Okada figures competition for pitching spots on the opening day roster will be fierce.  He also plans on making it a point to visit Ni-gun camp because there were a bunch of players he wanted see.  It seems he's also thinking about having three of the four foreign player spots filled with position players and the remaining spot filled by one of three pitchers (Chan-Ho Park, Alfredo Figaro, and Evan MacLane) on a rotational basis.  It's possible the breakdown can change, based on how well players perform, but for the time being, it seems like it'll be position players 3, pitcher 1.

Takahiro Okada worked out with Ichiro at Skymark Stadium today.  During Okada's BP session, Ichiro went out to RF to shag baseballs.  Ichiro's comments on Okada:

I was surprised.  There aren't a lot of Japanese players like him.  Like being able to hit without a leg kick.  The ball doesn't fall [into the outfield].  It isn't just about power, in order to hit shots like that, you need to be swing the bat properly.  Compared to two years ago?  Very different.  He's obviously feeling confident.

Okada took 64 swings of the bat and hit 17 over the fence; Ichiro took 100 swings of the bat and hit 29 over the fence.

Rakuten Eagles

Senichi Hoshino dropped by Kleenex Stadium today for the first time this year to check on players currently working out at the facilities. ... It was Hoshino's birthday today.  Reporters covering the Eagles' prepared a cake for Hoshino.

During the staff meetings on Friday, the Eagles decided to bring back practices on days off and evening practices.  This obviously isn't a requirement.  The club will simply allow players the opportunity to practice more if they wish to unlike last year when Marty Brown apparently placed a ban on practicing outside of the scheduled practice sessions (no need for extra practice if you get it all done during scheduled practices).

Softbank Hawks

The media learned on Friday that the Softbank Hawks asked Alex Cabrera to cover his tattoos (the Hawks have a much stricter dress code than the Orix Buffaloes and the Seibu Lions).  Said an unnamed club source, "We got him to agree to cover [the tattoos] as best as possible with things like undershirts and wrist bands."

Satoru Morimoto purchased a brand new 50,000 yen bicycle recently to help with his training during the off-season (he's biking the roughly 3km distance between his house and Yahoo Dome).  He also told reporters that he'll probably continue to use the bicycle during the regular season and that he (jokingly) was particularly interested in scoping out women wearing swimsuits along the beaches.

The Hawks thinking about providing free live footage of their spring camp.