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Yuki Saito News and Notes: January 24, 2011

by on Jan.24, 2011 @ 11:26 am, under NPB

This post will be updated with information as it becomes available so keep checking back if you have any interest in Yuki Saito.

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Saito's practice started at 6:55am yesterday and his practice parter was Masahiro Inui (3rd round).  Workouts started with stretching, moved on to light BP in the cages (about 15 minutes), then some catch and weight training (about an hour in all).

One of the things Saito is working during rookie training camp is a slight modification to his mechanics: he apparently trying to keep his right leg stretch when he begins his motion.  According to Saito, that's allowing him to keep the center of his weight on his pivot leg, more than the delivery he was using in college.

And while there were 0 fans when Saito started his workouts, there were about 200 fans about an hour later (around 8am).

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Saito plans on carrying around his own magic marker for autographs if the Fighters lift the no autograph ban during spring camp.  As for whether or not the Fighters will lift the ban: the official line is as long as it seems like no one will get hurt, it's possible.

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The Nago Fighters Support Group are planning on creating 10,000 Mottemasu! Sakura Handerkerchiefs (持ってます! さくらハンカチ).  The handkerchief will go on sale for 500 yen and will only be available in Nago, Okinawa.

FYI: Mottemasu is the phrase that Saito made popular and Nago is known for its Sakura.

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The Fighters may decide to keep Saito out of intra-squad games because they won't be able to get a really good look at what he's capable (out of fear of causing injuries to their own teammates, pitchers tend not to be very aggressive during intra-squad games).  Because of this, the Fighters are now thinking about letting him pitch in games against other teams.  The Fighters will probably discuss this issue in length during their next staff meeting on the 26th.

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Katsuya Nomura thinks he may have spotted something wrong with Saito's mechanics:

In order to pitch well and maintain good balance, you want to move in the order of leg, back, and arm.  In watching Saito, he's going arm, back, then leg.  He's doing things backwards.  When he steps with his left leg, his right arm comes out too quickly.  I think he could probably hold back a little longer. ... But I need to see him pitch [in personal] first.

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Saito tossed 28 pitches to a squatting catcher today.  He also mixed in 3 sliders and 1 cutter.