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1/26/2011: Takashi Saito, Hiroki Kuroda, Ichiro Suzuki

by on Jan.26, 2011 @ 5:21 pm, under MLB

Takashi Saito worked out in Kawasaki on Tuesday and told reporters that his goal this season was to get appear in 60+ games.  Saito finished with 72 and 63 games during his first two seasons in the Majors, but then followed with 45, 56, and 56.  Now in his 6th year, Saito is preparing for his first 60+ game season since 2007.  And he can stand to earn another US$1M in performance bonuses if he manages to reach the 60-game mark.  He'll also become the first Japanese pitcher to reach that mark (including NPB history).

Saito will continue working out in Japan until the very last minute.

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Hiroki Kuroda is currently working out in Los Angeles -- he recently tossed 20 pitches (all curves) to a squatting catcher.  Kuroda told reporters that while the MLB ball felt good in his hands during throwing practice in Japan, he found it a little slippery (where it's dry) when he started throwing in the US (where it's a little more humid).

Kuroda also shaved his hair down for the first time since 2001.

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ASICS announced that Ichiro Suzuki's new cleats for the 2011 season were completed.  The cleats weigh the same as last year's model (about 250 grams per shoe) but reportedly have a better fit.

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Via Nikkan Sports: April 3 (vs Seattle Mariners) will be Hideki Matsui T-Shirt Day at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.