This post will be updated throughout the day.
97 players and staff arrived in Okinawa today. They'll also continue their workouts in Okinawa until the start of spring camp on 2/1.
Takuya Asao's palm ball will make a comeback. Said Asao, "I didn't throw the palm ball last year, but I'd like to get back to using it this year. I used to throw it when I started, but it's dangerous ball (a poorly thrown palm ball can easily be hit for a homer)... I think I stopped throwing it around 2008. I think it's a good pitch to give batters something to think about." Asao also told reporters that even though he doesn't really think too much about other teams, he will have his eyes on Hiroyuki Koybashi and the Hanshin Tigers: "I don't really care about the other teams, but Kobayashi is a good pitcher and [the Tigers] are no doubt a better team. They also have [Tomoyuki] Kubota and [Ken] Nishimura too." ... Asao's commercial shoot for Mizuno's Global Elite product line is scheduled to take place in Okinawa.
Felix Carrasco worked out for about an hour Nagoya Stadium on Tuesday and kept things lights -- played catch, played pepper with Daiki Yoshikawa (2nd) and Yuto Morikoshi (4th round), didn't take part in fielding practice because he didn't mail his INF/OF glove to Japan (although it seems he did have access to a first baseman's glove), and did some light running along the OF wall with Maximo Nelson. Regarding fielding practice, Carrasco told reporters he'd get his work in during spring camp.
23 players will arrive at the Ginoza, Okinawa spring camp facilities today in order to get a "head start" on the spring camp training (they begin working out tomorrow).
Robert Zarate arrived in Japan today and moved into the player dorms in Nishimiya, Hyogo.
Takashi Toritani dropped by Koshien on Tuesday and told reporters he was more than ready to start playing in games. Toritani returned to Osaka on the 22nd after spending about 3 weeks working out with Tadahito Iguchi (LOT) in Nago, Okinawa. Toritani plans on heading down to Okinawa on the 28th (3 days before the start of spring camp).
Takahiro Arai told reporters that their first series with the Chunichi Dragons at Nagoya Dome will be extremely important, especially after their horrid 2-10-0 showing against the Dragons on the road (in other words, the Tigers need to break the Dragons' confidence about winning at home).
Tsuyoshi Shimoyangi worked out with MMA fighter Kazushi Sakuraba on Tuesday. The two go back as far as 2000 and have spent time training together in the winter since Shimoyanagi joined the Tigers. And on December 31, 2010, Shimoyangi helped work Sakuraba's corner during Dynamite! (Sakuraba lost the match after the doctors stopped the match because Marius Zaromskis landed some punches that left his "right ear dangling from his head.")
Tomoaki Kanemoto worked out for about 2.5 hours at Naruohama on Tuesday.
The Tigers still have not been able to come to terms with Yasutomo Kubo. Kubo is apparently asking for over double the 88M yen he made last season while the club isn't anywhere near that figure. And even though there's now a really good chance Kubo will start spring camp without a contract (which also means he'll need to pay his own expenses out of pocket), he doesn't seem to be in a rush and isn't planning on getting directly involved in the negotiations since he has his agent handling it for him and since he only wants to focus on practicing. At this point, it's just an issue of money.
The Tigers are still struggling to put together their protected player list.
Kenta Kurihara spent about 1.5 hours taking slow pitch indoor BP today. Kurihara spent some time in the cages yesterday but found that his timing was off and decided to mix things up today.
Yuki Saito tossed about 50 pitches to a standing catcher today.
Takeru Imamura threw 31 pitches to a standing catcher today and told reporters he planned on having the catcher sit during his next session (sometime before the start of spring camp).
The Carp held a press conference at Mazda Stadium today in order to introduce Bryan Bullington, Chad Tracy, and Dennis Sarfate.
Hitoshi Yamamoto worked out at the Toda training facilities on Tuesday (running, playing catch). Yamamoto spent about 10 days (1/12 - 1/22) working out with Ryoji Aikawa in Saipan.
Yokohama Bay Stars
Brent Leach threw 35 pitches in his first bullpen session at Yokosuka today (squatting catcher). He told reporters that he started his training early back in the States and felt he threw good session today.
Brett Harper arrived in Japan today. He told reporters that his father (Brian Harper) hit grounders to him during the winter and that he was able to work his lower body a lot. Harper also said that he wanted to help the team with his bat this year, and not just with the long ball.
Kenjiro Tanaka and Takayuki Makka are hoping to make a bigger impression on the parent club this year. Yesterday, Tanaka said he wanted to make the Ichi-gun roster and record at least 10 wins; Makka has his sights on at least 5.
Kentaro Nishimura threw 50 pitches in a bullpen session today. He told reporters that he realized partway through the season last year, when he was feeling a little tired, he was throwing with more arm than body. In an attempt to keep that from happening this season, Nishimura spent most of the off-season working up his lower body (weights and running).
Shota Kimura also threw 50 pitches during a bullpen session today. This, coming on the heals of a 45-pitch bullpen session yesterday.
Tomoya Inzen took part in general training at Giants Stadium today (playing catch, fielding practice, BP).
Shugo Fujii threw 110 pitches in the bullpen yesterday (to a squatting catcher while mixing in his off-speed pitches like his slider and change).
If Adam Bright wants to pursue a serious career with the Yomiuri Giants this season, he'll need to prove himself over the next 2 months since the NPB rules state that foreign players 26 and over can only be added to the 70-man roster before the end of March. The Giants have stated that they are looking to bring up at least 1 Ikusei player in March.