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Hanshin Tigers News and Notes: January 27, 2011

by on Jan.27, 2011 @ 6:14 pm, under NPB

Minoru Iwata tossed his first bullpen session of the year today.  He threw a total 21 pitches to a standing catcher.

Masashi Nohara think it's all about finals results and won't concern himself too much on the process.  In other words, do well during games (intra-squad, practice, exhibition) and don't worry too much about what happens during practice.

Issei Morita is hoping to pick up a few things from Craig Brazell during spring camp this year.

Kosuke Kato told reporters yesterday that he had a hard time getting a good feel for the ball and was purposely putting off his bullpen session until that changed (out of fear of injury).

Masanori Fujihara wants to work on his control during spring camp.

Takumi Akiyama would like a chance to meet pro soccer player Yuto Nagatomo (they're both from Saijo).

The Tiger held a press conference for Ikusei player Marcos Vechionacci today.  Vechionacci arrived in Japan yesterday.

Pitching coach Takashi Yamaguchi's early assessment of Robert Zarate: "In watching videos [of him pitch], I can see he has good arm movement, but I hear he's still not physically ready for the pro level. ... We have an Ikusei program so I'd like to see him build himself up there." ... Zarate started his workouts today at around 10am -- he did some running and played some catch.

Team owner Shinya Sakai is looking forward to seeing /meeting Hiroyuki Kobayashi during his spring camp 2-day visit (begins on 2/11).

Speaking of Kobayashi, he may get his own line of training wear made by Nike.  If things move smoothly enough, the new product line might even be ready for the start of the regular season.

The Tigers announced that their new mascot will be named Key-ta (キー太; not sure of the English spelling yet).  The winning entry was submitted by 3 individuals; a total 17,016 suggestions were submitted.

It appears the woman that said she was robbed of a suit she was trying to deliver to Koshien was, in fact, lying.   The missing suit was later found in a train she rode by an employee.  According to stadium officials, the woman admitted that she knew she lost the suit in the train but decided to report it stolen anyway.  The police are now handling this as a false report case and are in the midst of questioning the woman.  FYI: the suit that was reported stolen belonged to Ryota Arai.

Former Hanshin Tiger Kei Igawa offered this scouting report on Jonathan Albaladejo:

He's good.  He's got good control and he throws a curve.  He also tops out at around 150km/h. ... He doesn't get hit [very often].  There are a lot of closers that put runners on base before finishing games, but he doesn't do that.  He usually just faces 3 batters.  He's also not afraid to throw off-speed pitches when he's behind in the count.