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Central League News and Notes: January 30, 2011

by on Jan.30, 2011 @ 3:48 pm, under NPB

This post will be updated throughout the day.

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Chunichi Dragons

Masahiro Yamamoto appeared on Tokai TV's pluspo on Saturday and told viewers that he started making changes to his mechanics last year only managed to finalize things to about 70%.  Despite that, he still managed to top out at a career high 142km/h at Nagoya Dome (he also hit 143 in Hiroshima in 2008, but really only trusts the radar gun at Nagoya Dome).  He's had time to continue working on his new delivery and feels that he'll be able to do much better this year.

Wei-Ying Chen feels that if he can stay healthy this year, he'll be able to compete for a couple of pitching titles this year (like ERA and wins).

Takuya Asao had a commercial shoot for Mizuno's Global Elite product line that lasted about 3 hours yesterday.  Asao is the first Chunichi player to appear in Mizuno commercial since Hiromitsu Ochiai (about 25 years ago).  The commercial is scheduled to air sometime at the end of March.

Hiroshima Carp

Today was the last day of general training camp in Okinawa.

Takahiro Aoki tossed about 60 pitches in the bullpen yesterday.  This was Aoki's third straight bullpen in as many days.  He told reporters that he wanted to make sure the adjustments he's made to his delivery stick (he moved his throwing arm down a little).

Kiyoshi Toyada continues to do a rubber tube exercise he learned during his first year in the pros with the Seibu Lions (1993).  The exercise supposedly helps to strengthen the shoulder area and essentially involves swinging a thin rubber tube around with your throwing arm (as if you were skipping rope).

Yakult Swallows

Junji Ogawa, the coaches, and a portion of the players arrived in Okinawa today.  Ogawa decided to arriving in Okinawa a day early since this will be his first as manager of the team.  The team is scheduled to visit a shrine tomorrow in order to pray for a successful year.  A number of players also already started working out today.

Josh Whitsell arrived in Japan on the 27th about 7kg lighter than last season.  He also told reporters that his goal for year was to top the 100 RBI mark.

Yoshinori Sato took part in a commercial shoot for Mizuno's Global Elite product line yesterday.  The entire sessions last about 4 hours.

Yokohama Bay Stars

Shintaro Ejiri worked out in Nago, Okinawa today.  He did some running and took some grounders before throwing about 50 pitches in the bullpen (squatting catcher).

Hichori Morimoto worked out for about 3 hours (fielding practice, BP) in Nago, Okinawa today.  Morimoto told reporters today that he heard Yokohama practices were long and that he was concerned he might not make it through.  He then added he spent a lot of time preparing for spring camp this year because it'll be his first with a new team and that he felt about as good as he has ever felt.

Yomiuri Giants

The Giants held a press conference for Brian Bannister and Rusty Ryal today at a hotel in Miyazaki.

Tatsunori Hara, the coaches, and the Ni-gun players arrived in Miyazaki today and attended a welcoming ceremony at the airport.

Shun Tono was back at practice yesterday after taking the day off the day before due to back stiffness.  And without hesitation, Tono tossed about 30 pitches in the bullpen (Shinnosuke Abe caught session standing).  Tono later told reporters that his back was fine.