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Hanshin Tigers News and Notes: January 30, 2011

by on Jan.30, 2011 @ 1:28 pm, under NPB

Akinobu Mayumi and the Ichi-gun coaching staff arrived in Okinawa today.

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Keiichi Hirano, Ryo Asai, and Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi joined up with the pre-spring-camp training camp group working out in Ginoza today.

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Matt Murton told reporters yesterday that he started his workouts a week before his arrival in Japan.  He also said he couldn't wait to eat at Yoshinoya again.  Regarding next season, Murton said he wasn't sure what was going to happen and that it was always possible he could return to Japan again.  He did, apparently, spend some time studying Japanese with his wife.

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As part of his training exercises during the winter, Randy Messenger built his own bullpen (in about a week and a half) and a little house for a horse he owns (in about 2 days).  He also said that his shoulder and body were feeling great and that he was preparing for the season as a starter.

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Craig Brazell visited the Koshien clubhouse yesterday in order to sort out his things for spring camp.

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Robert Zarate and Marcos Vechionacci worked out together at Naruohama yesterday morning (running, playing catch).  In the afternoon, Zarate hit the weight room and Vechionacci spent some time taking BP.  The Tigers have also stated that they have placed a media interview ban for the two players until spring camp.  Seems like the Tigers' front office is concerned the publicity might get to their heads.

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Takashi Toritani wore a black mouth guard to BP yesterday and took a total 406 swings (80 swings against a live arm, 199 swings in the machine, and then the rest against a machine after lunch).  Toritani told reporters that he was still just trying the mouth guard out (he'll continue to use it during spring camp) and wasn't sure if it was something he would use moving forward.

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Tatsuya Kojima's goal this season: hit 150km/h using a slightly modified delivery.  Kojima currently tops out at 148km/h.

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Both Kosuke Kato and Yusuke Kawasaki tossed their first bullpen sessions of the year yesterday.  And as silly as it may sound, the media is already thinking KKKKK.  As in Kato, Kawasaki, [Tomoyuki] Kubota, [Hiroyuki] Kobayashi, and Kyuji [Fujikawa].

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Takumi Akiyama wants to toss 100+ pitch bullpen sessions during spring camp (unlike last year where he didn't think of throwing 100+ pitches until he returned to Naruohama).

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The media learned that Kyuji Fujikawa hired Eita Hizukuri as a personal trainer for the 2011 season.  Hizukuri used to be a trainer with the Tigers and was in charge of Fujikawa when he appeared in 80 games in 2005.  Fujikawa joins Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi and Tomoyuki Kubota as players on the Tigers that have their own personal trainers.