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Hanshin Tigers Spring Camp News and Notes: February 3, 2011

by on Feb.03, 2011 @ 9:43 am, under NPB

This post will be updated throughout the day.

=== 1/4 @ 1:50am

Atsushi Nomi tossed 102 pitches in the bullpen today.

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Yasutomo Kubo threw 117 pitches in the bullpen today.  He also threw to Akihito Fujii for the first time.

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Daiki Enokida (1st round) threw 57 pitches to a squatting catcher today.  Enokida also mixed in his off-speed pitches.

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Ken Nishimura threw 42 pitches in the bullpen today (standing catcher).

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Kanemoto managed to play catch at a max distance of 16 meters (about 60 tosses) today.

Regarding his hitting, batting coach Yutaka Wada told reporters that Kanemoto was taking good cuts during soft toss BP and could be ready to start taking BP in the cages during the second block of spring camp.

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Kenji Jojima showed reporters today the 20 rehab training exercises he's currently doing for his knee.  He also told reporters that he was closing in on the final stages of his rehab.

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A little more on Fujikawa's bullpen session from Wednesday: he first threw 30 fastballs to a standing catcher then had the catcher sit and threw another 13 pitches, 8 of which were curves.  Fujikawa had his blister taped before the session.

=== 9:43am

Tomoaki Kanemoto took his first round of long toss BP of the year yesterday.  He also worked on hitting the ball back up the middle during BP in the cages (48 swings).  During his throws into the net, Kanemoto managed to max out the distance to 15 meters (41 tosses) while checking footage of his throwing form.  He also ran twelve 50 meter dashes.

Afterwards, he grabbed a black marker and wrote the word "poop" (unko) on Takahiro Arai's white warm-up sneakers.

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Kyuji Fujikawa showed off his new curve during his 43-pitch bullpen session yesterday.

Said Fujikawa, "I'm still playing around with it.  I need to build up my body in order to keep at it though.  If I can build up my body properly, I'll get better movement on my curve.  And if I don't build up my body properly, then my curve will be a lot looser."

Fujikawa has added a lot of running to his training this year (about 7-9km a day).

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Matt Murton took 61 swings of the bat during lunchtime BP yesterday and collected 31 could-be hits (8 over the fence, 4 to left, 11 to dcenter, 8 to right).

Craig Brazell on Murton (via Sanspo): He's still not quite there yet, but he'll be as ready as anyone else is come opening day on 3/25.  And in order to be ready for that, he's working on hitting the ball to the opposite field.  I think he'll do just fine this year.  215 hits, he can do it."

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Keiichi Hirano worked on his bunting skills for over an hour after general practice yesterday.

Said Hirano, "I'm still not very good at it.  And that's why I need to practice.  And I worked hard at it last year, which made me feel I practiced the most, and that in turn helped me lead the league during the season.  That's why I'm doing this this year."

Hirano led the league in sac hits with 59 last year.

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Hiroyuki Kobayashi took 57 swings of the bat during BP in the cages and connected for 18 could-be fake bunt hits.

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Ikketsu Sho tossed his second consecutive 100+ pitch bullpen session yesterday.

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Shinta Hifumi (2nd round) apparently showed off his hitting prowess during BP yesterday (this coming after bunting and fake bunting practice).  Hifumi will begin pitching in the bullpen sometime during the second block of spring camp.

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Tomoyuki Kubota did mostly running exercises yesterday.  And while he didn't toss bullpen session, he did play another round of catch.  As of now, Kubota plans on tossing a bullpen session (with a squatting catcher sometime during the second block of spring camp.

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Fielding / base-running coach Naoyuki Kazaoka worked with Fumiya Araki (5th round) on his weight transfer when throwing the ball during fielding practice.  Kazaoka had Araki get into fielding position while hopping on his right leg, then dropped his left leg down to the ground while fielding the ball and throwing it.

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Masashi Nohara received one-on-one hitting advice from Akinobu Mayumi yesterday.  Something to do with his lower body usage.

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Kyuji Fujikawa wore a blue mouth guard while throwing yesterday.

Said Fujikawa, "Bullpen, playing catch, it doesn't matter.  I've been advised by my dentist to wear one."

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According to Sanspo, Jason Standridge not only showed off a more compact delivery on the first day of spring camp, but also a new batting mechanics (leaving the weight on the back leg) on the second day of camp.