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Hiroshima Carp Spring Camp News and Notes: February 5, 2011

by on Feb.05, 2011 @ 4:28 pm, under NPB

This post will be updated throughout the day.

===== 2/5 @ 11:19pm

Maeda tossed a bullpen session today: standing catcher, 20 warm-up pitches followed by 20 pitches (no windup delivery).  Tsubasa Aizawa was the catcher.


As planned, Mike Schultz joined the Ich-gun team for practice today.  Schultz didn't toss a bullpen session and kept his workouts light.

===== 2/5 @ 4:28pm

Team owner Hajime Matsuda spent the day watching the players at spring camp today.  He watched Chad Tracy take BP and appeared satisfied with his performance and when asked about Yuya Fukui (1st round), didn't seem worried and said that Fukui should continue to do things at his own pace.


More on the conversation Fukui had with Kenta Maeda during their dinner on Thursday night: Maeda apparently told Fukui that he plans on tossing a bullpen session during the first day of the second block of camp.  The two also talked about how they treated their sessions: Maeda apparently doesn't like throwing a lot in the bullpen while Fukui is the type that needs to throw 100 or so pitches in order to get his shoulder ready.

Said Fukui, "It seems Meada doesn't throw a lot in the bullpen.  He said he didn't like it.  But I was brought up in the bullpen. ... Meada does what he needs to do.  He knows what's going on.  While watching him play catch, he takes each throw very seriously. ... Once I get into the bullpen, I think things will fall into place fairly quickly.  And I'd like to keep pitching after that.  I want to throw 100+ pitches work on building up my shoulder while in Okinawa."

At this point, it seems Fukui might toss his first session on the second day of the second block (2/6).


Nikkan Sports posted the following comments that were taken from Tracy yesterday:

The first block of camp is over.  How are you feeling?

I pushed myself and I'm feeling a little tired.  But I think my body is getting into better and even though this is my first spring camp in Japan, I think I'm making good progress.  I think my hitting is also coming around.

Were you surprised you were able to make it through Japanese spring camp?

No, nothing like that.  But compared to the US, teams in Japan practice for longer hours and have more things to do.  There's just a lot of practicing involved.

It can't be easy for a player that was once a regular player on an MLB roster to come to Japan.

I didn't hesitate [with this decision].  I thought Hiroshima's offer was my best chance.  If I stayed in the US, I probably would have had to start in the minors and work my way back up to the majors.  Coming to Japan means I'll get a chance to play.  Right now is probably the best time for me to be here.

When did you start playing baseball?

I started playing on teams when I was 4.  I also played football and basketball.  I also did some swimming.  I think my experiences with other sports helps me with baseball.  I learned how to be tough by playing football, improved my jumping abilities with basketball, and strengthened my shoulders with swimming.

What kind of hitter are you?

I'm a contact hitter that hits the ball to all fields.  If you can make contact, you can make something happen.  I'm also good at driving runners home.  If you've got runners on base and can make contact, you're going to end up collecting RBIs.

What about your power?

Home runs aren't the only way to drive in runs.  There's nothing wrong with hitting them, but in the end, it's about helping the team win.  So it doesn't matter how, just so long as score runs.

What is your impression of Japanese pitchers?

I've faced [Takashi] Saito and [Hiroki] Kuroda.  I've also watched footage of other Japanese pitchers.  They throw good pitches.  I want to be able to react to whatever they throw.

Do you have confidence that you'll make it in Japan?

Of course.  I can't wait for the season to start.