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Orix Buffaloes Spring Camp News and Notes: February 8, 2011

by on Feb.08, 2011 @ 3:59 pm, under NPB

This post will be updated throughout the day.

===== 2/8 @ 10:23pm

Kazuki Kondo made an appearance as a BP pitcher today and threw 49 pitches.

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Freddy Ballestas faced Tomotaka Sakaguchi and Aarom Baldiris during BP today and threw 28 pitches.  Okada appeared satisifed with Ballestas' outing and said, "He looks a lot better than last year.  He throws pitches that batters struggle with.  They move just enough."

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The Buffaloes will be demoting Makoto Moriyama and Shogo Akada before the start of the third block (the team doesn't want to rush the two players) and will be calling up two other players -- Tomochika Tsuboi appears to be one of them.

===== 2/8 @ 3:59pm

Akinobu Okada is trying to see the Chihiro Kaneko injury in a positive light.

Said Okada, "Instead of going down in the middle of the season, he went down now.  He didn't do very well during the early part of the season last year and went 4-7.  If that's the case, then we can't do any worse with other pitchers.  We have a lot of pitchers this year, so we can give everyone a chance."

Okada continued, "Like I said from the beginning, it wouldn't be possible to go the entire season with the same 6 pitchers."

He also told reporters that he had selected Kaneko to be his opening day starter this year.

As of now, Kaneko probably won't be able to return until sometime in May.

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With Kaneko hurt, Chan Ho Park may get the opening day start.

Okada apparently told the Korean press yesterday that Park may have a shot at the opening day start and that Park was also scheduled to pitch in an intra-squad game on the 25th and in an exhibition game on either 3/5 or 3/6.

Park spent some time teaching Hiroshi Kisanuki the two-seamer from yesterday (this on the heals of learning the fork from Kisanuki on Sunday).