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Yomiuri Giants Spring Camp News and Notes: February 9, 2011

by on Feb.09, 2011 @ 11:31 pm, under NPB

This post will be updated throughout the day.

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The Giants have the day off today.

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Tetsuya Utsumi, Daisuke Ochi, Tetsuya Yamaguchi, and Yoshiyuki Kamei visited about 350 kids at an elementary school in Takaharu-cho, Miyazaki today.

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Of the 23 balls Shinnosuke Abe hit over the fence during BP yesterday, 15 came using a practice bat.

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General pitching coach Kazuhisa Kawaguchi told reporters yesterday that the team decided that Hirokazu Sawamura will be making a start during an intra-squad game on the 15th.  Utsumi and Shun Tono will also be making appearances in the game.

Sawamura also threw 87  pitches in the bullpen yesterday (it was his 4th session of the spring).  Kawaguchi also stood in the batter's box (right side) to check on Sawamura's pitches.

Said Kawaguchi, "He's got a great slider, I was a little afraid [of it]. ... The spin on the pitch was amazing.  It looked like it was coming in straight and then suddenly it changes direction, much more than I've seen with other pitchers.  It changes direction all of a sudden. ... I think it might have more life than Daisuke [Matsuzaka]'s."

Sawamura will start throwing his fork sometime during the third block of camp.