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Hiroshima Carp Spring Camp News and Notes: February 10, 2011

by on Feb.10, 2011 @ 4:36 pm, under NPB

This post will be updated throughout the day.

===== 2/10 @ 10:34pm

Yuki Saito faced 7 batters and threw 21 pitches and gave up 2 hits during situational BP today.  Saito wasn't too happy about the outing and gave himself a 50% -- he couldn't get a good grip on his fastball and he wanted to be more aggressive early in the count.

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A slightly longer comment from Fukui on his bullpen session:

I couldn't move at all during the previous block.  Since I just started throwing, I'm still at about 50-60%.  I'd like to throw more sessions from here on out.  I'll start slow by having the catcher stand and then move to sitting the catcher and throwing about 100 pitches.

===== 2/10 @ 4:36pm

Yuya Fukui (1st round) tossed his first bullpen session during spring camp today.  He wasn't scheduled for a bullpen today but decided to hold one after he felt good during a game of catch.  Fukui threw a total 20 pitches to a squatting catcher.

Said Fukui, "I felt good throwing the ball.  I'd like to toss as many session as I can moving forward."

Fukui was originally supposed to toss his first bullpen session on the first day of the second block of camp (2/6), but did after he felt tightness in his left hamstring.

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The Carp have purchased eight 1 meter long training bats that weigh about 1.1kg to help batters learn how to swing with the entire body, instead of just their upper body.  They've also purchased 400 baseballs that are about 100 grams heavier than the average.  All in an effort to make sure their hitters are prepared for the new baseball.

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Kenta Maeda told reporters that one of the problems with signing autographs was all the ink that ended up getting on his uniform.

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Before the start of practice today, team player rep Yoshiyuki Ishihara handed some gloves and softballs to two teachers and two students from the Okinawa Reform School.  The team has been donating baseball equipment to the reform school every year.

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Nikkan Sports is carrying the following comments from Yuki Iwami (3rd round), taken yesterday:

The second block of spring camp is now over.  You must be feeling a little tired now.  How are things going?

The second block was a little tight.  I felt a little tired every day.  But I didn't want to make an excuses, and I was threw fine.  I need to get used to this.

There have been 7 practice days up until now and you've tossed 6 bullpen sessions.  That sounds pretty good.

It's according to plan.  And I'm able to throw because there's nothing wrong with me.  I'm the type that needs to throw in order to get a feel for pitches.  I get anxious if I don't throw enough.

Watching your bullpen sessions, it seems like you have good life on your pitches.  Other scouts are also giving you good marks.

The other pitchers are big, but I'm not really that big.  That's why I need to have life on my pitches.

You certainly aren't that big.  Are there any pitchers you look to?

In my case, [Toshiya] Sugiuchi all the way.  There's no waste in his delivery, he only uses power at the point of release.  He doesn't throw that hard, but batters still have a hard time hitting against him.

We interviewed Sugiuchi before and he once said that his ideal delivery involved being able to go from 0 to 100% at the point of release.

I'm still not there.  When I bring my arm back, I'm already using about 60%.  I need to relax more when I bring my arm back.  I started using this delivery during my third year in college, so I'm still new to it.  I always need to be careful about how I bring my arm back.  I'd like to try my best to make it so that I don't have to think so hard about it.

Your were drafted in the 3rd round.  Were you disappointed?

I actually thought I might be drafted a little earlier.  Had I been draft after the 3rd round, I would have stayed with Tokyo Gas.  I told the [Tokyo Gas] manager that I would only turn pro if I was drafted within the first three rounds.  When I still wasn't drafted in the third round with three teams left, I got really nervous.  When my name was called, I got excited and was happy.

You're competing against the number 1 draft pick Fukui...

I heard that things were different for the first round pick and the rest of the picks, but I didn't really feel that until I turned pro.  I should have tried to get in as a first round pick...  But that why I also don't want to lose to Fukui, or [Kyohei] Nakamura (2nd round).  My goal is still make and stay on the Ichi-gun roster for a full season.  Every day is a challenge.  And I believe it's the little things that ultimately begin to add up.