This post will be updated throughout the day.
===== 2/10 @ 11:10pm
Teppei stayed back for extra fielding practice today -- he spent about an hour shagging balls in the outfield during BP.
Said Teppei, "I think a ball is going to land in my area, but then it ends up out in center. ... I think I have improved a little. But I need to get my body used to this, not my head."
Teppei is being move from left to right this year.
Tanaka also threw 11 balls during BP.
===== 2/10 @ 5:48pm
Masahiro Tanaka threw 45 pitches (mostly fastballs) during BP today while giving up 4 could-be hits, including one that went over the fence.
Said Tanaka, "It's the first time I pitched to batters since the summer last year. So it was kind of about re-awakening my feel for things, for checking on how my feel for things were."
When told about Yuki Saito's BP outing today (58 pitches, 8 hit over the fence), Tanaka said,"He was out there as a BP pitcher, so maybe he let them hit his pitches."
The Eagles are also thinking about not using Tanaka during an exhibition game against the Nippon Ham Fighters (at Nago) on the 27th. Seems the Eagles want to avoid the hoopla from pitching Tanaka against the Fighters and instead have him pitch on the 26th (vs Chunichi at Chatan).
Toshiya Nakashima spent about an hour taking BP in the cages during his day off yesterday. He's trying to squeeze his way into the starting line-up, but will most likely have to make it past Teppei, Akihisa Makida, or Ryo Hijirisawa.
Takeshi Yamasaki told reporters yesterday that he was making steady progress, but was still at about 50%. He also said he was aiming to hit 40 homers this year because setting the bar too low wouldn't result in the numbers he was looking to put up. He then added that he needed to put up strong numbers because otherwise, he might now have a chance to play next year.
"If I say 30 homers I'll probably end the season in the upper 20s. That's why I need to think 40 and try really hard," said Yamasaki.
"If I don't put up good numbers, just like the young players, I may not have a chance [to play again] next year. I've been batting in the middle of [the Eagles'] line-up for the last 6 years. If I felt they could do this without me, I would have to take this uniform off. The minute I feel that, I want to make a clean break."