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Yuki Saito Spring Camp News and Notes: February 10, 2011

by on Feb.10, 2011 @ 10:50 am, under NPB

This post will be updated with information as it becomes available so keep checking back if you have any interest in Yuki Saito.

===== 2/10 @ 9:42pm

A little more on Saito's BP outing from today: he apparently gave up 17 could-be hits; threw at 50-60%; and threw one off-speed pitch.

Saito on his outing: "It was good that I was able to see the strikezone as defined by the umpires.  Seems like it's 1 or 2 balls smaller [than the strike zone I got used to in college]. ... I had fun.  And it's not like I had to be unhittable."

As of now, it seems he will get to pitch against the Samsung Lions on the 13th.

===== 2/10 @ 4:38pm

Team owner Yoshinori Okoso told reporters yesterday that Saito could become even more popular if he got married, especially if he were the type to take good care of his own children.

"Getting married is obviously up to him, but I think if he gets married, he'll only become more popular," said Okoso.  "Celebrities that get married and are actively involved in raising their own children are extremely popular."

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Midori Utsumi had a chance to interview Saito today.

===== 2/10 @ 3:57pm

Nikkan Sports is reporting that Saito threw 59 pitches -- 29 to Nakata and 30 to Itoi.  And of the 59 pitches he threw, 13 were balls.

===== 2/10 @ 2:25pm

Saito threw 28 pitches in the bullpen before throwing 58 pitches to Nakata and Itoi during BP.  Nakata  hit 7 over the fence and Itoi 1.

===== 2/10 @ 10:50am

Whether Saito gets the start against the Samsung Lions  on the 13th will depend largely on how well he does against Sho Nakata and Yoshio Itoi during BP today.

It also seems as though Masakata Nashida was originally thinking about having Saito face Shinya Tsuruoka and Takuya Nakashima, but said he wanted to see how Saito handled left- and right-handed bats -- an odd reason since Tsuruoka and Nakashima happen to bat right- and left-handed respectively.  Of course, the real reason is probably because he wants to see how well Saito can handle batters that have power (Nakata) and can hit for average (Itoi).

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The Samsun Lions are apparently getting pumped to face Saito, at least according to a Nikkan Sports report.  And if Saito does pitch against them it seems it will be just an inning in relief.

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Nashida was asked yesterday about what he thought regarding Tatsunori Hara's plan for having Saito face Hirokazu Sawamura (YOM, 1st round) and it seems that at this point, he's open to the idea and will think about it.

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