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Hanshin Tigers Spring Camp News and Notes: February 11, 2011

by on Feb.11, 2011 @ 2:43 pm, under NPB

This post will be updated throughout the day.

===== 2/11 @ 11:49pm

Kyuji Fujikawa threw 76 pitches in the bullpen today (to a squatting Akihito Fujii), 46 more than he threw yesterday.  He also threw his curve and fork.

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Murton took 62 swings during extra BP today and hit 15 over the fence.  And according to batting coach Yutaka Wada, Murton tweaked his stance a little: he changed the way he lifts his left leg and changed the way he brings the bat back before swinging.

Murton - "There's still peaks and valleys.  I'm having a hard time swing the bat the same way all the time.  I want my body to move on its own."

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Tomoaki Kanemoto took indoor BP against live pitchers today (first time during spring camp this year).

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Kenji Jojima decided not to ride his bicycle to camp today due to the rain.

===== 2/11 @ 2:43pm

Yuhei Kai felt discomfort in his right shoulder yesterday and worked out under a separate training menu.  In the afternoon, he put his shoulder on ice and headed out to a hospital for an examination.

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The opening day start could go to Yasutomo Kubo.  And the second start of the year could end up going to Daiki Enokida (1st round), with the third start going to Jason Standridge.  After that, it could go Atsushi Nomi, Takumi Akiyama, and Minoru Iwata.

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Sanspo mentions that Kyuji Fujikawa threw 30 pitches during his bullpen session yesterday; that they were all fastballs; and that Akihito Fujii caught Fujikawa for the first time since joining the Tigers.

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Enokida struck out Kohei Shibata and Yamato during situational BP yesterday.  He also topped out at 143km/h.

Shibata on Enokida - "It's hard to narrow down pitches against him [because he throws so many] and because he know how to pitch.  He also throws the ball in at an angle so there are times when you think the ball is coming inside, only to find that it hits the outside spots."

Enokida on his session - "I was able to make my pitches.  Did make a couple of mistake pitches that the hit, but it was good that I was able to shut them down.  I also learned that if my control is good, I can strike batters out.  It isn't as if I was aiming to strike batters out, I was throwing my pitches down because I was trying to get hit the ball on the grounder. ... I learned if my control is good, I can hold them off.  I want to keep working on my accuracy.  People around me are people around me, I just want to focus on what I need to do."

Enokida is now expected to make a 1-inning relief appearance during a practice game against the Yakult Swallows on the 13th.

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Tatsuya Kojima made an appearance during situational BP yesterday and faced 10 batters: he gave up 3 hits, 2 walks, and struck out 1.

After the appearance, Kojima told reporters he needed to do more throwing and went off into the bullpen.

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Kai-Wen Cheng has apparently dropped his arm angle a little.

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Sanspo notes that Kubo threw 48 pitches, all fastballs, during BP yesterday and gave up 7 could-be hits while throwing 12 pitches for balls.

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14 of the 37 pitches Standridge threw during BP against Matt Murton and Takahiro Arai yesterday were balls.  But that was mostly because he was aiming to keep his curve down low.

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Takashi Toritani faced Kojima and Cheng during situational BP yesterday and did not collect any hits, but did walk twice.  After that, he spent about 30 minutes taking extra fielding practice with Keiichi Hirano and Hiroki Uemoto.

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Takahiro Arai took a 114 swings during BP yesterday and hit 20 over the fence.  He also hit 6 straight over the wall at one point, beginning with his 99 swing -- out to left, right-center, right, left, left-center, left-center.  Arai also stayed back after general practice for about an hour of extra BP (slow pitches).

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Craig Brazell took extra fielding practice (at the secondary field, for about 20 minutes after morning warm-ups) yesterday with the help of fielding / base-running coach Teruyoshi Kuji.  Brazell worked on fielding grounders at first.  He also worked on his throws to second and home.  Seems he doesn't want to make any more throwing errors like he did on 9/22/2010 vs the Dragons.

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Kenji Jojima caught 34 pitches in the bullpen yesterday (standing with Shunsuke Ishikawa on the mound, and for about 12 minutes).  He then went off to the side and squatted while watching Hirotaka Egusa toss a session.  As of yesterday, Jojima was also scheduled to meet with his doctor to see how his knee is doing.

Jojima also played some catch (including the bullpen, he caught a total 34 baseballs) and took 34 swings in the batting cages.