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Rakuten Eagles Spring Camp News and Notes: February 11, 2011

by on Feb.11, 2011 @ 12:13 pm, under NPB

This post will be updated throughout the day.

===== 2/11 @ 10:44pm

Team president Hiroshi Mikitani flew into Kumejima, Okinawa on his own private jet today.  But he arrived late in the day so he only had a chance to watch players that stayed back after practice.

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Kohei Hasebe threw 180 pitches in the bullpen today (the session lasted over an hour).  He also spent some time throwing into a net after his bullpen session.

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Tanaka threw 120 pitches (mostly fastball) in the bullpen today.  Akinori Iwamura stood in the batter's box partway through the session.

Iwamura on Tanaka - "He had good movement on his slider.  I'm glad we're on the same team.  I'm sure there were some things he wasn't happy about, but he did throw some good pitches.  It was a good practice for me."

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Makida has been working on strengthening his upper body.  He also made a few changes to his swing (more compact), with advice from both head / batting coach Koichi Tabuchi and performance coordinator Kazushi Tezuka.

===== 2/11 @ 12:13pm

Masahiro Tanaka faced Akihisa Makida, Teppei, and Ryo Hijirisawa during BP yesterday.  It was the first time he faced lived batters since 8/29/2010 (vs Seibu).  Tanaka threw his fastball and two-seamer and gave up 4 could-be hits, including a homer to Makida.

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Teppei was using a big wooden hammer (weighing in over 3kg) to hit the ball (using only the head of the hammer) during BP yesterday.  Seems swinging with a hammer helps improve balance while swinging the bat.

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Senichi Hoshino told reporters yesterday that when your raise players, it was necessary to find favorites because it's impossible to raise the level of the entire team, and also because it fostered competition amongst the other players, which can ultimately lead to a rise in the level of play across the board.

Said Hoshino, "It's impossible to improve the entire team, so it's usually best to play favorites.  And about 80% of the time those players come through.  But there are injuries, so maybe it's more like 60%.  But even that's pretty good."

Incidentally, Hoshino likes what he sees in Issei Morita (HAN) and one of his favorites on the Eagles is Makida.