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Hiroshima Carp Spring Camp News and Notes: February 15, 2011

by on Feb.15, 2011 @ 6:48 pm, under NPB

This post will be updated throughout the day.

===== 2/15 @ 10:33pm

Yuya Fukui (1st round) threw 50 pitches in the bullpen today (sitting catcher).  Fukui later told reporters that he had a good session and that he was throwing at around 70-80%.  He also said that he no longer felt any concern over his left leg.

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Tomonori Maeda took 97 swings of the bat during BP today and collected 44 could-be hits; he did not hit any over the fence.

===== 2/15 @ 6:48pm

The second leg of camp began for the Ichi-gun roster in Nichinan, Miyazaki today.  The team also held a mini welcoming ceremony for fans and the team before the start of practice.

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Hideo Nomo arrived in Nichinan, Miyazaki yesterday and had a meeting with the coaches in order to get caught up on the current pitching situation.

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Nikkan Sports is carrying the following interview with Bryan Bullington:

We're at the midpoint of spring camp.  Now that you've had a chance to get used to Japan a little, are there any difference between the information you gathered before coming to Japan and what you actually experienced over here?

I talked to players that had experience playing in Japan.  And [Mike] Schultz also gave me some information about Japan.  And it's because of that information that I haven't really ran into any problems so far.  I'm adapting little by little and I'm starting to enjoy myself.  At this point, there really aren't any surprises.  There are minor differences like practice times and training routines, but all that's being done to help improve the players.

Do you feel you're going to do well here in Japan?

I feel confident.  My shoulder is feeling well and there's nothing wrong with my body.

What would you like to accomplish before the start of the regular season?

There's still a lot of time before the start of the regular season.  First thing is to make sure my body is prepared for the season.  I need to increase the amount I pitch, and then during exhibition games, I'll have a chance to see how batters react to various types of situations and that will allow me to work on the technical side of things.

Your reason for coming to Japan?

The last few years I had to start the season from the minors and wait for a players at the MLB level to have a bad streak or get injured.  As a minor league, you do a lot of traveling and sometimes you need to move a lot.  In Japan I can stay in one place and focus on baseball.  And I also get to experience a new culture.  Actually, there were a number of NPB clubs that contacted me during the season last year.  That helped my family prepare for this year.  And when I got an offer from Hiroshima, I jumped on it.  My wife supports this decision.

Have you been able to mix in with the team?

I've joked around with Katsuhiro Nagakawa, [Ryuji] Yokoyama, and [Kiyoshi] Toyda and they've all be really nice to me.  [Kan] Otake and [Jun] Hirose have tried talking to me in English.  I'm here in a foreign country and my teammates, the staff, the manager, and the coaches, have all worked toward making things comfortable for me.

The fans have high expectations for you.

I heard the Carp have a great stadium and a lot of devoted fans.  I want to see / feel that when I play in my first game.  And it'll make me happy if a lot of Carp fans come out to watch games on the road and I can't wait to see them.  I think there are a lot of talented players here.  I think we'll be able to win some games this season.  I'm also hoping to put up solid numbers as well.

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Kenta Maeda received 13 boxes of chocolates on Valentine's Day.