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Yomiuri Giants Spring Camp News and Notes: February 21, 2011

by on Feb.21, 2011 @ 2:46 pm, under NPB

This post will be updated throughout the day.

===== 2/21 @ 10:45pm

Hara, Utsumi, and other players / personnel, visited Okinogu shrine before practice today in order to pray for a successful season.

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The Giants decided to hold an autograph session after lunchtime BP.  At Hara's request, the first 400 fans to the field were invited onto the field.

The Giants will be holding another such session on the 25th, but with pitchers.

===== 2/21 @ 9:18pm

Sawamura threw 60 pitches in the bullpen today.  It was his second bullpen session in as many days.  As of now, Sawamura will likely have a shot at starting an exhibition game against the Seibu Lions (at Tokyo Dome, 3/2 or 3/3).  But he'll probably make one  relief appearance during a practice game before then.

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Utsumi threw 37 pitches in the bullpen today and checked on all his pitches.  He is expected to pitch in a practice game against the Orix Buffaloes tomorrow.

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Daisuke Fujimura and Hayato Sakamoto spent about an hour taking grounders hit by Tatsunori Hara.

===== 2/21 @ 2:46pm

Shun Tono and Tetsuya Utsumi are essential locks for the rotation.  The Giants may also turn to two foreign starters.  That leaves the rotation with 2 open spots.  If Hirokazu Sawamura (1st round) manages to nail down one of them, that'll leave room for only one more starter.

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Okinawa prefectural governor, Hirokazu Nakaima, visited the Giants' training camp facilities in Naha, Okinawa today.  Hara was presented with some flowers, fruits, and tea.