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Hanshin Tigers Preseason News and Notes: February 26, 2011

by on Feb.26, 2011 @ 5:30 pm, under NPB

This post will be updated throughout the day.

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Kyuji Fujikawa was selected as the pitcher's MVP for the second-half of spring camp.  Takashi Toritani was the position player's MVP.

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Daiki Enokida (1st round) twisted his left ankle during infield drills yesterday.  He still started today's exhibition game against the Orix Buffaloes so it probably wasn't anything serious.

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Hiroki Uemoto stayed back for extra BP yesterday.  Akinobu Mayumi also spent about 20 minutes giving him tips (keep the bat head up).

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Minoru Iwata will pitch 3-4 innings during one of two exhibition games against the Softbank Hawks (3/2 and 3/3).

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Mayumi sat down with Tomoaki Kanemoto for an "emergency meeting" (a few minutes) yesterday to see if he'll be ready for opening day.  At this point, the Tigers would like to see Kanemoto get into a game as DH by around 3/9.  The next step would be for him to begin practicing his throws from the outfield, which they hope he'll be able to start doing sometime around 3/16.

Kanemoto threw the ball 46 times during catch at a max distance of about 20-30 meters yesterday.

Kanemoto - "My hitting is coming all just fine.  I'm near the final stages for hitting and I'm pretty satisfied with the results, but throwing is a different story.  Seems like it's never the same from one day to the next.  If I can find a little stability, I'd start throwing on the field.  There really isn't a plan in place to get me to opening day, since right now, it's really all about how much I'll be able to throw.  I don't think I'll be able to set any dates until I can throw the ball relatively hard while playing catch."

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It seems Mayumi asked Kenji Jojima to try to get himself ready for opening day (3/25).  But that also doesn't mean he wants Jojima to feel rushed.

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The starting rotation will probably include: Yasutomo Kubo, Atsushi Nomi, Jason Standridge, and Iwata.  That will leaving two remaining spots for pitchers like: Randy Messenger, Tatsuya Kojima, Ikketsu Sho, Naoto Tsuru, Takumi Akiyama, Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi, and Enokida.

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Mayumi told reporters yesterday that he wasn't happy with how the CF competition has gone so far.  The four candidates, Ryo Asai, Shunsuke Fujikawa, Katsuhiko Saka, and Kohei Shibata, faced Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi and Iwata during situational BP today.

Iwata faced 4 batters 13 different times and threw 49 pitches and allowed just one could-be hit.  He also walked one and struck out two.  Iwata's slider apparently looked lively.

Shunsuke went 2-for-3 against Shimoyanagi and hit a double to left-center off Iwata.