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CL News and Notes: December 27, 2011

by on Dec.28, 2011 @ 3:31 am, under NPB

Chunichi Dragons

Takuya Asao is hoping to learn a few things from Masahiro Yamamoto during spring camp next year -- while the two have been on the active roster at the same time during the regular season over the years, Asao has not been able to spend much time with him.

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Soma Yamauchi tossed some BP to Yohei Oshima during practice at Nagoya Stadium on Monday.  Soma later said to reporters, "My shoulder is at about 80%.  I am ready for [spring] camp to begin anytime. ... The coaches are changing and I thought it would be good to get a jump start."

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The Chunichi coaching staff is scheduled for an official meeting on 1/19/2012.  An additional meeting is also scheduled on 1/11/2012.

Hanshin Tigers

Shinjiro Hiyama closed out his rehab/training for the 2011 on Tuesday.

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Kentaro Sekimoto gave Yasutomo Kubo some hitting advice during practice at the indoor facilities at Koshien on Monday.  Sekimoto apparently did not focus too much on getting hits, but rather on fouling the ball off, since doing that can also help the team by making the opposing pitcher work harder.

FYI: Kubo made a deal with Sanspo (Tigers' Promise - 猛虎のお約束) on 2/19 that he would collect more hits this season than Atsushi Nomi.  Final numbers: Nomi 6 - Kubo 0.  Since he lost the best, Kubo will be giving a personal item away to a Sanspo reader.

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Takumi Akiyama told reporters on Monday that he will not be working out with Kenji Jojima in Sasebo, Nagasaki in January and will instead work out on his own before returning to Naruohama around 1/20.

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Yutaka Wada plans to put his field his best line-up when the team plays two exhibition game against the Seattle Mariners and Oakland A's next year.

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The Tigers will be bringing a 1M+ yen machine to spring camp that will help coaches during fielding practice (primarily for the outfielders).

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A little more on the new uniforms for next season: the home uniforms will basically remain the same pinstriped design, but the road uniforms will most likely be black shirts and white pants.

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Both Keiichi Hirano and Yasutomo Kubo will not be meeting the team for another round of salary negotiations before the end of the business year (12/28).  The team will, however, be meeting Shinjiro Hiyama and Nomi.

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Nomi will be appearing in an Osaka Gas commercial next year between 1/1 and 1/10 (Kansai region) -- filming took place in November.

FYI: Nomi also once appeared in a movie entitled Mister Rookie back when he was still a member of the Osaka Gas baseball team (Industrial League).

Nomi met with the Tigers for a second round of negotiations on Tuesday and once again put a 100M yen (up 45M yen) offer on hold.  He later told reporters he felt a little more satisfied with discussions, but was still not yet quite ready to sign.

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The Tigers are working on scheduling an exhibition game against Asia University on 3/3/2012 at Naruohama.

Yomiuri Giants

Ryota Wakiya worked out for about two hours at Giants Stadium on Tuesday.  Wakiya was no longer wearing a brace on his right elbow and focused most of his workouts on stretches and trunk strengthening exercises.

Said Wakiya, "I really want to do some running outside, but it could be dangerous if I fall.  I lost some muscle because of the operation so I think I will work on that first."

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The media learned on Monday that Yuya Kubo likely will not make the opening day roster and that other pitchers like Scott Mathieson and Tetsuya Yamaguchi will be competing for his spot in the bullpen.  Reason: the team does not want to rush Kubo back from right hip surgery.

On Tuesday, Kubo played a catch between the bases for about 12 minutes.  Said Kubo, "I was able to stand properly and had good balance.  I also did not feel any pain."

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Toshiya Suiguchi plans to start his training in the New Year on 1/3 (a couple days earlier than usual).  Sugiuchi will be working out in Satsumasendai, Kagoshima and will rest one day for every three days of workouts.  He will also be focusing on lower body exercises, like running and pilates (trunk strengthening).

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The Giants may be thinking of Masato Kiyashiki (20) as their next future catcher.

Yakult Swallows

A total nine players, lead by Ryoji Aikawa, will be working out in Saipan, beginning on 1/10.  Players include Yoshinori Sato, Tatsuyoshi Masubuchi, Hitoshi Yamamoto, and Masato Nakazawa.

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The Swallows are in the market for another foreign starting pitcher.

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Shinya Miyamoto would like to invite Hiromitsu Takagi (senryokugai) to help him out during his training session in Matsuyama, Ehime in January.

Takagi was scheduled to attend the 12-team tryout in November, but had to bow out after suffering a chin fracture during practices.  Takagi already had surgery and was released from the hospital earlier this month.

Hiroshima Carp

Tuesday (12/27) was the last day of official business in 2011 for the Carp front office.  The offices will re-open on 1/5/2012.

For those wondering: The team will be ready to field any phone calls made by Hiroki Kuroda during their break.

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The Carp announced on Tuesday that 28-year-old Soichiro Amaya filed marriage papers with 28-year-old reporter Kanako Tsuboyama on 12/25.

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Jumpei Shinoda has been working out at Athlete in Hiroshima so far during the off-season.

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Pitching coach Yutaka Ono told reporters that he will try to do a better job at hiding which pitchers will be getting starts, all in the name of keeping opposing teams in the dark.  He is also hoping his pitchers can do a better job of deking the opposition.

Yokohama Bay Stars

Kazuya Fujita's wife gave birth to the couple's first child, a girl weighing 2,922 grams, on 12/25.

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Kiyoshi Nakahata told reporters on Monday that he will be working out at Bay Stars Stadium next year, beginning around 1/9 (he wants to make sure he is physically capable of hitting a bunch of grounders during spring camp).  Team president Jun Ikeda will also be joining him.

Nakahata is also thinking about having the players select the next team captain.

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Nakahata has high hopes for Yuki Yoshimura and plans to push him hard during spring camp.

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The Bay Stars received the Yomiuri Giants' protected players list on Monday and could hold off on deciding whether or not they will select a player as compensation for losing Shuichi Murata until some time early next year.