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PL News and Notes: December 27, 2011

by on Dec.28, 2011 @ 3:27 am, under NPB

Softbank Hawks

The Hawks announced on Tuesday that they hired former Rakuten Eagle Akira Matsumoto (34) as a BP pitcher.

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Hiroki Yamada has plans to workout with Tsuyoshi Wada and Shota Oba in Miyazaki in January.

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Yuki Yanagita returned to Japan on Sunday after spending time playing winter ball in Puerto Rico.

Yanagita: 22 G, 19-for-70, 12 R, 3 doubles, 0 triples, 3 HR, 11 RBI, .271/.329/.443.

Seems he also got some pointers on hitting from his teammate, Ivan Rodriguez.

Seibu Lions

Tuesday (12/27) was the last day of official business in 2011 for the Lions' front office.

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The Lions announced on Tuesday the schedule for the mini camp they will be holding for their 2011 draft prospects.  Practices will begin at 10am between 1/8 and 1/25 (days off on 1/11, 1/16, 1/21) at Seibu 2 Stadium and the indoor training facilities.  Rookies are also expected to move into the player dorms by 1/7.

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The Lions announce on Monday that 25-year-old Tatsuya Takeno filed marriage papers with a 25-year-old woman named Miyuki Matsumoto on 12/25.

Chiba Lotte Marines

Yutaka Ono is currently in the record books as the oldest reliever to record a saves title: 26 saves in the season he turned 37.  Yasuhiko Yabuta will be turning 39 next season and could have a decent shot at breaking Ono's record -- Yabuta finished in third with 31 this past season, just 6 short of Hisashi Takeda's (HAM) league high 37.

Nippon Ham Fighters

Tuesday (12/27) was the last day of official business in 2011 for the Fighters' front office.

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The media learned on Monday that the Fighters will most likely end in the year in the black for the fifth straight season.  It seems merchandising played a fairly large part, especially with regards to fans purchasing their newly revised uniforms this season.

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Hideki Kuriyama told reporters his closer for 2012 will be Hisashi Takeda.

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Dai-Kang Yang (Yoh) will be registered as an outfielder beginning next year (he wants to focus all his efforts as an outfielder).

Orix Buffaloes

The Buffaloes announced the following two venue changes for the 2012 season on Tuesday:

5/10 - vs Softbank Hawks @ Kyocera Dome to Hotto Motto Field Kobe

7/25 - vs Rakuten Eagles @ Hotto Motto Field Kobe to Kyocera Dome

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Mamoru Kishida plans to bring back his shuto next season (something to use against right-handed batters) -- he relied primarily on his fastball, change, and slider since moving into the bullpen last year.

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Yuki Nishi started donated one vaccination for each pitch he threw this season.  He told reporters that he plans on continuing to donate vaccinations for as long as he is an active pitcher.

Rakuten Eagles

Masahiro Tanaka would like to see the team increase the number of trainers and bullpen catchers they have to improve productivity.

Tanaka also has plans to workout with Yu Darvish in Miyazaki in January.