Sanspo has posted the following interview with Nippon Ham Fighter Yuki Saito:
On having a good start and then coming off the active roster in May due to an oblique injury...
It was the first time I suffered an injury where I could not play baseball. I felt anxious and was pretty down on things. But I knew I had to get back to training and managed to turn things around by telling myself I had to be more positive.
You returned to the active roster on 6/29 and did not record your sixth victory until 10/6...
I was not feeling great in September and I started stressing about the losing streak I was in the middle of. I was continually pre-occupied. It felt like when you study for a test and you know you have done everything you can, but you still end up sitting in front of your desk. I was really happy when I recorded my sixth victory. It was different than when I won my first game.
You ultimately ended up 6-6 over 19 games...
Even though I feel like I could have done a bit more, my feelings of gratitude [toward my teammates] is really big. People tend to aim too high. I have accepted that the 6-6 season I had was what I was capable of doing.
What were your thoughts when you gave up that home run to Tadahito Iguchi during your first career start on 4/17?
I did not think it was a bad pitch and yet [Iguchi] managed to hit it out to right-center. He hit an opposite field homer. I thought it was an great hit because I had not given up any home runs during my exhibition game outings.
Your first season is over and you are already working toward your second season. You have also worked out with Ichiro and Norichika Aoki.
During the season, instead of doing weights, I tried carrying heavier bags. Creating a body that can withstand injury is a top priority. I have managed to keep my weight at 75kg. I am not the type of pitcher that throws his weight around so increasing my weight would not be in my best interest.
Your goals for the 2012 season...
I will not say anything big. I just want to maintain my spot in the Ichi-gun starting rotation the entire year. This will be my goal every year. Even though I want to be a fastball-type pitcher, I also know I need to accept reality. And while I do need to show [the new manager] what I am capable of, I hope he also sees what I do on a day-to-day basis.
Any particular stats you want to focus on?
Good pitchers do things to help teams win and they also tend to have a lot of victories. Becoming a winning pitcher is the most important thing. ERA is not important if you can pitch and record victories.
Your thoughts on marriage...
Right now, I still have a lot of studying to do as a working member of society. I think it is still a little early for me to start a family. I would like to get married after I start putting up results. Maybe in my late 20s early 30s. I need to find a woman that I like and I unless I am satisfied with myself, both publicly and privately, I will not be able to make her happy.