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Chunichi Dragons: 1st round draft pick Shuhei Takahashi will likely start at Ichi-gun spring camp

by on Jan.11, 2012 @ 4:39 pm, under NPB

The Dragons held a staff meeting in Nagoya today that lasted about three hours and went over spring camp scheduling and coaching roles.  Player assignments for spring camp will be decided during a second meeting on 1/19.

As of now, 1st round draft pick Shuhei Takahashi will likely start the year at Ichi-gun spring camp and get a chance to play in a practice game scheduled on 2/11.  Ichi-gun and Ni-gun players will also be rounded up on the first day of spring camp for fielding practice.

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Morimichi Takagi told reporters on Tuesday that losing Wei-Ying Chen was a big blow, but that it was something the team was prepared for.  The question he is now faced with is trying to find a viable left-handed replacement for the rotation.  Possibilities apparently include Takashi Ogasawara, Ryuya Ogawa, Toshiya Okada, and Yudai Ono.

Takagi also said that this was going to be an important year for developing young talent.

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A total nine players, including Hirokazu Ibata and Takuya Asao, left for Guam on Tuesday.  They will spend about 10 days working out in the warmer weather.

Before leaving, Ibata spoke to reporters and said that he was bringing 16 bats with him to Guam, 14 of which were golf clubs (jokingly).  He also said that the bats he did pack were based on a new model that is 20-40 grams heavier than the 900 grams bat he used last year.  And as mentioned before, he plans to prepare for the heavier bats by swinging a 1kg practice bat around during practices.

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Team scout Hiroaki Mizutani is high on 1st round draft pick Takahashi's swing and told reporters that it was comparable to players like Kazuhiro Kiyohara and Hideki Matsui.  He also said he felt Takahashi turned pro at a higher level than Masahiko Morino.

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Daily Sports reports that the Dragons may be looking for one more foreign pitcher and one more foreign position player.  Other reports indicate at least one more (either a pitcher or a position player).