Tomonori Maeda (40) worked out for about six hours on Saturday. His workouts included soft toss BP and fielding practice.
Team owner Hajima Matsuda also spoke to Maeda for about five minutes and reportedly told him to aim for six more homers -- he is five homers from 300 but has only hit six since 2008.
Team owner Matsuda watched the 2011 draft class working out at the Ono training facilities on Saturday and told reporters he was impressed with 1st round draft pick Yusuke Nomura. When Nomura was asked what he though, he replied, "It seems a lot of people talk about how close I am to being ready, but I have never thought that myself. I think I am still at about 40%. ... My delivery and my mechanics are still incomplete. And of the 60% or so that remains, about 30-40% is strengthening my body. Once my body is set, the rest will fall into place."
When asked to compare pitching to something, he said, "A tree. ... Trees with many branches and leaves have thick trunks. Strong trunks mean good balance. And if the branches grow, they can bend more and provide an increase in power. ... Big trees have good roots. And that is why it is important to strengthen the lower body."
A group of players, including Kenta Maeda, Akihiro Higashide, Eishin Soyogi, and Takeru Imamura, took off for Okinawa on Friday.