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Hanshin Tigers decide on spring training assignments

by on Jan.22, 2012 @ 11:55 pm, under NPB

The Tigers held a meeting today and decided on player assignments for spring camp.  A total 44 players will attend Ichi-gun spring camp.  Included in that group: 1st round draft pick Hayata Ito, 4th round draft pick Kazuo Ito, Shinjiro Hiyama, Kenji Jojima, and Masahiro NakataniKohei Shibata, Ryo Asai, and Wei-Chu Lin will start things off at Ni-gun spring camp.

A list of players attending Ichi-gun camp can be found here.

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Tomoaki Kanemoto and Takahiro Arai attended an event at Saifukuji Temple in Kagoshima today and held a talk session.

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Shibata spent some time rehabbing at Koshien on Saturday -- he is currently not allowed to take BP or throw the ball.

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Pitching coach Takashi Yamaguchi plans to let Atsushi Nomi do what he wants during spring camp.  Nomi is a frontrunner for the opening day start on 3/30 (vs Yokohama).  That could mean pitching in exhibition games on 3/3 (vs Orix), 3/9 (vs Seibu), 3/16 (vs Lotte), 3/23 (vs Orix).

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Daiki Enokida has managed to drop his weight from 91kg (before fall camp) to about 85kg.

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Pitching coach Keiichi Yabu is interested in Ikusei pitcher Robert Zarate's progress and is wondering what kind of shape he will be in when he arrives in Japan.

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GM Eiichi Takano told reporters on Saturday that he wanted to finalize contracts with Yasutomo Kubo (has spoken to his agent a number of times and could be close) and Keiichi Hirano (would like to meet with him in person) before the end of the month.

If deals can not be reached with the two players, they will be responsible for paying for spring camp fees.

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Takashi Toritani's glove for 2012 was competed on Saturday.  Since 2004, the glove has been getting smaller and smaller.  This year, it is about one centimeter smaller.  He is also shifting to a creme-colored gloves (one with pink stitching and another with blue stitching).

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Shinta Hifumi will be trying out a number of different kinds of bats, including a Hiroyuki Nakajima model bat and a Takeya Nakamura model bat.

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1st round draft pick Ito will be using two cleats this season based on the model Ichiro Suzuki used last year -- one for use on natural grass and the other for artificial turf.  The artificial turf cleats will likely remain the same as the one's he used last season (one centimeter long spikes), but the natural grass cleats will have longer spikes (three to five millimeters longer) and fewer spikes (from ten to eight).  Each cleat will weigh about 250 grams. ... Ito's family visited Naruohama on Saturday.

5th round draft pick Ryoma Matsuda threw 32 pitches (all fastball) in the bullpen today.