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Hanshin Tigers: January 28, 2012

by on Jan.28, 2012 @ 5:49 pm, under NPB

Kyuji Fujikawa spent time working with the younger players during early training camp on Friday.  His workouts included long distance throwing, fielding grounders, strength training, and running.

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1st round draft pick Hayato Ito took outdoor BP for the first time after turning pro on Friday.  He took seventeen swings against a right-handed pitcher and collected nine could-be hits and seventeen swings against a left-handed pitcher and collected eight could-be hits for a total seventeen could-be hits in thirty-four swings.  And of the seventeen could-be hits he collected, fourteen were hit between center and left.

Ito also took fielding practice in the morning.  After BP, he ran eight poles, hit the weight room, and took some BP in the cages (74 bunts, 24 slash bunts, and 56 regular swings).

He later told reporters, when asked when he might start pulling the ball, "If they tell me to swing hard then I will, but I will not do it on my own.  Do not expect home runs.  Like how many home runs in how many swings.  Zero, I am going for zero."

When asked to comment on him going the other way, he said, "I am just checking on things.  If the ball comes inside, I will try to pull it, but instead of trying to crank it, I will probably swing at about 70-80%.  I will imagine pulling it in toward me as I hit the ball."

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Bullpen sessions on Friday:

Tomoyuki Kubota mixed in about 10 curves during his 109-pitch bullpen session.

Naoto Tsuru threw 43 pitches in the bullpen.

Daiki Enokida tossed 22 pitches (while mixing in off-speed pitches).  He also had the catcher squat for the first time this year.

Takumi Akiyama threw 38 pitches (mostly fastballs).  He too had the catcher squat for the first time this year.

4th round draft pick Kazuo Ito threw 33 pitches to a standing catcher.

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Masahiro Nakatani took 35 swings during BP on Friday and hit zero over the fence.  He also spend some time in the cages.

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Shunsuke will be using a lightly larger glove this year.

"I used an infielder's glove up to now, but I will be using one that is a few centimeters longer [this year].  It will feel weird if I make the jump [to a larger glove right away], so I will go little by little," said Shunsuke.

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Kohei Shibata plans to attend spring camp from the very first day.  And depending on how he is feeling over the next day or so, he could also begin a throwing program on January 30.

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Shinjiro Hiyama closed out his rehab training at Koshien on Friday.  Team trainer Yasunori Gonda told reporters that he took 90 swings with his right hand during soft-toss BP on Thursday.  And while he can now hold the bat with both hands, he probably will not be able to swing the bat with both hands until after spring camp begins.

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Takahiro Arai brought a Phiten-made aqua titan pillow and mattress to spring camp.  He also appeared on Sun TV's Nekketsu Tigers-to on Friday.

During BP on the same day, he took thirty-four swings and hit two over the fence.

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Atsushi Nomi, Minoru Iwata, Daiki Enokida, Hiroki Uemoto, Yamoto, and Shunsuke visited Ginoza Junior High School after practices on Friday.

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Keiichi Hirano is scheduled to meet the Tigers on January 31 for another round of salary negotiations.

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Yasutomo Kubo reportedly agreed to a deal worth an estimated 140M yen (down 40M yen).  The deal apparently also contains language that will work if he is used as either a starter or reliever this season.

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The Tigers apparently are not happy with season ticket sales so far this year.  Sponichi quotes an unnamed source as saying, "The numbers are not bad, it is just that we have [high] goals.  Things are still in flux in January and February."