Welcome to Yakyubaka.com

Hanshin Tigers: January 30, 2012

by on Jan.30, 2012 @ 11:21 pm, under NPB

The Ichi-gun coaching staff arrived in Okinawa today.  They were greeted by about 20 village officials at the airport.

===

Yutaka Wada plans to place a lot of emphasis on fielding practice and on selecting the right members for the bullpen.  He also said he was not worried about Matt Murton arriving at spring camp late (should it come to that).

On Sunday, Wada told reporters he planned to have his advance scout check on the Yokohama Bay Stars, beginning on the first day of spring camp (they will hold off on scouting the Chunichi Dragons since they will not face them until mid April).

Advance scout Masao Iida said, "I want to see how things change with [Kiyoshi] Nakahata managing the team.  Then there is [Alex] Ramirez and whether or not he will play first.  And we know he is a good hitter so want to check him out."

The Tigers open the season against Yokohama this year.

===

Takashi Toritani worked out at Ginoza from 10am until around 3:30pm today.  He hit two balls over the fence during outdoor BP.

===

Training camp for the 2011 draft class at Naruohama ended today.

5th round draft pick Ryoma Matsuda returned to Osaka for his high school graduation and will rejoin the team tomorrow.

===

Randy Messenger arrived in Japan today and told reporters that he already tossed bullpen sessions and batting practice.

===

Jason Standridge also arrived today.

"I threw three or four bullpen sessions before coming and I am further along than I have been in the past.  I feel great, as does my right arm.  I am ready to compete," said Standridge.

===

Craig Brazell worked out in the indoor training facilities at Koshien on Sunday (he arrived at around 11am).

===

Masahiro Nakatani took 43 swings during outdoor BP on Sunday and hit six over the fence (four off right-handed pitchers and two off left-handed pitchers; all hit to left).

===

Ryota Arai took 45 swings during outdoor BP on Sunday and hit five over the fence.  He also did some running and took some BP in the cages.

===

1st round draft pick Hayata Ito used three different bats during soft toss BP on Sunday (90 swings).  All three bats were basically the same size and weight, the only difference: material (and manufacturer).  The bats: Hi-Gold North American, maple; Rawlings, white ash and maple.  Ito took 90 swings and switched bats seven times.

"I listen to the sound and I check to see how if feels when I make contact.  There are ones that seem to fit and there are ones that seem to be off the mark.  I may change the weight, but I want to leave the size the same.  Even bats made of the same material, like maple, are different based on where they come from and the manufacturer, so I really take a lot of care in how things feel on contact," said Ito.

Ito also tried a bat made of Japanese ash once, but found it too soft.

As for the ball he hit over the fence during outdoor BP: "Personally, I try to imagine hitting the ball into the gaps in the outfield and the sometimes it can go over the fence for a home run.  I do not want trick myself.  There are a lot of hitters that can make the ball fly."

After practices on Sunday, Ito spent time signing autographs as he waited for a taxi.

===

4th round draft pick Kazuo Ito has natural late break on his fastball.

"I personally do not want any break...  But the bullpen catcher told me he thought the pitch would be difficult for batters to hit and that I should not worry.  That made me see there are other ways to think about it," said Ito.

===

Ken Nishimura not only worked out his curve, but also his lower body, during his bullpen session on Sunday.

"I wanted to focus on how I use my lower body, so I threw curves.  If I can [also polish the to curve] to where I can use it in games, that would be good," said Nishimura.

===

Keiichi Hirano told reporters on Sunday that he plans to sign on the dotted line when he meets the Tigers for a third round of salary negotiations on January 31.

===

Bullpen sessions:

Sunday

Daiki Enokida threw 45 pitches.