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Hanshin Tigers: February 2, 2012

by on Feb.02, 2012 @ 11:58 pm, under NPB

Hiroki Uemoto, Yamato, and Haruki Kurose took extra fielding practice this morning (starting at around 9:30am) before the start of general practices.  INF/base-running coach Teruyoshi Kuji worked with the three players for about 45 minutes.  Yutaka Wada observed the session.

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Kazuhiro Sasaki acted as a special pitching instructor today -- he gave a ten minute speech on how to throw and use the fork.

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Tomoaki Kanemoto played catch at a max distance of about 60 meters on Wednesday.

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Kyuji Fujikawa decided to have the word "bonds" stitched onto his glove.  Fujikawa originally had Xanax (glove manufacturer) stitch the Japanese word (結束) but was not happy with the balance and went with the English word.

Phrases, words stitched in Fujikawa's glove over the years

2005 - 本塁打厳禁 (no home runs)
2006 - 細心而剛胆 (meticulous and bold)
2006 (WBC) - World No1
2007 - 気力一瞬, One for all All for one (instant willpower)
2010 - Pluck up your heart
2011 - Not words but deeds

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A number of different coaches apparently kept a close eye on 1st round draft pick Hayata Ito during the first day of spring camp.  OF/base-running coach Koichi Sekikawa reached out to Ito while he played catch and also after fielding and base-running practice.  Yutaka Wada and batting coach Atsushi Kataoka both gave him hitting tips after batting practice.

FWIW: Ito had some problems during fielding practice on Wednesday -- he misjudged a ball in center and could not glove an easy liner while at short.  He also had some difficulty planting his feet properly before throwing the ball from the outfield.

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Fifty-one Chicken Hayata Rice Bowls (500 yen) were prepared on the first day of spring camp and all fifty-one were sold.

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Sanspo notes three focuses of the first day of spring camp:

  1. Lunchtime batting practice for pitchers - Pitchers like Kyuji Fujikawa, Randy Messenger, Hiroyuki Kobayashi, Atsushi Nomi, and Jason Standridge, all spent time taking batting practice while the position players had their lunch breaks.  Pitching coach Keiichi Yabu would like starting pitchers to aim for a .200 or better batting average.
  2. Bunt practices - Players, even veterans like Craig Brazell and Takahiro Arai, were required to work on their bunts.
  3. Swing speed - The team's scouts recorded bat speeds for every player that took batting practice.

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Batting Practice Bullpen Sessions

Thursday

  • Masahiro Nakatani swung the bat 198 times and hit sixteen baseballs over the left field fence. (Nikkan Sports)

Wednesday

  • Masahiro Nakatani swung the bat 161 times and hit thirty-eight over the fence during extra BP. (Sanspo)
  • Tomoaki Kanemoto took forty-two swings during soft toss BP and sixty-five swings during regular BP.  He also spent time checking on his mechanics using an iPad. (Sanspo)
  • Kenji Jojima took forty-seven swings and hit five over the fence. (Sanspo)
  • Shinjiro Hiyama took 110 one-handed swings (just right hand) and five two-handed swings during soft toss.  He also swung the bat lightly five times with both hands. (Sanspo)
  • 1st round draft pick Hayata Ito took 82 swings and hit none over the fence.
  • Shinta Hifumi swung the bat eighty-one times and hit one over the fence. (Sponichi)

Thursday

  • Twenty pitchers tossed bullpen sessions.  Atsushi Nomi threw ninety-three.  Daiki Enokida threw eighty-nine pitches (he threw nintey on Wednesday).  Hiroyuki Kobayashi threw fifty-four pitches.  Randy Messenger threw seventy-five.  Jason Standridge threw sixty-three.  Kyuji Fujikawa and Yuya Ando did not toss sessions. (Daily Sports)
  • 2nd round draft pick Hiroaki Saiuchi threw 30 pitches (all fastballs) to a standing catcher. (Nikkan Sports)

Wednesday

  • Atsushi Nomi threw 72 pitches. (Sanspo)