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2/14/2012: Yoshinori Tateyama, Hideki Matsui, Koji Uehara

by on Feb.14, 2012 @ 1:25 pm, under MLB

Yoshinori Tateyama left for the US out of Kansai Kokusai Airport on Monday.  Before leaving, he spoke to reporters and said that he wanted to pitch in sixty or more games this season, a number he feels he can reach so long as he remains on the MLB roster the entire season.

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Hideki Matsui told reporters on Monday that he still had nothing new to report, that he still was not worried, and that all he could do was wait.

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A couple of updates on Koji Uehara...

ESPN's Buster Olney tweets: The Rangers continue to talk about Koji Uehara with Oakland, which is also in talks with FA reliever Mike Gonzalez.

Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal: The Oakland Athletics remain the front-runners to sign Ramirez, but first want to add a reliever, according to major-league sources; they have been in talks with the Texas Rangers about right-hander Koji Uehara.

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Sponichi reports that Eric Wedge does not plan to give Hisashi Iwakuma a start in either of the regular season games that will be played in Japan (although there is still a chance he might pitch in one of the two exhibition games).  Those two starts will likely go to Felix Hernandez and Jason Vargas.  Sponichi adds that Iwakuma's first official regular season start could take place on April 9.

Iwakuma threw forty-three pitches in the bullpen on Monday, the second day of Spring Training.

And Nikkan Sports has posted the following comments with Iwakuma:

What was your first day of practices like while wearing the Mariners uniform?

It was a lot of fun.  Being the first day of practice, I felt like I did practice that much, but I do feel like I was able to get around fairly well.  I suppose I just need to get used to things little by little.

Does it feel different now that you have put the uniform on?

I feel like things have started.  I am excited and I think I had a good practice.

Do you think there is a difference between the way they do it in Japan and the way they do it in the Majors?

Practices feel really light, but that's about it.  I need to get used to it and learn to do stuff on my own if I feel the need to do more.  So I do feel the difference there.  But I still feel I had a good practice.

Were you able to understand everything during the pre-practice meeting and the instructions from coaches?

Well, the manager did talk about pulling together as a team in order to get to the next level.  And I think myself and the other players, we will all work towards this.

You spoke to [Munenori] Kawasaki...

Yes.  It is nice that the energetic Mune joined the team as well.  We warmed up together today and I think we will keep doing that.  I want to do my best.

There are there differences in training camps, but what about the throwing part?

There is a limit on the number of bullpens I can throw, so I need to think about how I can prepare myself within that framework.  Other than that, I need to keep the lines of communication open with the coaches.  I also need to pace myself because it is a long season.

So one of the first things to do is accept the ways coaches do things.

Yes.  I would like to do what I can to work within their boundaries.

You started warm-ups with your cleats on.  You did not seem to do this when you were in Japan.

Yeah.  That is a difference.  That is something I need to get used to.  I had my sneakers as well, but with the running, I seemed like it might be better to get used to the cleats.  So I will run with my cleats.  There is that difference.  It just means I wear my spikes the entire day and get used to them.

What was the one things you felt was really strange today?

Strange?  Strange?  Well, I suppose how quickly practice ended.  Like, so soon?  That is about it.

You were in the same group as the starters, like [Felix] Hernandez, beginning with warm-ups...

Yeah, I did my warm-ups while soaking that in.

Did you speak to Hernandez?

I did introduce myself.

The season opens in Japan.  Do you feel there is a lot of time until then?  Or not a lot of time?

Well, I wonder.  I do not think that there is a lot of time.  There is a part of me that wants to get myself prepared as quickly as possible.  But there is a limited number of bullpen sessions.  So I will try to get my shoulder ready and my mechanics down while playing catcher.  I will not rush myself.

Is there anything you are doing to prepare for the exhibition games?

No.  Not really.

What about possible starting dates?

Nothing yet.

You are scheduled or a bullpen session tomorrow.  After that, you will go every other day.  Would you like to throw more?

Not really.  They did tell me to let them if there was something on my mind.  So if I feel I need more, I will talk to them.  But before that, I think I need to work on adjusting.  In Japan, I was throwing every day so you might think that would make me feel unprepared, but I was never really threw that much to begin with.  I want to put more focus on playing catch.  I will work on my mechanics there and I think I will be fine.

If you were in Japan, I think you would be doing long distance throws.

Yeah.  I will take my time.  And I will think about how I will handle the three bullpen sessions.  I think I will try to toss these sessions as if I were really pitching in a game.

2 comments on “2/14/2012: Yoshinori Tateyama, Hideki Matsui, Koji Uehara

  1. Mike DeJong

    Man, that reporter just wouldn’t stop harping on how much throwing he was doing. The guy had a SORE SHOULDER last season – so perhaps taking it easy now is a good idea – not following ‘tradition’?

    1. Steve

      Ah, Mike DeJong with another drive-by criticism.

      I don’t see anyone but you mentioning tradition? The interviewer is just asking about the differences in training camp, that’s all, and obviously camps in the US have their pitchers throw a lot less than those in Japan. There’s no agenda here, just a standard interview. Or should an interviewer NOT ask a pitcher about pitching?

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