The Eagles took part in a welcoming ceremony at Kin Stadium today. The facilities at the stadium are still incomplete (no indoor training area or secondary field) and will likely require another two to three years before completion.
Batting coach Hiromoto Okubo told reporters that they are planning to put together their best possible line-ups using the players they currently have on hand, for their upcoming practice games.
Kazuo Matsui did not play in any of the team's three intra-squad games. He will, however, most likely be in the starting line-up (at short, batting third) when the team plays the Yokohama Bay Stars on February 18.
Katsuya Nomura visited Okinawa camp today. He told reporters he was a little worried about the team with Hisashi Iwakuma gone.
Kazuyoshi Tatsunami also visited Okinawa camp today.
Motohiro Shima stayed back after general workouts for extra batting practice in the cages (against a pitching machine) today.
- February 18 vs Yokohama - Ryohei Isaka
- February 21 vs Yomiuri - Kohei Hasebe
- February 22 vs Hanshin - Keiji Uezono
- February 24 vs Samsung (KBO) - 1st round draft pick Yoshitaka Muto
- February 25 vs Nippon Ham - Takahiro Shiomi
- February 26 vs Yakult - Masahiro Tanaka (4+ innings)
If it is raining in Okinawa and there is no where else to practice (since Kin Stadium has no indoor facilities), batting coach Hiromoto Okubo will check to see if the banquet hall at the player hotel are available. While they will not be allowed to use baseballs, players will still be able to work on their swings. And it seems the team has prepared about 1,000 sponge balls.