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2/17/2012: Daisuke Matsuzaka, Yoshinori Tateyama, Hisashi Iwakuma

by on Feb.17, 2012 @ 1:46 pm, under MLB

According to Nikkan SportsDaisuke Matsuzaka has been cleared to start throwing change-ups while playing catch, beginning on Friday.  He also tossed his sixth bullpen session on Thursday.

Sponichi adds that this could mean Matsuzaka might get to pitch in a rehab minor league game some time in late March, assuming the teams puts him on the same schedule as Junichi Tazawa (Tazawa pitched in his first rehab minor league game about a month after he started throwing change-ups last year).

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Yoshinori Tateyama, currently working out in Surprise, AZ, threw thirty-five pitches in the bullpen on Thursday.

Tateyama had to borrow some equipment from his teammates on Wednesday because his things were still in transit.

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Hisashi Iwakuma worked out for about an hour and a half on Thursday.  He also got his first massage after practice.

Iwakuma has been using a heavier, yellow baseball for his training (to help him get accustomed to the MLB baseball).  He used the same ball during warm-ups on Thursday.

Iwakuma is scheduled to his third bullpen session on February 17.

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While taking grounders at second on Wednesday, Munenori Kawasaki was advised to plant his right foot before throwing the ball to second.  Kawasaki also got some laughs when he started shouting out things like "Ichi, get out my way!" and "Ichi, I got it!" during his fielding session.

Kawasaki took grounders at second again on Thursday.

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The Rangers have been preparing their Spring Training facilities for Yu Darvish and the throngs of fans/media he is expected to draw.  Walkways near the bullpen are being expanded and an extra trailer has been set up for the added media.  The team has also increased the number of golf cars from five to about twenty.