Welcome to Yakyubaka.com

2/19/2012: Ichiro Suzuki, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Koji Uehara

by on Feb.19, 2012 @ 2:06 pm, under MLB

Nikkan Sports' update for Saturday:

  • Ichiro Suzuki's workouts including fielding and batting practice.  Munenori Kawasaki and Hisashi Iwakuma worked on some infield drills.
  • Yoshinori Tateyama threw fifty-five pitches in the bullpen.
  • Hiroki Kuroda threw twenty-five pitches, including off-speed pitches, in the bullpen.

===

Daisuke Matsuzaka threw about ten change-ups while playing catch on Friday.  It was the first time he threw the change since his surgery.

===

Junichi Tazawa threw about thirty pitches in the bullpen on Friday.

===

ADDED @ 3:05pm - Kuroda mixed in curves, change-ups, and two-seamers during his bullpen session on Friday.  Pitching coach Larry Rothschild caught the session.

===

Ichiro was hitting with his legs spread out about one and a half times wider than usual during batting practice on Friday.  He was also using a short/small slide-step stride (about ten centimeters) and was not letting go of the bat on the follow through (he was apparently trying to keep his swing level).  A number of Doosan (KBO) players also watched Ichiro take batting practice.

During batting practice on Saturday, Ichiro took fifty-one swings and hit seven over the fence.

===

Kawasaki purchased some clippers and planned to cut his hair down to about five millimeters but messed up and ended up cutting it down to about 1 millimeter.

===

ADDED @ 3:05pm - Tsuyoshi Wada and Wei-Ying Chen worked out together on Friday (like running, playing catch).

===

Hideki Matsui told reporters on Saturday that he had nothing new report.  A return to Japan still does not appear to be in the cards.

===

Via Nikkan Sports, The San Jose Mercury News' Joe Stiglich notes that the Oakland A's are closing in on a trade with the Texas Rangers for Koji Uehara.

CBSSports' Danny Knobler and the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser have also confirmed the report over Twitter.

===

John Blake (Texas Rangers' Executive Vice President, Communications) met with Surprise, AZ police and the team's chief of security at Spring Training about how they will be dealing with fans and media when once Yu Darvish arrives.  The team is also working on a set of guidelines/rules for the media.

UPDATE @ 3:05pm - Darvish's parents visited the Rangers' Spring Training camp facilities on Friday and met with team officials.  Signs in Japanese also started going up around the facilities on Friday.

===

Sponichi notes that Hideki Okajima could make a return to Japan this year.

Okajima updated his blog on Friday and wrote about how disappointed and frustrated he was.  He also said he was going to do his best to make sure he was ready to pitch in case his agent manages to strike a deal.  A follow-up blog post from today thanked fans for their support.