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Rakuten Eagles: February 25, 2012

by on Feb.26, 2012 @ 1:00 am, under NPB

Bullpen Sessions / Batting Practice


  • Masahiro Tanaka threw fifty pitches in the bullpen.  He also tried throwing five rising cut-fastballs. (Nikkan Sports)


The Eagles announced on Saturday that they have sold out their homer opener (March 30) at Kleenex Stadium on the same day they went on sale to the general public and that tickets to the remaining two games of the opening series are running low.


The Eagles closed out their workouts at Kin Stadium on Saturday.


6th round draft pick Hiroaki Shimauchi was called up on Saturday and will likely be given a look as a defensive replacement or pinch-runner.


Takahiro Shiomi tried throwing his screwball during an game exhibition game against the Nippon Ham Fighters on Saturday and found that if he is not careful with it, batters will tee off it.  Said Shiomi, "It is a dangerous pitch when it flattens out.  It becomes a batting practice fastball." 


Masahiro Tanaka is working on a rising cut fastball.  He threw five of them during his bullpen session on Friday but none of them "rose."

"[Tanaka] threw an amazing pitch the day before yesterday.  It kind of looked like it rose.  Today was ordinary, although they were very nice cut fastballs," said pitching coach Ryoji Moriyama.

Bullpen catcher Kenji Nagasaka caught the one rising pitch Tanaka threw and said, "It was the first time I saw a pitch like that.  Usually, pitches lose some steam by the time they get to the hitter.  And the pitch usually drops diagonally.  But Tanaka's pitch stayed the same speed and moved horizontally.  That is probably why it looked as if it rose."

Tanaka is ultimately looking for an off-speed pitch with some speed and bite that he can throw to left-handed hitters.