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Hanshin Tigers: March 3, 2012

by on Mar.04, 2012 @ 3:40 am, under NPB

Tomoaki Kanemoto, Kenji Jojima, Takahiro Arai, Craig Brazell, Atsushi Nomi and Jason Strandridge were part of the group that stayed behind and worked out at Koshien Stadium on Saturday.

Kanemoto faced Nomi during batting practice and hit a 2-2 fastball over the fence in right.

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Jojima wants to play in every remaining exhibition game on the schedule, beginning from the game on March 6, because he feels that will be the best way to learn how to play first base.

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Yutaka Wada told reporters on Friday that he may use a combination of catchers (from the group of Shinji Komiyama, Taichi Okazaki, and Takashi Shimizu) while Akihito Fujii recovers from a left oblique injury.

Said Wada, "Hypothetically speaking, if there are only three catchers, I have an image that it might be better to use this catcher at the end and this other catcher at the beginning.  I would like to test those things out."

Wada is also hoping to find out if one or two of the catchers can step up and catch once or twice a week in order to spell Fujii.

It should also be noted that Wada plans to place more emphasis on defense rather than offense.  Ryo Asai is also spending some time getting re-acclimated to catching, just in case.

And speaking of Fujii, he received treatment at Naruohama on Friday and told reporters that he was feeling better and that he was glad they caught the problem before it got worse.  The team will monitor Fujii over the next few days to see how things go and will adjust his training/rehab schedule accordingly.

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Kyuji Fujikawa is looking forward to facing Dae-Ho Lee (ORI) on Sunday.  The two previously met during the 2008 Olympics and the 2009 WBC: three plate appearances, two walks and one fly out to center.

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Since Kazuhito Futagami did not pitch on Saturday, he will most likely pitch on Sunday (he is supposed to pitch in one of the two games).

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Masahiro Nakatani caught a bullpen session at Naruohama on Friday.

Said Ni-gun manager Haruki Yoshitake, "[Nakatani] is an outfielder.  But we only have two catchers at Ni-gun right now so we are preparing him just in case something happens to one of them."

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Wada would like to bat Matt Murton lead-off but is also testing other combinations, like Takashi Toritani first and Murton third.