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Samurai Japan News and Notes: December 16, 2012

by on Dec.16, 2012 @ 9:22 pm, under WBC

Samurai Japan and WBC updates from December 16:

Koji Yamamoto is thinking about using Atsushi Nomi (Hanshin) in relief because of his ability to strike batters out.  Source: Sanspo 12/16/2012

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Tetsuya Utsumi (Yomiuri) has named his change-up the Yamato Ball.  Source: Sanspo 12/16/2012

Utsumi is prepared to play whatever role is assigned to him.

On Friday, he rounded up Yasunari Takagi, Yuki Koyama, and Ryosuke Miyaguni at 7:00am and worked out for about two hours at a park in Hawaii.  Their workouts included warm-ups, playing catch (with WBC baseball), running, and trunk strengthening exercises.  Source: Nikkan Sports 12/16/2012

As the veterans, Yamamoto would like Utsumi and Toshiya Sugiuchi (Yomiuri) to take charge and become the leaders of the pitching staff.  Source: Sanspo 12/16/2012, Sponichi 12/16/2012

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If Hirokazu Sawamura makes the final cut, it will most likely be as a reliever.  Yamamoto's biggest concern with Sawamura is his control.  Source: Sponichi 12/16/2012

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If Japan wins their first two games of the First Round, they could do something where they bring in one pitcher for one or two innings (under fifty pitches).  This will allow the pitchers to come back and pitch on one day of rest, just in time for the start of the Second Round.  Source: Sanspo 12/16/2012, Nikkan Sports 12/16/2012Sponichi 12/16/2012

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Sports Hochi figures Masahiro Tanaka (Rakuten) and Tetsuya Utsumi (Yomiuri) will pitch in Game 1 vs Brazil with Kenta Maeda (Hiroshima) and Tadashi Settsu (Softbank) going in Game 2 vs China.  That could leave Sugiuchi for Game 3 vs Brazil, in addition to whichever pitchers are available after the first two games.  Source: Sports Hochi 12/16/2012

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Incidentally, the pitch count limits:

More than fifty pitches = four days of rest
Thirty to forty-nine pitches = one day of rest
Twenty-pitches or less = no restrictions
Pitches two days in a row = one day of rest

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