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Shohei Otani News and Notes: December 25, 2012

by on Dec.25, 2012 @ 4:44 pm, under NPB

Shohei Otani updates from December 25:

Otani arrived in Hokkaido today for his press conference.  About 250 fans and members of the media greeted the 1st round draft pick at Shin Chitose Airport.

Source: Nikkan Sports 12/25/2012

Daily Sports has already posted some notes from his press conference.  They also provided the following quote:

I want to do my best and focus on winning a championship with the Fighters.  As a batter, as a pitcher, I will never give up each time I throw a pitch, each time I swing a bat.  I hope people see this.

Source: Daily Sports 12/25/2012

Hideki Kuriyama promised to personally hit 1,000 grounders to Otani once he is ready for it.

"I do not think he will have any problems with his throwing.  Fielding, on the other hand, once he is ready, I will do it.  1,000 grounders.  Until he throws up," said Kuriyama.

Kuriyama is also doing some training since it takes a lot to hit 1,000 grounders.

Source: Nikkan Sports 12/25/2012, Sanspo 12/25/2012, Sports Hochi 12/25/2012, Daily Sports 12/25/2012, Sponichi 12/25/2012

Otani plans to begin serious workouts in the New Year on January 5 in Hanamaki, Iwate.

Source: Sponichi 12/25/2012

There is another player in the NPB that might be used as both a pitcher and position player in 2013: Yakult Swallow Yuhei.  Yuhei will primarily be used as an outfielder next season, but could also be used as a left-handed reliever in spot situations.

Source: Sponichi 12/25/2012

The Texas Rangers are reportedly thinking about beginning their season in Japan at some point in the future, perhaps as early as 2014.  If it happens, it will likely be against the Oakland A's.  And depending on how things turn out, the Rangers might try to schedule an exhibition game against the Nippon Ham Fighters.  That could mean a possible match-up between Darvish and Otani.

Source: Sanspo 12/25/2012