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Samurai Japan News and Notes: February 19, 2013

by on Feb.19, 2013 @ 11:20 pm, under WBC

Bullpen Sessions / Batting Practice

Monday

  • Tadashi Settsu: bullpen, forty-eight pitches, including four curves
  • Hirokazu Sawamura: bullpen, forty-five pitches, had a bullpen catcher stand in the right-handed batter's box, attacked the inside portion of the plate with over ten pitches

Source: Sponichi 2/19/2013, Sponichi 2/19/2013

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The players had the day off today.

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Takuya Asao, Kenji Otonari, and Daisuke Yamai worked out on their day off today.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/19/2013

Koji Yamamoto checked on players that worked out today.

Source: Sports Hochi 2/19/2013

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All thirty-three players attended a kick-off party at a yakiniku restaurant in Miyazaki on Monday night.

Source: Sponichi 2/19/2013

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Wednesday's intra-squad game will go six innings.  All eighteen position players will be used.

Source: Sponichi 2/19/2013

Tadashi Settsu will likely start and pitch two innings for the Whites.

Source: Sponichi 2/19/2013

Hirokazu Sawamura will likely start and pitch two innings for the Reds.

Source: Sanspo 2/19/2013, Sponichi 2/19/2013

Tetsuya Yamaguchi and Hideaki Wakui are set to toss the final innings.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/19/2013

Yamai is expected to get another chance and will most likely pitch in the game.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/19/2013

Asao should get a chance to pitch in the game.  If not, it means he will most likely be left off the final roster.

Source: Sponichi 2/19/2013, Daily Sports 2/19/2013

Shuichi Murata will likely see some playing time at third.

Source: Sponichi 2/19/2013

Sho Nakata is scheduled to start at first.

Source: Sponichi 2/19/2013

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Players are required to give coaches updates on their condition on a daily basis.

Source: Daily Sports 2/19/2013

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Kazuhisa Makita, Otonari, and Tadashi Settsu switched to brand new baseballs every five to ten pitches during their bullpen sessions on Monday.

Source: Sanspo 2/19/2013

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Starter candidates Settsu and Makita could end up moving to the bullpen if Asao does not make the final roster.

WBC Game 1 starters will likely be Masahiro Tanaka and Toshiya Sugiuchi.  Game 2 starters Kenta Maeda and Tetsuya Utsumi.  If Maeda is not ready, Sawamura could take his spot.

Source: Sponichi 2/19/2013

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Meada told the media on Monday that he was fine and that there was nothing he could do about the concerns people had for him.

"It can not be helped that people around me are making a fuss.  But I am fine.  I am getting to a point where I can throw the ball with good results," said Maeda.

Source: Sponichi 2/19/2013

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In an effort to help improve communication, Seiichi Uchikawa and Yoshio Itoi want to hold a little gathering for outfielders at some point before the start of the WBC.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/19/2013

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Takashi Toritani tried two different bats during batting practice on Monday: a 33.5-inch bat and a 34.5-inch bat.

Source: Sanspo 2/19/2013

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Batting coach Kazuyoshi Tatsunami worked with Sho Nakata on his hitting during extra batting practice sessions on Monday.  He tossed about eighty baseballs from a distance of about five meters.

Source: Sanspo 2/19/2013

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Nikkan Sports has posted a prediction on which players they think will make the roster, have a good shot at making the roster, and might not make the roster.

Pitchers (15)

Will make: Atsushi Nomi, Masahiro Tanaka, Toshiya Sugiuchi, Kazuhisa Makita, Tetsuya Yamaguchi, Tadashi Settsu

Good shot: Hideaki Wakui, Hirokazu Sawamura, Takeru Imamura, Kenta Maeda, Masahiko Morifuku

Might not: Takuya Asao, Tetsuya Utsumi, Kenji Otonari, Daisuke Yamai

Infielders (8)

Will make: Nobuhiro Matsuda, Hayato Sakamoto, Atsunori Inaba

Good shot: Takashi Toritani, Hirokazu Ibata, Kazuo Matsui

Might not: Shuichi Murata, Yuichi Honda

Outfielders (7)

Will make: Yoshio Itoi, Seiichi Uchikawa, Hisayoshi Chono

Good shot: Sho Nakata

Might not: Yohei Oshima, Ryo Hijirisawa, Katsuya Kakunaka

Catchers (3)

Will make: Ryoji Aikawa, Shinnosuke Abe, Ginjiro Sumitani

Two pitchers and three infielders/outfielders will likely be cut.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/19/2013

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Additional potential pitching candidates could include: Kyohei Muranaka (Yakult), Shun Yamaguchi (Yokohama), and Yoshihisa Hirano (Orix).

Source: Sports Hochi 2/19/2013

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Katsuya Nomura made an appearance at an event for BIG lottery and had this to say about the WBC manager:

Why is it Koji Yamamoto?  How can someone like that become the manager for Japan?  He has no track record, no career, and no ability.  Why Yamamoto?

It got to where it seemed like it would be best if I [became manager].  But for reasons I do not know, the commissioner and [Sadaharu] Oh did not want me to do it.  That is why I got up and went to the bathroom.  When I returned five minutes later, Oh said to me, "You are not interested, are you?" ... I should have said I was interested.  That is what makes me the credulous guy.

Source: Sanspo 2/19/2013

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WBC Taiwan and WBC Cuba played a practice game in Taiwan on the 18th.  Cuba took an early 2-0 lead.  In the 5th, Taiwan came back with a three-run home run.  With the score tied at five in the 9th, Taiwan won the game on a one-out bases loaded walk.

Cuba is scheduled to arrive in Japan on the 24th.

Source: Sponichi 2/19/2013

Dai-Kang Yoh (WBC Taiwan) took an HBP off his right knee during situational batting practice on the 15th and has not been able to work out with the main group since.  There is no time table for his return.

Source: Daily Sports 2/19/2013

3 comments on “Samurai Japan News and Notes: February 19, 2013

  1. muratafan

    Does anybody know why Shun Yamaguchi was never in the WBC conversation? Just curious, he’s posted better numbers every year and is one of the better closers in NPB. Lim is Korean/Mickolio, Falkenberg, Rasner, Barnette are American/Yabuta is ancient and got shelled in MLB, Iwase is ancient.

    1. Steve Novosel

      Yabuta got shelled in Japan, too – it’s a cross-border talent. If he’s closer again this year my beer budget needs to increase.

      I would think Morifuku or Settsu would make good closers, honestly.

    2. fighting ham

      He pitched last year against Cuba, so he was in the conversation. Why not included?

      My theory. In case you don’t know, Koji Yamamoto is a Hiroshima guy who currently works for the Yomiuri Empire. So, no question asked about Imamura and the lefty Yamaguchi. Asao, now injury plagued, was an MVP. Also, I think Yamamoto likes the idea of having extra starter-type pitchers functioning as relievers for the WBC.

Comments are closed.