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Samurai Japan News and Notes: February 22, 2013

by on Feb.22, 2013 @ 11:17 pm, under WBC

Batting Practice Bullpen Sessions / Batting Practice

Thursday

  • Sho Nakata: eighty-seven swings, ten over the fence

Source: Sponichi 2/22/2013

Thursday

  • Kenta Maeda: bullpen, forty-one pitches, including six curves, seven sliders, seven change-ups, three shutos
  • Takeru Imamura: bullpen, fifty pitches

Source: Sanspo 2/22/2013, Sponichi 2/22/2013

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The players traveled to Osaka today.  About 100 fans greeted them at the Airport.

The team spent about two hours working out at Kyocera Dome.

Source: Sponichi 2/22/2013, Daily Sports 2/22/2013

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Koji Yamamoto told reporters that Tanaka Masahiro, Toshiya Sugiuchi, and Atsushi Nomi will get a chance to pitch against Australia on the 23rd.  The same pitchers could end up pitching Game 1 against Brazil on March 2 at YafuOku Dome.

Nomi could also pitch in Game 3 against Cuba.  Game 2 against China could go to Kenta Maeda, or Hirokazu Sawamura.

Source: Sponichi 2/22/2013

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Maeda's bullpen session apparently convinced coaches that he should be ready for the WBC.  As of now, he is slated to start Game 2 against China on March 3.

Source: Sponichi 2/22/2013

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Tetsuya Utsumi is slated to start a practice game against Hanshin on the 26th.  That could put him in line for the Game 3 start against Cuba on March 6.  Kenji Otonari and Nomi could also be called on to pitch.

Source: Sponichi 2/22/2013

In a bind, Utsumi could also start Game 2.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/22/2013

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Sports Hochi thinks it will be Tanaka/Sugiuchi in Game 1, Maeda/Nomi in Game 2, and assuming Samurai Japan is already set to advance to the next round, Sawamura/Otonari in Game 3.

Source: Sports Hochi 2/22/2013

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Otonari could start the practice game against Yomiuri on the 28th.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/22/2013

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Tetsuya Yamaguchi, Masahiko Morifuku, Takeru Imamura, and Kazuhisa Makita are closer candidates.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/22/2013, Daily Sports 2/22/2013

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Hirokazu Ibata was at first during infield drills today.

Source: Sponichi 2/22/2013

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Sho Nakata is planning to go back to more of a slide step when he swings the bat, because he was lunging forward too much when he used a big leg kick.

Source: Sanspo 2/22/2013

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The base line-up will likely begin with Hisayoshi Chono batting lead-off, Hayato Sakamoto batting third and Shinnosuke Abe batting clean-up.  If that does not work, it could also be Sakamoto batting lead-off with Seiichi Uchikawa batting third.

Source: Sponichi 2/22/2013

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Takashi Toritani took fielding practice at second, third, and short on Thursday -- at second during situational fielding practice, at third during infield drills, and at short during extra fielding practice after general workouts.

Source: Sanspo 2/22/2013

Toritani is planning to use one glove (shortstop) for all three positions.

He was the last player to leave the stadium on Thursday.  He road the team bus by himself.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/22/2013

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Atsunori Inaba spent time in the outfield during fielding practice on Thursday.  There are five outfielders on the final roster and only one right fielder (Yoshio Itoi).  Last year, Inaba played some right during game two of the Nippon Series.

Source: Sanspo 2/22/2013, Sponichi 2/22/2013

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Chunichi Dragons' manager Morimichi Takagi is not a big fan of how the players had to go through something of a tryout in order to make the final roster.

Source: Sponichi 2/22/2013

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Yu Darvish could pitch an exhibition game against Andre Rienzo on the 26th.  If he does, Samurai Japan may reach out to him for a scouting report.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/22/2013

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SMAP's Masahiro Nakai will throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Saturday.

Chris Oxspring is scheduled to start the game for Australia.

Source: Daily Sports 2/22/2013, Daily Sports 2/22/2013

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WBC Cuba canceled their practice game against NC Dinos (KBO) on Thursday because of a disagreement about which baseball to use.

Cuba wanted to use a non-WBC baseball during the game.  They canceled when NC Dinos disapproved.

Source: Daily Sports 2/22/2013