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Samurai Japan News and Notes: March 6, 2013 @ 4:21pm

by on Mar.06, 2013 @ 4:22 pm, under WBC

The 2nd Round starting rotation is coming into focus, according to Sports Hochi.

Game 1 on the 8th will go to Atsushi Nomi.

If Japans wins Game 1:

Kenta Maeda will start Game 2 on the 10th, on six days of rest.
If Japan loses Game 2, Tetsuya Utsumi will start Game 3 on the 11th.

If Japan loses Game 1:

Utsumi will start Game 2 on the 9th.
Assuming Japan wins, Maeda will pitch Game 3 on the 11th.

Toshiya Sugiuchi will be pitching out of the bullpen.

Masahiro Tanaka will throw one to two innings tonight against Cuba as a tune-up for the 2nd Round.

Source: Sports Hochi 3/6/2013, Sports Hochi 3/6/2013

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Sponichi's notes about the starting rotation for the 2nd Round:

  • Nomi will likely start Game 1.
  • Maeda will likely get the Game 2 start, regardless of how Game 1 ends.
  • Tanaka could get the Game 3 start, depending on how well he pitches tonight.  The team wants to use him as a starter, but they also plan to go with the hot hands first.  If Tanaka does not pitch well tonight, he could be pushed to the back of the line.
  • Utsumi, Sugiuchi, Tadashi SettsuHirokazu Sawamura could all be pitching out of the bullpen.

Source: Sponichi 3/6/2013, Sponichi 3/6/2013, Sponichi 3/6/2013

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Nomi and Kazuhisa Makita played catch at a distance of about seventy meters during workouts on Tuesday.

Source: Sanspo 3/6/2013

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Tanaka was not happy about how the media said he was being "demoted to the bullpen" because he felt it was belittling the role of the reliever.

Source: Sponichi 3/6/2013

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Batting coach Kazuyoshi Tatsunami spent some more time working with Sho Nakata on his swing during workouts on Tuesday.

1st session in Miyazaki: keeping the upper body from lunging forward
2nd session in Osaka: moving away from a big leg kick to a more subtle, slide-step
3rd session in Fukuoka: the use of the arms before the swing, relaxing, waiting for the pitch

Source: Sports Hochi 3/6/2013

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Atsunori Inaba and Hisayoshi Chono took extra batting practice on during workouts on Tuesday.  They are both struggling at the plate.

Source: Sanspo 3/6/2013

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Chono could find himself back at the top of the line-up tonight.  Hayato Sakamoto could be dropped to the five hole.

Chono took 122 swings in eighteen minutes during extra batting practice on Tuesday.  He has two hits in his last twenty-seven at bats (eight games, including WBC, practice, and intra-squad).

Source: Sports Hochi 3/6/2013, Sports Hochi 3/6/2013

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Inaba has no hits in his last seventeen at bats (eight games).

Source: Sponichi 3/6/2013

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Shinnosuke Abe has played in eleven international games against Cuba over his career and is 6-for-32.

Source: Sports Hochi 3/6/2013

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Takashi Toritani got a haircut on the team's day off on Monday.

Source: Sanspo 3/6/2013

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Strategy coach Hideki Hashigami is concerned that the information they gather on Cuba tonight will mean nothing depending on how Cuba plays the game -- if they are not serious about winning, none of it will matter.

Source: Sponichi 3/6/2013

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Because the team had to take a team photo for sponsors at 8:20am on Tuesday, everyone, including staff, coaches, and players, were at the stadium before 8:00am.  Workouts started at 9:00am and ended at 11:00am.

Source: Sponichi 3/6/2013

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The team ended up watching the last day of Pool B games at the hotel -- they were able to secure a private room and a feed to watch the two games.

Source: Sanspo 3/6/2013

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The Japan Post Office announced that they will sell a WBC Commemorative Stamp Collection that includes ten stamps, six postcards, and a holder.  The set will cost 3,480 yen.

Source: official announcement, official product page

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WBC Cuba

Sanspo notes the Cuba might try to second place in order to avoid the Netherlands in the first game of the 2nd Round.

Cuba lost a finals game to the Netherlands in the 2011 Baseball World Cup and was most recently shutout 5-0 during a practice game on February 24.

Source: Sanspo 3/6/2013

Cuba has been using medical treatment equipment made by Techno Link.  They first started suing equipment during their last visit to Japan in November last year.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/6/2013

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Dai-Kang Yoh (Chinese Taipei) was named Pool B MVP.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/6/2013

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Practice Games in the US on March 5:

  • Scott Mathieson (YOM/CAN) pitched in a practice game against Milwaukee: 4 BF, 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO.
  • Alex Maestri (ORI/ITA) pitched in a practice game against Oakland: 4 BF, 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO.
  • Orlando Roman (YAK/PUR) pitched in a practice game against Boston: 10 BF, 1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 1 HR.