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[11/18/2013] Yomiuri Giants, Chunichi Dragons, Yakult Swallows, Hiroshima Carp, Hanshin Tigers, Yokohama Bay Stars

by on Nov.19, 2013 @ 2:50 am, under NPB

Yomiuri Giants

The Giants have still not made a decision on where they will pitch Hirokazu Sawamura next year.  He struggled to find consistency early on as a starter and settled down when he moved to the bullpen.

Source: Daily Sports 11/18/2013

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Hayato Sakamoto is planning to avoid participating in too many events during the winter to focus on his off-season workouts.  He also wants to make sure he gets enough time to rest.

Source: Daily Sports 11/18/2013

According to Sanspo, Sakamoto is not planning to go on the team's CL championship trip to Hawaii in December because he has a family function he cannot miss.  He is also trying to keep his schedule light.  He does not plan on beginning any serious training until January, when he goes to Guam for workouts.

Source: Sanspo 11/18/2013

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Takayuki Terauchi wants to bulk up a little during the off-season and is working with weights four to five days a week.  He weighed in at seventy-seven kilograms during spring camp.  His weight dropped over the course of the season and he currently weighs seventy-two kilograms.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/18/2013

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Daisuke Ochi threw about forty pitches to ten hitters during situational batting practice on Sunday and allowed two could-be hits.  He is working on a new cutter because he feels he needs another out pitch.

Source: Tokyo Sports 11/18/2013, Sponichi 11/18/2013

Chunichi Dragons

Shinji Tajima's wife gave birth to the couple's first child, a boy, on the 14th.

Source: Sanspo 11/18/2013

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Kazuki Yoshimi had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in June.  He will head to California in mid-December and continue his rehab overseas for about two weeks.  He also has plans to work out in Okinawa in January.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/18/2013

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Yudai Ono has been working on a change-up.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/18/2013

Yakult Swallows

Special Wladimir Balentien Kit Kats will be on sale during fan appreciation day on the 23rd.  Supplies will be limited to 2,000 (at 500 yen a pack).

Kit Kats have become popular among people preparing for tests as the pronunciation in Japanese is very similar to "kitto katsu," which means "a sure win/victory."  As in, "I will be victorious in taking this test."

Source: Daily Sports 11/18/2013

Balentien will reportedly fly back to Curacao in Andruw Jones' private jet.  The street that was renamed in his honor (Coco Balentien Street) is close to his parent's house in Willemstad.

Source: Sanspo 11/18/2013

Hiroshima Carp

Kenta Maeda plans to spend his off-season in Japan (likely split between Hiroshima and Tokyo).  He will spend some time working with weights to build up more muscle.  He added weights to his workouts after the 2011 season.  At the time, he weighed seventy-eight kilograms and now tips the scale at eighty-one.  On August 27, he set a new career high in velocity by hitting 153km/h on the radar gun.  His previous high of 152km/h was set in 2010.

Source: Daily Sports 11/18/2013

Tokyo Sports notes the decision to work out in Japan may have something to do with Maeda wanting to spend some time with his wife and newborn.

Source: Tokyo Sports 11/18/2013

Hanshin Tigers

Monday's intra-squad game:

Whites beat the Reds, 2-1. ... Naoto Nishida (Whites) drove in the first run of the game on an RBI double to right-center off Minoru Iwata in the 2nd.  Takashi Shimizu followed with an RBI double of his own to give the Whites a 2-0 lead in the 2nd.  Ryosuke Ogata got the start in right for the Reds and batted lead-off.  He hit a solo home run off Naoto Tsuru in the 3rd inning. [Daily Sports 11/18/2013] ... Kazuyuki Kaneda tossed two shutout innings. [Nikkan Sports 11/18/2013]

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Shintaro Fujinami received his new cleats and wore them for the first time during workouts on Sunday.  The new cleats have six spikes on the left foot and eight on the right.  On the right cleat, there are four spikes in the heal area, two spikes near the ball of the foot, and two spikes along the outer area near the toes.

Source: Daily Sports 11/18/2013

Fujinami threw twenty-two pitches in the bullpen on Sunday.  The last two pitches were thrown with the catcher sitting in his usual spot behind home plate.  The session was also recorded by a video camera placed three meters off the ground and directly behind him.

A little more about his new cleats: his left cleat has four spikes in the front and three in the heal for a total seven.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/18/2013

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Former Hanshin Tiger Kodai Sakurai has decided to retire.

Source: official announcement

Yokohama Bay Stars

The Bay Stars held a press conference at the team offices in Yokohama on Monday to introduce Masayoshi Kato.  Kato was acquired in a one-for-one trade with the Nippon Ham Fighters.

Source: official announcement

They organization also held a press conference for Shigeo Yanagida.

Source: official announcement