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[1/28/2014] Masahiro Tanaka News and Notes

by on Jan.28, 2014 @ 7:25 pm, under MLB

Masahiro Tanaka updates from Tuesday, January 28, 2014.

  • Tanaka worked out at Kobo Stadium today. [Daily Sports 1/28/2014]
  • He also worked out at Kobo Stadium on Monday -- he showed up after 9:00am and was in good spirits.  He left quickly after workouts and did not talk to the media.  [Tokyo Sports 1/28/2014]
  • Tanaka threw some forkballs while playing catch with former Rakuten teammate Manabu Mima on Monday.  "It was not a splitter, I think it was a fork.  He had a pretty deep grip on the ball.  It swayed as it dropped.  I am sure he is trying out a lot of things," Mima said.  Tanaka used to throw the fork, but stopped in 2011 because hitters were teeing off the pitches that flattened out.  He turned to the splitter.  He is most likely trying to fork now because he will be using a different ball. ... Three of Tanaka's old Rakuten teammates, Mima, Takahiro Norimoto, and Shinichi Koyama, wore Yankee caps during practices.  Tanaka wore a Momoiro Clover Z mononofu cap. [Nikkan Sports 1/28/2014]
  • According to Sponichi, Tanaka showed up at Kobo Stadium at about 9:50am on Monday.  He wore the mononofu cap and a Momoiro Clover Z t-shirt during workouts.  He threw the fork about ten times while playing catch with Mima at a distance of about twenty meters. [Sponichi 1/28/2014]
  • Tanaka may have been inspired to revisit the fork after Koji Uehara found success with the pitch in the Majors. [Sponichi 1/28/2014]
  • According to ZakZak, Rakuten Eagles Pitching Coach Yoshinori Sato is worried about Tanaka's hip/lower back, more than his arm.  Tanaka has had problems with his hip/lower back and he is not sure how he will handle the harder mounds in the United States.  However, Sato also knows that the former ace knows his body well and understands how to pace himself -- if he can avoid succumbing to the pressure of signing a large contract, if he can maintain his resolve about the way he does things, he should be able to stop himself from going too far. [ZakZak 1/28/2014]