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[2/1/2015] Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Chunichi Dragons, Yokohama Bay Stars, Yakult Swallows

by on Feb.02, 2015 @ 4:15 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • The Giants went over hitting sacrifice bunts during an evening practice session on Sunday. Source: Nikkan Sports 2/1/2015
  • Pitchers did some long distance running on the first day of spring camp (3,000 meters). Source: Sponichi 2/1/2015
  • Under Armour helped design the new captain symbol on Hayato Sakamoto's uniform (left sleeve). Source: official announcement
  • Yoshiyuki Kamei was named interim captain. Source: Nikkan Sports 2/1/2015
  • Senryokugai Ryuichi Kajimae (29) has decided to play for Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki (Industrial League). He attended both NPB tryouts last year but failed to drum up interest. Source: Nikkan Sports 2/1/2015
  • Samurai Japan manager Hiroki Kokubo visited camp on Sunday. Source: Sponichi 2/1/2015

Hanshin Tigers

  • First round draft pick Yuya Yokoyama played catch at a distance of sixty meters on Sunday. He could toss a bullpen session during the third block of camp (begins on the 11th). Source: Nikkan Sports 2/1/2015
  • The Tigers are planning to send a scout to check on talent in the Caribbean Series. Source: Sanspo 2/1/2015

Chunichi Dragons

  • The new scoreboard at Chatan Stadium was unveiled during opening ceremonies on Sunday. Source: Sports Hochi 2/1/2015

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • Daisuke Miura woke up at 5:45am on Sunday and was out of the team hotel at 6:15am for a thirty minute walk. He told reporters it was something he did everyday. Source: Sports Hochi 2/1/2015, Sponichi 2/1/2015
  • The Bay Stars have reportedly finalized agreements with Yulieski Gourriel and Yunieski Gourriel. Yokohama is expected to make an announcement within the next couple of days. The organization is still not sure when to expect the two brothers to arrive. Worst case scenario: late April or early May. Source: Sanspo 2/1/2015
  • The Bay Stars donated ten million yen to the city of Ginowan on Sunday. Source: ZakZak 2/1/2015, Nikkan Sports 2/1/2015, official announcement

Yakult Swallows

  • Tetsuto Yamada decreased the number of spikes on his cleats near the heal from three to two because he wanted to push the center of gravity closer to the front. Source: Sports Hochi 2/1/2015
  • Yoshihisa Naruse, Masanori Ishikawa, and Kyohei Muranaka worked out in the bullpen on Saturday. They did a drill where they took turns trying to hit baseballs placed on the corners of home plate. Naruse hit three the first time. Ishikawa hit the remain two. During the second round, Muranaka hit two, Ishikawa two, and Naruse one. This was an exercise Naruse did when he played high school baseball. Source: Chunichi Sports 2/1/2015, Sponichi 2/1/2015
  • The Swallows website has a new look.

[2/1/2015] Softbank Hawks, Orix Buffaloes, Nippon Ham Fighters, Chiba Lotte Marines, Seibu Lions, Rakuten Eagles

by on Feb.02, 2015 @ 3:57 am, under NPB
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Softbank Hawks

  • Over twenty television cameras and about 17,200 fans showed up on the first day of spring camp. Source: Spots Hochi 2/1/2015 ... Twenty-five television cameras and 150 members of the media covered the first day of spring camp. Source: Sports Hochi 2/1/2015
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka wants to do work off the mound on a daily basis to help him get used to the differences. Source: Daily Sports 2/1/2015 ... Matsuzaka could toss about 200 pitches in a bullpen session during the second-half of camp. Source: Sports Hochi 2/1/2015 ... Matsuzaka is worried about his allergies, something that was not a problem when he was in the United States. Source: Nikkan Sports 2/1/2015, Sanspo 2/1/2015
  • Samurai Japan manager Hiroki Kokubo checked on players on Sunday. Source: Sponichi 2/1/2015

Orix Buffaloes

  • Chihiro Kaneko played catch at a distance between forty to fifty meters on Sunday. Source: Daily Sports 2/1/2015
  • Hiroyuki Nakajima worked out at short and Eiichi Koyano at third during fielding practice on Sunday. Source: Sponichi 2/1/2015
  • Tony Blanco used a sledgehammer (4.5 kilograms) during soft-toss batting practice on Saturday. He got the idea from his former Yokohama teammate, Taketoshi Goto. Source: Daily Sports 2/1/2015, Sponichi 2/1/2015

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • First round draft pick Kohei Arihara is usually more about quality over quantity when it comes to throwing. Source: Sports Hochi 2/1/2015
  • Former Yokohama Bay Star Kazumasa Kikuchi will join the Fighters in Nago, Okinawa for a tryout, beginning on the 6th. Source: Sponichi 2/1/2015

Chiba Lotte Marines

Seibu Lions

Rakuten Eagles

  • First round draft pick Tomohiro Anraku is planning to toss a bullpen session to a standing catcher on Monday. Source: Sponichi 2/1/2015
  • Kam Mickolio shaved his beard on Sunday morning, before the start of the first day of spring camp. Source: Nikkan Sports 2/1/2015
  • Takahiro Shiomi was diagnosed with influenza A on Sunday. He is not expected to attend practices for five days. Source: Daily Sports 2/1/2015, Sponichi 2/1/2015
  • Hiromoto Okubo celebrated his forty-eighth birthday on Sunday. Players and staff gave him a cake and presents before warm-ups. Source: Sports Hochi 2/1/2015, Sports Hochi 2/1/2015 ... Okubo selected Motohiro Shima as team captain. Kazuo Matsui and Shinichiro Koyama were named co-vice captains. Source: Sponichi 2/1/2015

[2/1/2015] Inter-league to determine which league begins draft

by on Feb.02, 2015 @ 3:52 am, under NPB
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Inter-league rewards have changed this season. The team with the top overall winning percentage during Inter-league play will receive five million yen. The six teams in the league that records the most wins will also get money, based on winning percentage. From first place to sixth: ten million yen, five million yen, four million yen, three million yen, two million yen, and one million yen.

The Inter-league MVP will be selected from the first place team in the league that recorded the most wins. One Nihon Seimei Award winner will be selected from each league.

This year's draft will also begin with the league that records the most wins during Inter-league play.

Source: Sponichi 1/27/2015


The NPB formed a committee to handle ideas on how to shorten the length of games. The committee will be made up of officials from Chunichi, Yakult, Orix, Seibu, and the NPB. The first meeting is slated to take place in February. Ideas could be put into motion on an evaluation basis during the Phoenix League in October and implemented into the league next year.

Source: Nikkan Sports 1/26/2015, Sponichi 1/27/2015

[2/1/2015] High School tie-breaker rules, coaching licenses

by on Feb.02, 2015 @ 3:50 am, under NPB
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High school tie-breaker rule proposal notes:

  • Innings will start with runners on first and second and no out.
  • Teams will be allowed to choose where in the order they start. For example: if a team decides to start with the fourth hitter at bat, then the runner on second will be the second hitter and the runner on first will be the third hitter.
  • The tie-breaker rules can be used beginning in the 10th inning or the 13th inning. Districts will be able to decide.
  • Districts will be able to decide whether to use the tie-breaker rules for their spring prefectural tournaments (not directly connected to the Koshien tournaments).
  • Tie-breaker rules will not be used during the finals round.
  • Some tournaments already use tie-breaker rules where innings begin with the bases loaded and one out. There will be a move to standardize the rule to the above.
  • Rubber baseball will most likely implement tie-breaker rules for the summer's 60th tournament this year. The rule could be used beginning in the 13th inning.

Source: Daily Sports 1/22/2015, Nikkan Sports 1/22/2015


The Japan Student Baseball Association (JSBA) posted 235 new names on their list of former players that earned licenses to coach student baseball through the new training program. There are now 694 former players on the list.

Source: official list

Former Shikoku Island League plus and Route Inn Baseball Challenge League players could also be candidates for the training program developed by the NPB and JSBA.

Source: Sponichi 1/30/2015

[2/1/2015] Sponichi interview with Chihiro Kaneko from January 16

by on Feb.02, 2015 @ 3:47 am, under NPB
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Sponichi posted an interview with Chihiro Kaneko on January 16 that covered more on his thoughts about the Majors. Here is one of the more interesting sections.

You exercised your domestic FA option. You struggled with the idea of going to the Majors through the posting system.

I was a difficult decision. We won eighty games, more than Softbank, but we lost in winning percentage. It was worse than just finishing in second. I wanted to win with our current team. But I was also worried that this year might be my last chance to go to the Majors.

You could have earned your international FA option if you waited one more year.

Yeah, but in my case, I would have to log quite a bit of time this year to get it. Getting hurt would mean another year. The posting system changed and I thought this was my chance to talk to all kinds of teams. I thought this was a really good thing for players, being able to exercise the domestic FA option and get posted, we could talk to every team. I thought this year was my best bet.

You didn't have much time to think since you had the NPB-MLB series in November.

The NPB-MLB series was big so there wasn't able to really think about my FA option. I'm not good at doing two things at once and I didn't want to decide without thinking things through properly, so I exercised the option.

You gave up on posting after the NPB-MLB series.

Things might have been different if it was something I wanted before I turned pro. But the team hasn't won a championship since I joined and I started to think that I might have another shot at the Majors.

At around the same time, you had problems with the elbow.

The elbow was something separate. It surfaced after I decided to play in Japan. There might be people that think I gave up on the Majors because of it, but that isn't what happened. That's really the way it played out.

Source: Sponichi 1/16/2015

岡田 耕太 (駒大)

by on Feb.01, 2015 @ 11:22 pm, under Scrapbook, 高校・大学・社会人
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岡田 耕太 (駒大)

173cm / 80kg
R / R


ロッテスカウトの息子 駒大野球部寮に「不安と楽しみが半々」


... ロッテ・諸積兼司スカウトを父に持つ流通経大柏(千葉)の諸積怜外野手は「父には“体に気をつけて頑張れ”と言われた。不安と楽しみが半々」と話していた。

Sponichi 2/1/2015




[1/31/2015] Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Hiroshima Carp, Chunichi Dragons, Yakult Swallows

by on Feb.01, 2015 @ 4:24 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Hayato Sakamoto arrived in Miyazaki on Saturday. He will start the year at Ichi-gun spring camp, but will be taking things slow during the first block of workouts -- he missed mini-camp because of lower back tightness. Source: Sponichi 1/31/2015, Nikkan Sports 1/31/2015

Hanshin Tigers

  • First round draft pick Yuya Yokoyama could toss a bullpen session some time during the third block of spring camp (begins February 11). Source: Nikkan Sports 1/31/2015
  • Team official Eiichi Takano told reporters on Saturday that Mauro Gomez received his passport and could join the team on the first day of the second block of spring camp (February 6). The Tigers also sent a representative to the Dominican Republic to keep an eye on things and help when needed. The plan is for Gomez to arrive in Japan on the 4th, head to Okinawa on the 5th, and be ready to practice on the 6th. Source: Daily Sports 1/31/2015, Sanspo 1/31/2015, Nikkan Sports 1/31/2015

Hiroshima Carp

Chunichi Dragons

Yakult Swallows

  • The Swallows visited Naminoue Shrine in Naha on Saturday to pray for a succesful season. Source: Sponichi 1/31/2015
  • Mitsuru Manaka is planning to take a more relaxed approached during spring camp. He does not want players to practice, just for the sake of practising. He wants players to use their time efficiently and responsibly. If they feel they are finished and are satisfied with their session, they are free to leave. Source: Sponichi 1/31/2015

[1/31/2015] Softbank Hawks, Nippon Ham Fighters, Chiba Lotte Marines, Seibu Lions, Rakuten Eagles

by on Feb.01, 2015 @ 4:14 am, under NPB
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Softbank Hawks

  • The Hawks arrived in Miyazaki on Saturday and participated in a parade to celebrate their Nippon Series Championship. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/31/2015, Nikkan Sports 1/31/2015
  • Ryota Igarashi learned that he throws the forkball using the same grip Hiroshima's Hiroki Kuroda uses to throw a slider. He thinks it might have something to do with the fingers: he uses his index finger instead of his middle finger when throwing the ball. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/31/2015

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • The Fighters held a press conference for Brandon Laird and Jeremy Hermida on Saturday. Source: official announcement
  • Shohei Otani tossed his fifth bullpen session of the year on Friday. Otani saw more movement in his slider after making some changes to the way he throws the pitch, particularly the grip. Source: Daily Sports 1/31/2015, Sponichi 1/31/2015, Nikkan Sports 1/31/2015 ... Otani's list of pitches, ordered by confidence: fastball, fast curve, forkball, slider, and change-up. Source: Sponichi 1/31/2015
  • Sho Nakata weighed 106 kilograms before he left to train in Hawaii. He returned at ninety-eight kilograms. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/31/2015

Chiba Lotte Marines

  • The first round of major roster moves could come on February 16, after intra-squad games on February 14 and 15. Kagoshima Ni-gun camp is slated to begin on February 17. Source: Sports Hochi 1/31/2015

Seibu Lions

  • Tomoya Mori is a candidate for the Samurai Japan team that will be playing two international games in March. Source: Sponichi 1/31/2015
  • There will be a new seating area on the third base side at Seibu Prince Dome this season. Construction has already started. The section should be ready for the Orix series that begins on March 27. Source: Daily Sports 1/31/2015
  • Tele Asa Ch 2 will be airing all Seibu home games this year. That includes exhibition and inter-league games. Source: official page, official announcement

Rakuten Eagles

  • Takahiro Norimoto is currently slated to get the opening day start on March 27 at Sapporo Dome against the Nippon Ham Fighters. Source: Daily Sports 1/31/2015

[1/31/2015] Hanshin Tigers unveil 2015 uniforms

by on Jan.31, 2015 @ 8:59 pm, under NPB
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The Hanshin Tigers unveiled their uniforms for the 2015 season earlier today. They are based on a version used in 1985.

Hanshin Tigers 2015 Uniforms

The Tigers are celebrating their 80th anniversary this season. The uniforms are one part of the celebration. The organization also opened up a web site commemorating their 80-year history.

Source: official announcement (image taken from announcement page), Daily Sports 1/31/2015

[1/30/2015] Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Hiroshima Carp, Chunichi Dragons, Yokohama Bay Stars

by on Jan.31, 2015 @ 4:36 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Tomoyuki Sugano threw fifty pitches in the bullpen on Friday. He threw at about sixty percent. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/30/2015
  • Hirokazu Sawamura tossed a bullpen session to a standing catcher on Thursday. Source: Sponichi 1/30/2015
  • Takahiro Suzuki missed practices on Thursday because of a fever. Source: Sanspo 1/30/2015
  • The Sky Tree is the tallest structure in Japan. Tatsunori Hara dubbed Aaron Poreda (198 centimeters), Miles Mikolas (196 centimeters), and Scott Mathieson (191 centimeters) the Sky Three. Source: Daily Sports 1/30/2015, Sponichi 1/30/2015
  • Seiji Kobayashi admitted that he was in a relationship with Fuji TV reporter Tomo Miyazawa. Friday, a weekly magazine, recently published photos of Miyazawa staying at Kobayashi's apartment in January. Source: Daily Sports 1/30/2015, Nikkan Sports 1/30/2015
  • Hideki Matsui will visit Giants spring camp on February 3 and 4. He will also visit the Yokohama Bay Stars Okinawa camp between February 5 and 7. He will return to the United States after that and will most likely head to Florida for New York Yankees camp on February 21 as a special roving instructor. Source: Sports Hochi 1/30/2015

Hanshin Tigers

  • Mauro Gomez will most likely miss the first day of spring camp. Gomez has applied for a new passport but is still waiting for it to arrive. Source: Daily Sports 1/30/2015, Nikkan Sports 1/30/2015 ... According to Sanspo, Gomez had to leave on the 29th (local time) in order to make it to Okinawa on the 31st. Source: Sanspo 1/30/2015
  • Shintaro Fujinami threw thirty-seven pitches in the bullpen on Friday. Kazunari Tsuruoka caught the session. Source: Sports Hochi 1/30/2015, Daily Sports 1/30/2015
  • Atsushi Nomi tossed his second bullpen session of the year on Friday. He threw fifty pitches, all fastballs. Source: Sports Hochi 1/30/2015
  • Second round draft pick Tsuyoshi Ishizaki threw forty-two pitches to a squatting catcher on Friday. Source: Sanspo 1/30/2015 ... Ishizaki tossed thirty-seven pitches, all fastballs, to a half-squatting catcher on Thursday. Source: Sanspo 1/30/2015
  • Ryutaro Umeno swung the bat forty-three times during batting practice on Friday and hit one over the fence. Source: Daily Sports 1/30/2015 ... Umeno swung the bat thirty-eight times on Thursday and hit two over the fence, both to left. He also worked on hitting the ball the other way and hit twenty baseballs between right and center. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/30/2015
  • First round draft pick Yuya Yokoyama threw off a bullpen mound (not off the rubber, not full distance) on Friday for about fifteen minutes to get a feel for the incline. Source: Daily Sports 1/30/2015
  • Third round draft pick Taiga Egoshi swung the bat forty-three times during batting practice on Thursday and hit two over the fence. Source: Daily Sports 1/30/2015 ... Egoshi took forty-nine swings during batting practice on Friday and hit nine over the fence. Source: Sports Hochi 1/30/2015
  • Fourth round draft pick Koki Moriya threw fifty pitches, including curves and change-ups, in the bullpen on Thursday. Source: Sanspo 1/30/2015
  • Ryota Imanari swung the bat forty-six times during batting practice on Thursday and recorded twenty-three could-be hits. Eighteen swings came against left-handed pitching and each pitch was hit between center and right. Source: Sanspo 1/30/2015
  • The city of Aki in Kochi is planning on making improvements to the facilities used by the Ni-gun Tigers during spring camp. Source: Daily Sports 1/30/2015

Hiroshima Carp

  • Kenta Maeda told reporters on Friday he dropped about four kilograms around New Years because of the flu and gastroenteritis. He was down to seventy-six kilograms at one point, but is now back to about seventy-eight. Source: Sports Hochi 1/30/2015

Chunichi Dragons

  • Kazuki Yoshimi threw thirty-two pitches to a squatting catcher on Friday. Source: Daily Sports 1/30/2015
  • Daisuke Yamai threw twenty-two pitches to a squatting catcher on Friday. It was the first time he threw off an incline this year. Takuya Asao also tossed his first bullpen of the year -- a light thirty-five pitch session. Source: Sports Hochi 1/30/2015, Daily Sports 1/30/2015
  • Tatsuro Hamada did not participate in Ni-gun workouts in Yomitan, Okinawa on Friday because of infectious gastroenteritis. There is a chance he may have contracted the norovirus. Hamada had a fever and diarrhea on Thursday night and was examined at a hospital on Friday morning. Source: Sports Hochi 1/30/2015, Nikkan Sports 1/30/2015
  • Head coach Shigekazu Mori is okay with first round draft pick Ryosuke Nomura taking his time to get ready for the season. He would rather Nomura be thorough than get hurt. The rookie was the last pitcher to toss a bullpen session during the mini-camp that began on the 27th. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/30/2015

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • Hisanori Takahashi's registered name will change from Hisanori to Takahashi Hisanori this season. Source: Daily Sports 1/30/2015
  • Taketoshi Goto is planning to change his uniform name to GOMEZ. He was given the nickname after he apologized to a teammate for being late to a meeting by saying, "gome-en-su." His registered name will remain the same. Source: Sports Hochi 1/30/2015, Nikkan Sports 1/30/2015