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Samurai Japan News and Notes: March 10, 2013 @ 4:36pm

by on Mar.10, 2013 @ 4:36 pm, under WBC
Tags:

According to Sanspo, all pitchers, other than Atsushi Nomi (threw sixty-two pitches on Friday) and Tetsuya Utsumi (slated to start the next game), will be available to pitch tonight.

Source: Sanspo 3/10/2013

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Sponichi reports that Kazuhisa Makita received low frequency therapy treatment on Saturday.  Whether he is available to pitch today will depend on how he is feeling before the game.

Source: Sponichi 3/10/2013

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Takashi Toritani could get the start at third and bat lead-off tonight against the Netherlands.  He may be hitless in four tournament games (0-for-5), but the coaches like that he can run and also like his eye (four walks).

The team had the day off on Saturday, but players were free to practice on their own.  Toritani worked out on the field with the others before heading for the indoor facilities for batting practice.

Source: Sanspo 3/10/2013, Daily Sports 3/10/2013

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The top two batters in the line-up tonight could be Toritani and Hirokazu Ibata.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/10/2013, Sports Hochi 3/10/2013, Sponichi 3/10/2013

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Sho Nakata is looking at Sammy Sosa footage for hints on how to improve his hitting.

Source: Daily Sports 3/10/2013, Sports Hochi 3/10/2013

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The team worked out for about two hours at Tokyo Dome on Saturday.  Only nineteen of twenty-eight showed up since some players were allowed to rest.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/9/2013

Kazuhisa Makita, Shinnosuke Abe, Hayato Sakamoto, and Hirokazu Ibata were among the players that took the day off on Saturday.

Source: Sanspo 3/9/2013, Sponichi 3/10/2013

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Advance scout Kazutaka Nishiyama will be sent to Miami for the Pool 2, 2nd Round games.

Source: Sponichi 3/10/2013

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The media learned on Saturday that WBC Japan media liaison Isao Hirooka will become an associate professor at Edogawa University.

Source: Sanspo 3/10/2013

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Kyuji Fujikawa watched the Mexico-USA game at the stadium on the 8th.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/10/2013, Daily Sports 3/10/2013

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Cuba

The team held workouts at Tokyo Dome today.  Players were again seen working on bunts.

Cuba will play the loser of tonight's game on Monday.

Source: Sponichi 3/10/2013

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Games from March 9

NPB Players on WBC Teams

  • I-Chen Wang (YOK/TPE): 8-6 NP-S, 3 BF, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 1 HR.
  • Yao-Hsun Yang (SOF/TPE): 16-8 NP-S, 5 BF, 0.1 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO, 1 HR.
  • Dai-Kang Yoh (HAM/TPE): 0-for-2, 1 BB, 1 LOB.

(continue reading...)

Samurai Japan News and Notes: March 9, 2013 @ 4:42pm

by on Mar.09, 2013 @ 4:42 pm, under WBC

Robbie Cordemans could get the start for the Netherlands on Sunday against Kenta Maeda.

Source: Sponichi 3/9/2013

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Masahiro Tanaka will likely be available to pitch out of the bullpen on Sunday against the Netherlands.

Source: Sports Hochi 3/9/2013

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Takashi Toritani did have the green light to run if he felt he could steal a base in the 9th inning, but was not explicitly told to run.  First base coach Koichi Ogata did tell Toritani that he thought the pitcher's motion to the plate was not that fast.

Source: Sports Hochi 3/9/2013, Daily Sports 3/9/2013

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Shinnosuke Abe's RBI single to right in the 8th inning was his first hit of the tournament.  Prior to the hit: 0-for-11 with one walk.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/9/2013

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Of the twenty-eight players on the roster, twenty-one made it into Friday night's game against Chinese Taipei -- seven pitchers and fourteen position players.  Kazuo Matsui was the only position player that did not play.

Source: Sponichi 3/9/2013

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Games from March 8

NPB Players on WBC Teams

  • Alex Maestri (ORI/ITA) vs CAN: 58-32 NP-S, 13 BF, 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO
  • Wladimir Balentien (YAK/NED) vs CUB: 2-for-5, 3 LOB
  • Andruw Jones (RAK/NED) vs CUB: 2-for-4, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1 LOB
  • Scott Mathieson (YOM/CAN) vs ITA: 43-25 NP-S, 11 BF, 1.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO, 1 HR
  • Dustin Molleken (HAM/CAN) vs ITA: 20-10 NP-S, 7 BF, 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 0 SO

Samurai Japan News and Notes: March 8, 2013 @ 3:19pm

by on Mar.08, 2013 @ 3:19 pm, under WBC

Workouts at Tokyo Dome began at around 3:30pm on Thursday.

Source: Sanspo 3/8/2013

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Pitching staff...

  • Sanspo - Tetsuya Utsumi could relieve Atsushi Nomi tonight against Chinese Taipei.  Source: Sanspo 3/8/2013
  • Nikkan Sports -  Nomi will start game one, Kenta Maeda game two, and Utsumi game three.  Source: Nikkan Sports 3/8/2013
  • Sports Hochi - all pitchers, other than Meada, will be available to pitch tonight.  Source: Sports Hochi 3/8/2013
  • Maeda threw forty pitches in the bullpen on Thursday.  He will probably start game two.  Source: Sponichi 3/8/2013

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Regarding the starting line-up...

Sanspo:

  • Hisayoshi Chono could be benched tonight.
  • Hayato Sakamoto could be dropped to the eight-hole, Katsuya Kakunaka moved up to the lead-off spot, with Yoshio Itoi batting fifth, Atsunori Inaba batting sixth, and Takashi Toritani batting ninth.
  • The four through six could all be left-handed hitters.

Source: Sanspo 3/8/2013

Nikkan Sports

  • Chono could be dropped from the line-up with Itoi moving to center.
  • Toritani took grounders at third during workouts on Thursday.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/8/2013

Sorts Hochi

  • Line-up could feature five left-handed hitters: Shinnosuke Abe, Itoi, Kankunaka, Inaba, and Toritani.
  • Ibata will likely bat second.

Source: Sports Hochi 3/8/2013

Daily Sports

  • Kakunaka could start in right and lead-off with Hirokazu Ibata at second batting second.
  • Toritani could get the start at third.

Source: Daily Sports 3/8/2013, Daily Sports 3/8/2013

Sponichi

  • Toritani could be the starting third baseman.
  • Inaba and Toritani could bat eight and nine respectively.
  • The starting line-up will probably feature five left-handed hitters.  However, a sixth left-handed hitter could also be squeezed in: Sakamoto or Sho Nakata could be benched in favor of Kazuo Matsui.
  • During fielding practice on Thursday: Uchikawa and Kakunaka were in right, Itoi in center, Ibata was at second, Toritani at third, and Matsui at short.
  • Uchikawa (lower back discomfort) did not seem to have any problems during workouts on Thursday and should be back in the starting line-up tonight.  He will likely bat third.
  • Nakata could bat seventh.

Source: Sponichi 3/8/2013, Sponichi 3/8/2013Sponichi 3/8/2013, Sponichi 3/8/2013, Sponichi 3/8/2013

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Tokyo Dome officials would like fans to refrain from doing the "Inaba Jump" out of consideration for other spectators.

Source: Sports Hochi 3/8/2013

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A report full of information collected by the advance scouts was handed out to players on Thursday.

Source: Sponichi 3/8/2013

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Katsuya Nomura feels it might make sense to drop Abe to the six-hole and have him focus on his defense and play-calling instead of his hitting.  That could also have the effect of helping him with his offense.

Source: Sanspo 3/8/2013

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Players will not be required to stay at the team hotel, so long as their homes are located close by and they are able to report to team functions without any delay.

Source: Sanspo 3/8/2013

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Chinese Taipei

Dai-Kang Yoh told reporters on Thursday that it felt strange to be playing against Nippon Ham teammates Atsunori Inaba and Sho Nakata and former teammate Yoshio Itoi.  He also said that he planned to give his WBC teammates information on Japanese players.

Source: Sanspo 3/8/2013, Sports Hochi 3/8/2013

There are also three other players on Chinese Taipei that are active NPB players: I-Chen Wang (YOK), Yi-Hao Lin (YOM), and Yao-Hsun Yang (SOF).

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Netherlands

Wladimir Balentien is ready to give teammates whatever information he can about Japan.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/8/2013

Yomiuri Giants issue stern warning and fine to Suiguchi for meeting with a woman during WBC mini-camp

by on Mar.08, 2013 @ 12:06 pm, under NPB, WBC
Tags: , , ,

According to a number of reporters, the Yomiuri Giants issued a warning and a fine to Toshiya Sugiuchi after a story broke about him meeting a woman during WBC mini-camp in February.

GM/team rep Atsushi Harasawa held a press conference at the team offices today and said, "A player the Giants sent out caused a stir at this important time of year.  A stern warning is not enough."

He continued, "It was a private meeting, but it created a distraction for the team.  It goes without saying that he has a lot of responsibilities."

With regards to the fine, he said that it was not an insignificant amount.

Harasawa called WBC manager Koji Yamamoto to apologize for the incident.  He also spoke to Suiguchi over the phone and said, "He is feeling really bad for what happened and told me he was very sorry and would accept whatever disciplinary action was handed out.  He was ready to accept the consequences."

Sugiuchi worked out with the team at Tokyo Dome as scheduled on Thursday.  He will be available for today's game.

Source: Daily Sports 3/8/20103, Sanspo 3/8/2013, Nikkan Sports 3/8/2013, Sports Hochi 3/8/2013

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UPDATE @ 10:24pm -

Hideaki Wakui was also named in the article.  The Seibu Lions have given him a warning and will investigate the incident further after the WBC ends.  A team official has already issued an apology to Yamamoto over the phone.

Source: Sanspo 3/8/2013

UPDATE 3/9 @ 2:49pm -

The Lions issued their warning when Wakui called them on Friday.  Source: Nikkan Sports 3/9/2013

Samurai Japan News and Notes: March 8, 2013 @ 1:44am

by on Mar.08, 2013 @ 1:44 am, under WBC

During situational fielding practice today, Hisayoshi Chono and Yoshio Itoi were in center and Seiichi Uchikawa and Katsuya Kakunaka in right.

Source: Sports Hochi 3/7/2013

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Sho Nakata took thirty-eight swings during batting practice and hit sixteen over the fence.

Source: Sanspo 3/7/2013

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Atsunori Inaba has passed on everything he knows about Dai-Kang Yoh (HAM/TPE) to teammates.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/7/2013

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Cuba

Only pitchers were seen working out on the field during workouts today.  Victor Mesa canceled his press conference.

Source: Sponichi 3/7/2013

Samurai Japan News and Notes: March 7, 2013 @ 4:35pm

by on Mar.07, 2013 @ 4:35 pm, under WBC

Atsushi Nomi is expected to start Game 1 against Chinese Taipei on Friday.

Source: Sanspo 3/7/2013

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Kenji Otonari on his outing against Cuba on Wednesday: "I think I was able to pitch my game.  The home run is something I need to work on. ... I knew I could use the change-up to help me out, but I did not throw it very much."

Source: Sanspo 3/7/2013

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Masahiro Tanaka has given up a run in his first inning of work in all four games he has pitched in while wearing the Samurai Japan uniform this year (two WBC, two practice).

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/7/2013

Tanaka told reporters after Wednesday's game that he felt he may have figured something out and that he was improving.  And it may have all started when he threw the curve for the first time to Yasmany Tomas in the 4th inning.

Tanaka could be a candidate to start Game 3.

Source: Sponichi 3/7/2013, Sponichi 3/7/2013

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Hirokazu Ibata could become the starting second baseman in the 2nd Round.

Source: Sports Hochi 3/7/2013

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Katsuya Kakunaka could be moved up to the lead-off spot with Ibata hitting out of the two-hole and Kazuo Matsui and Atsunori Inaba heading to the bench.

Source: Sanspo 3/7/2013

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Inaba's hit in the 4th inning was his first in twenty-one trips to the plate (nine games, including WBC, practice, and intra-squad).

Source: Sponichi 3/7/2013

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Seiichi Uchikawa started feeling discomfort in his lower back during practices on the 5th.  He skipped pre-game practices on Wednesday, but did some light workouts in the indoor facilities and got some treatment for his back.  The coaches decided to leave him out of game as a precaution.  He should be fine for the start of the 2nd Round on Friday.

Source: Sanspo 3/7/2013, Nikkan Sports 3/7/2013, Sponichi 3/7/2013

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Advance scout Kazutaka Nishiyama was not able to record as much footage during his trip to Taiwan (he was stopped partway through), but still managed to collect a fair amount of data.

Source: Sponichi 3/7/2013

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Sadaharu Oh's take on Wednesday's loss against Cuba: "Today's win/loss does not matter much.  They should just think of it as an opportunity to measure how good the opponent was."

Source: Sanspo 3/7/2013

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Sanspo reporter Manabu Tashiro wonders why Yu Darvish decided not to play for Japan when it would have been the perfect opportunity for him to teach players about different training methods in the US.  Especially after he put down Japanese training methods last year.

Source: Sanspo 3/7/2013

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Cuba

The team held a moment of silence for Hugo Chavez at the team hotel before Wednesday's game against Japan.

Source: Sponichi 3/7/2013

Alfredo Despaigne was named Pool A MVP.

Source: Sponichi 3/7/2013

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Netherlands

Wladimir Balentien is excited about playing in his home-away-from-home.  He has been exchanging e-mails with Ryoji Aikawa during the tournament.

Source: Sanspo 3/7/2013

The Netherlands had ninety minutes of practice time at Tokyo Dome on Wednesday.  They reportedly spent about seventy-five minutes of it on batting practice.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/7/2013

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Chinese Taipei

The four players that play for teams in Japan during the regular took the day off on Wednesday.

Chien-Ming Wang checked on the mound at Tokyo Dome.

Source: Sanspo 3/7/2013

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Practice Games in the US on March 6:

  • Dustin Molleken (HAM/CAN) vs Cincinnati Reds - 8 BF, 1.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO
  • Wil Ledezma (LOT/VEN) vs New York Mets - 8 BF, 1.0 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO

Samurai Japan News and Notes: March 7, 2013 @ 12:46am

by on Mar.07, 2013 @ 12:47 am, under WBC

Seiichi Uchikawa sat out Wednesday's game against Cuba with discomfort in his lower back.  He also did not participate in practices.

Source: Sanspo 3/6/2013, Daily Sports 3/6/2013

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The Netherlands and Chinese Taipei arrived in Japan on Wednesday.  They worked out at Tokyo Dome.

Source: Sanspo 3/6/2013

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Chien-Ming Wang could start Game 1 for Chinese Taipei.

Source: Sponichi 3/6/2013

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.