Tag: 2009 Draft
...Kazuhito Futagami and Masanori Fujihara met Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi for the first time on Saturday.
Futagami tossed a 48-pitch bullpen session and mixed in off-speed pitches for the first time this year. Fujihara also held a bullpen session and threw 45 pitches.
...Takashi Toritani's advice to Futagami, Fujihara, and Shunsuke Fujikawa: don't get hurt, show your individuality, and pace yourselves.
...Yusei Kikuchi closed out his training at Seibu 2 Stadium on Saturday. Prior to that, he played some catch (about 40 throws) and threw 6 sliders. It was the first time Kikuchi seriously threw the slider since 9/28/2009.
Kikuchi will be taking a massage equipment with him to Spring camp. He'll also have a copy of Kimiyasu Kudo's latest book, Living without limits (限界を作らない生き方), which he picked up after practice on Saturday.
...Kyohei Tsuchimoto held his third bullpen session in as many days on Saturday and tossed 30 pitches. Tsuchimoto isn't a newcomer to throwing lots of pitches during Spring camp. Last year he apparently threw about 2,000 pitchers over a span of 2 weeks.
Yusei Kikuchi was invited by a number of other players, including Shota Takekuma, to workout at Seibu 2 Stadium on Saturday. Their 1-hour training included running and playing some catch.
The taxi Kikuchi rode in was apparently overrun by fans.
...Kazuhito Futagami joined up with the team on Friday in Okinawa and tossed a 30-pitch bullpen (all fastballs).
...Masanori Fujihara could make a start on 2/13 against the Nippon Ham Fighters if everything with his training goes well.
Kikuchi decided to try "slow pitching" after he heard Ai Miyazato (pro golfer) talking about how she slowed down her swing to help her breakdown her form.
...Kikuchi will be bunking with 5th round draft pick Kenta Matsushita during Spring camp.
...Kenta Imamiya felt rookie mini camp went well and gave himself a 100%.
...Yusei Kikuchi worked out at Seibu 2 Stadium on Friday. His 2-hour training included sprints up hills and pitching to a net. After practice, he spent about 30 minutes interacting with fans. When a female handed him a box of chocolates, he smirked and said that he'll get more acne.
...Kikuchi will be excused from Spring camp between 2/8 and 2/11 in order to take his finals at Hanamaki Higashi.
...Rookie mini camp ended on Friday.
...Kazuhito Futagami finished his final exams at Hosei University and took a 7pm flight to Okinawa on Thursday. He plans on holding a bullpen session on Friday.
...Shuichi Furukawa told reporters that he feared facing foreign batters the most because he's never had a chance to face any yet. Furukawa was on rosters for international play in the past, but never actually got into any games, other than those against Korea.
...As mentioned before, Eagles' rookie mini camp ended on Thursday. During mini camp, the 6 rookies started with training focused on their abdominal and back muscles, and running. Towards the end, they were all working on polishing up their current skill sets.
...Seems Marty Brown and the front office think highly of 4th round draft pick Kazuya Takahori and feel he could become the team's next closer.
...Kenta Imamiya is apparently a big fan of Ayumi Hamasaki and is planning on registering one of her songs as his batter walk-up music at Yahoo Dome. Unfortunately, he won't be able to hear it unless he makes the Ichi-gun roster.
His favorite Hamasaki song is apparently Days.
Yokohama Bay Stars
...Yoshitomo Tsutsugo and Takehiro Ishikawa took grounders together for the first time during practice on Thursday.
...5th rounds draft pick Shunsuke Fujikawa and 4th round draft pick Takumi Akiyama spent their day off on Wednesday working out at the Naruohama training facilities.
They ran some sprints and played some catch. Fujikawa also spent some time in the cages.
...Masanori Fujihara refrained from throwing on Wednesday but said that he would hold a bullpen session on Thursday. He's apparently trying to pace himself for Spring camp.
...2nd round draft pick Motoki Higa tossed a 45-pitch bullpen session on Wednesday (with the catcher squatting).
...Never too early? New York Mets Pacific Rim Scout Isao Ojimi dropped by rookie mini camp on Wednesday to check out Yusei Kikuchi.
Said Ojimi, "It might be a few years. It might be 10 years from now. Regardless, he's someone I want to keep my eye on. And I really hope he doesn't get hurt."
...The Kikuchi effect? Seibu Railways is adding four direct express trains from Seibu Kyujo-mae to Ikebukuro to their schedules, effective March 6th. The express trains will cut travel times between the two locations down to about 33 minutes.
The four express trains will run within an hour after the game ends.
It seems Seibu will also be adding a few semi-express trains between Ikebukuro and Seibu Kyujo-mae.
...Kikuchi ended up tossing 9 bullpen session during rookie mini camp. And in his last bullpen session, he actually threw a total 58 pitches: 34 with the catcher standings and 24 with the catcher squatting.
...Wednesday was the last day of rookie mini camp.
Kikuchi told reporters that he was feeling tired and that his muscles were a little tight, but that the trainer was looking after him carefully.
...Yutaka Ohno had a chance to see Takeru Imamura toss a bullpen session on Tuesday and later told reporters that the youngster reminded him of Hideo Nomo.
...Kenta Imamiya took a baseball friend out to dinner after practice on the 26th with money from his first pay check.
It was Imamiya's second bullpen in as many days. He tossed 40 pitches with the catcher standing, followed by 15 with the catcher squatting. Imamiya threw mostly fastball, but did mix in 6 sliders.
...2nd round draft pick Hiroyuki Kawahara wants to try and learn as much as he can by watching older players workout. On Tuesday, he had a chance to see 8 pitchers hold bullpen sessions.
Kawahara also held his second bullpen session during rookie mini camp on Tuesday, tossing about 50 pitches to a catcher standing up.
...Masato Nakazawa held a bullpen session on Tuesday and tossed 20 pitches. It was the first time he threw to a catcher squatting this year.
He told reporters that he'd like to hold a bullpen session on the first day of Spring camp and even try throwing 200 pitches at one point during camp.
...3rd round draft pick Yuhei Kai and Ikusei 2nd round draft pick Kenichi Tagami are both nursing injuries.
Kai has some tightness in his left hamstring and Tagami has some tightness in his right hamstring. Both players are working under a different training menu.
...The Tigers decided to start 5th round draft pick Shunsuke Fujikawa at Ichi-gun Spring camp on Tuesday.
Nippon Ham Fighters
...Masayoshi Kato will likely be the only rookie to start the year at Ichi-gun Spring camp.
...Wednesday is the final day of rookie mini camp.
...Yusei Kikuchi held a bullpen session on Tuesday; he threw 28 pitches with the catcher standing, followed by 25 pitches with the catcher squatting. Kikuchi told reports that his arm and his neck were a little tight but that he wanted to make the most of the last two days of rookie mini camp. He threw at about 20-30% percent capacity.
...Koji Akiyama told rookies at mini camp on Monday to be careful of injuries and to work at things one at a time (no need to rush).
...The Buffaloes held a scout meeting on Tuesday and compiled a list of over 300 potential draft candidates. At the top of their list were players like Yuki Saito, Tatsuya Ohishi, and Hirokazu Sawamura.
...Tigers' rookie mini camp closed out on Monday.
Masanori Fujihara held a bullpen session on the last day of mini camp. He tossed 31 pitches to a standing catcher and then 11 pitches to a squatting catcher. Fujihara will now head to Okinawa in order to get a head start on Kazuhito Futagami.
Futagami also held a bullpen session and tossed 25 pitches to a squatting catcher. And while Futagami probably also wants to head to Okinawa early as well, he won't be able to, at least not until the 29th -- he has a few loose ends he needs to tie (he's short 8 credits) at Hosei University.
...Former Kintetsu Buffalo Hideyuki Awano dropped by Lions' rookie mini camp on Monday to watch Yusei Kikuchi pitch a bullpen session. Awano raved about the flexibility in Kikuchi's elbow and said that he could easily throw 200 innings this year.
Awano tossed 249.2 innings in his first year. He then followed that up with 220.1 innings in his second year and 235.2 innings in his third year.
...Seems Ginjiro is also itching to catch Kikuchi. He visited rookie mini camp on Monday to see Kikuchi, and perhaps be his bullpen catcher. Instead, Ginjiro arrived late and missed out on watching Kikuchi hold his bullpen session.
When he was told Hosokawa caught him, Ginjiro apparently replied by saying that he also wants to catch Kikuchi and will try again on Tuesday.
...Kikuchi will likely start throwing "real" bullpen sessions beginning today -- real as in with the catcher squatting instead of standing.
...Kikuchi is making a point of not watching or reading anything with him in it because he doesn't want issues that come up in the media to affect his way thinking. Kikuchi also doesn't seem to care about what people think about him.