...4th round draft pick Takumi Akiyama tossed a 31-pitch bullpen session on Friday. He threw at about 70%.
...Masanori Fujihara plans on taking lots of notes during Spring camp.
...Shunsuke Fujikawa's registered name will be Shun Fujikawa (藤川俊).
...Motoki Higa held his first bullpen session of the year at Skymark Stadium on Friday; he threw 30 pitches. Pitching coach Eiji Kiyokawa was impressed with the session and said that there was nothing he could see that needed fixing.
...Yusei Kikuchi had a chance to watch Takeya Nakamura take BP on Friday. He later told reporters that if he were to pitch against Nakamura, he'd stay away from the outer portion of the plate and stick to pounding him with inside pitches. Kikuchi also said he would need to brush up his off-speed pitches in order to have any success against Nakamura.
...Kikuchi wants to rely on his fastball from the start, even though he knows he'll get hit. By doing so, he hopes to figure out how to use his fastball more effectively.
Kikuchi can throw a fastball, curve, slider, fork, and shuto. In high school, he stuck primarily to his fastball and slider, although he did try to throw a fork at least 2-3 times a game.
...The Lions are thinking about inviting umps to their Spring camp early on in order to give their young pitchers more opportunities to work with a real strike zone.
The NPB will be sending umpires out to the various camps beginning on the 10th. Teams that want to work with umpires before that will have to pay for them out of their own pockets.
...2nd round draft pick Hiroyuki Kawahara tossed his first bullpen session of the year on Friday; he threw about 40 pitches. Kawahara told reporters that he's used to throwing about 200 pitches by this time of year.
3rd round draft pick Yuki Shimooki also tossed a bullpen session, his second in as many days; he threw about 40 pitches.
...4th round draft pick Keiji Nakahara showed off his arm while playing catch on Friday. Nakahara does have experience as a pitcher -- he was a pitcher until his second year of high school.
Yokohama Bay Stars
...Yoshitomo Tsutsugo is looking to improve his running and fielding. On Friday, he took grounders at third base for about 30 minutes.
...Takao Obana will be dropping by rookie mini camp on the 26th.