This post will be updated with information as it becomes available so keep checking back if you have any interest in Yuki Saito.
Pitching coach Masato Yoshii told reporters he plans on letting Saito do his own thing at Ichi-gun camp.
Said Yoshii, "Bullpens? I'm thinking about letting him do as he pleases. Pro and amateur players have different ideas when it comes to throwing amounts, so I'll talk to Saito and do what's best for him. We'll figure out a method that has the best chance of helping him succeed."
Saito is scheduled to toss about 50 pitches to a squatting catcher during his next bullpen session.
Saito wore CW-X conditioning tights to practice yesterday. Specifically, it looks like he was wearing these, which are the same ones Ichiro was wearing. And they'll apparently cost 16,800 yen.
The media has found out that NHK will be broadcasting the Nippon Ham vs Rakuten game taking place at Kleenex Stadium on 4/23 at 2pm. And now that suddenly has the media buzzing with ideas that that will also be the day Saito pitches against his high school rival, Masahiro Tanaka.
The Fighters' morning class for rookies on Wednesday (last class during rookie training camp) was on how to deal with potential troubles that might pop. Each player apparently was placed in a skit that simulated possible events. When it was Saito's turn, he had to deal with a couple that tried to con their way into some money. Unlike the other players, Saito was quick to play the lawyer card, which won his high marks.
Both Sanspo and Nikkan Sports are carrying comments from Saito.
How is your training going?
I did some training in December, but I also got in some rest. Right now I'm working on getting my body back [to the way it should be] and things are going well. I'll continue doing this in February so that I'll be ready for the season.
It's been 2 weeks since the start of rookie training camp. Any changes in your weight?
No changes. I'm still at [my best weight of] 76kg.
How are you taking care of your body?
I'm doing stretches on my own.
During practice, you wore Zebra patterned conditioning tights. Did you know Ichiro wears the same type?
I'm just copying him on my own.
What do you think about pro teams being able to play games with college teams?
That should help improve the level of amateur baseball. It would be great to play a game [against my Alma mater].
You'll be heading to Ichi-gun spring camp...
My body has been feeling great. Hopefully I can use February to build up my body for the season.
It hasn't changed since I moved into the player dorms. I'm between 76 and 77kg right now. My best weight. When I graduated from high school and went to college, I didn't practice much and got fat.
Your bullpen sessions?
I'll toss one more [during rookie training camp]. I'll have the catcher sit. I'd like to turn things up once I get to spring camp. I'd like to toss and extra bullpen session or two. That will be as usual. During college, I used to throw 200-300 pitches. I won't throw as many as 200 now, but I'd like to be around that.
What will your theme be during camp?
I want to look at hitters. Watching them.
Your Zebra conditioning tights...
Ichiro wore them too. It isn't as if I spoke to him. I just decided to copy him on my own. These are very easy to move around in.
Tomorrow (1/27) will be the last day off during rookie training camp...
I think I'll use it to rest.