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2010 Draft News and Notes: January 31, 2011

by on Jan.31, 2011 @ 2:01 pm, under NPB
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This post will be updated throughout the day.

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Chunichi Dragons

Yuta Muto (3rd round) has a chance to make the Ichi-gun spring camp rosters.  On Saturday, Muto tossed a 37-pitch bullpen session alongside veterans Kenichi Nakata and Daisuke Yamai.

Hanshin Tigers

Daily Sports mentions that Daiki Enokida (1st round) only tossed 29 pitches during his bullpen session.  They also have the following comments about Enokida's fork from Shinji Komiyama, his catcher during the session: "It's like the stitching doesn't move at all.  I couldn't figure out where the ball was dropping. ... It's the first time I've seen a ball like that, it was amazing.  I want to try catching that more."  Enokida tossed 2 forks and Komiyama dropped both of them.  And it seems Enokida only threw the fork once or twice a game because the catcher always had a hard time catching the ball.  Nikkan Sports is calling it a knuckle-curve.

The Tigers have placed a pre-spring camp bullpen ban on Shinta Hifumi (2nd round).

Yomiuri Giants

After some fielding practice during the final day of joint mini camp today, Hirokazu Sawamura (1st round) walked over to the indoor bullpen to watch Tetsuya Utsumi, Tetsuya Yamaguchi, and Shugo Fujii toss bullpen sessions for about 5 minutes.

Yuki Saito News and Notes: January 31, 2011

by on Jan.31, 2011 @ 10:47 am, under NPB
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This post will be updated with information as it becomes available so keep checking back if you have any interest in Yuki Saito.

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Sanspo is carrying comments from Saito that were taken after yesterday's practice:

Rookie training camp is now over...

I got off to a good start and managed to have a good finish.

What were you focusing on during your training?

It's my first year in the pros so I just wanted to get used to the environment and the flow of things.

About 47,000 fans came to Kamagaya during [rookie training camp]...

I'm really grateful that so many people came, including on weekdays.  Pro yakyu is made possible with the support of the fans.  I want to make sure I don't forget that.

[Spring] camp is next...

We're now at the stage where we're preparing to start the season.  I want to make sure I have good practices because there will also be practice games.

With spring camp coming, what are you current thoughts?

I have a lot of worries.  Everything I do this year will be a first.  And I'd like to learn as much as I can from the veterans.

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Saito arrived in Okinawa today (as did the coaches and other players).  About 1,200 fans (about 5 times the usual number) showed up at Naha Airport.  And another 100 or so far, plus about 20 TV cameras, waited for Saito and the Fighters outside the team hotel.

2010 Draft News and Notes: January 30, 2011

by on Jan.30, 2011 @ 11:27 am, under NPB
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This post will be updated throughout the day.

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Hanshin Tigers

The Tigers rookie training camp ended today.

Daiki Enokida (1st round) threw 45 pitches (including all his pitches -- curve, slider, cutter, screw, and fork) to a squatting catcher for the first time this year (at Ginoza, Okinawa).  Shinji Komiyama, his catcher for the session, had trouble catching Enokida's fork.

If Shinta Hifumi (2nd round) is on the Ichi-gun roster in early March, he probably won't be able to attend his high school graduation (scheduled for 3/10).  His old high school manager, Keiji Monma, told Hifumi to work so hard that he can't attend his graduation.

Yakult Swallows

Even though Tetsuto Yamada (1st round) isn't on the Ichi-gun spring camp roster, special temporary batting caoch Tsutomu Wakamatsu still plans on working with him when the Ichi-gun players have the day off.

Yomiuri Giants

According to Sanspo, a number of players stopped what they were doing when Hirokazu Sawamura (1st round) starting tossing his bullpen session.  And the 28 fastballs Sawamura threw: bullpen catcher Fan-Jing Liu (柳 桓湊 ?) caught 20 pitches standing; and Shinnosuke Abe caught 5 standing and 3 half-bent.

Seibu Lions

Tatsuya Oishi (1st round) dropped 2kg and is now at 90kg (he began his diet before the start of rookie training camp), still 3 short of his ideal weight of 87kg.  Oishi doesn't appear to be too worried since he's heard players tend to lose weight during spring camp.

Rookie training camp ended yesterday.  Oishi, Ryo Hayashizaki, (5th) and Masato Kumashiro (6th round) left the player dorms today in order to hand out some autographs.

Yuki Saito News and Notes: January 30, 2011

by on Jan.30, 2011 @ 10:54 am, under NPB
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This post will be updated with information as it becomes available so keep checking back if you have any interest in Yuki Saito.

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It appears school field trips to Okinawa in February that include the option to see visit the Nippon Ham Fighters' training grounds are extremely popular right now.  Saito mania?

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Reporters asked Saito yesterday if he packed anything special in his luggage for spring camp:

Nothing really.  Training clothes, club, cleats...  I'm also bringing a humidifier and my computer, but nothing for fun.

Saito also said that he wanted to talk to Yu Darvish and Masaru Takeda about their their training and welcomed the chance to have dinner with either.

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The media learned on Saturday that a total 5 local businesses signed advertising contracts (at 600,000 yen a pop) with Kamagaya Stadium.  And as of yesterday, a total 38,100 visited Kamagaya Stadium since the 12th.

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Nikkan Sports is carrying comments taken from Saito on Saturday:

What did you guys do at the end of your training [today]?

Ippon-jime.

Yodai Enoshita (4th round) was out with a cold.

I need to be careful of catching on myself.

Did you get a flu shot?

I got one last year.

The distance you played catch at seemed pretty large.

It's the same as usual.

Your plans for the 30th.

I'll play some light catch and finish things out with some running.  Maybe in the afternoon...  Since I have a few things I need to do in the morning.

Which player would you like to get training tips from?

As I've been saying all along, [Yu] Darvish and Masaru Takeda.

Have you already gone out to eat with any of the veterans?

Not yet.  But if I'm invited [during camp], I'll be more than happy to go.

Are there any players from other clubs you have your eye on?

I think maybe [Yuya] Fukui and [Tatsuya] Oishi.

Anyone else?

No.

Do you use a computer a lot?

Ever since college.  When I was in college I had to use them to write my reports.

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According to Daily Sports, Saito had a chance to work out with Ichiro today (at Ichiro's request) for about 2 hours (played catch, took fielding fielding practice, and threw 30 BP pitches).  It seems Saito was particularly impressed with Ichiro's arm while playing catch.

In the afternoon, Saito played catch at a max distance of about 100 meters.

Yuki Saito News and Notes: January 29, 2011

by on Jan.29, 2011 @ 3:37 pm, under NPB
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This post will be updated with information as it becomes available so keep checking back if you have any interest in Yuki Saito.

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Saito actually threw 17 pitches to a standing catcher before tossing 29 pitches to squatting catcher yesterday.

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Nikkan Sports has an image of the 6 rookies wearing the same training suit to practice yesterday morning.  And the entire get-up will set people back 31,500 yen: orange neck warmer 3,150 yen; shoes 12,600 yen; training suit 15,750 yen.

Saito, Masahiro Inui (3rd round), and Yuya Taniguchi (5th round) have contracts with Mizuno, so this little stunt didn't cost them a thing.  The other three players had to get permission from the companies they already have contracts with (and will split the cost of the suits): Yodai Enoshita (4th round) has a contract with Rawlings and both Haruki Nishikawa (2nd round) and Masaru Saito (6th round) are with SSK.

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The Hiroshima Carp are thinking about beefing up security in / around their training grounds when the Nippon Ham Fighters drop in for a practice game on 2/12.

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Hair AND Make RaB (hair salon) in Nago, Okinawa is offering to take good care of Saito's hair care needs during spring camp.

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About 2,300 fans showed up at Kamagaya today.  Saito kept his training light today (played some catch, took some fielding practice).

2010 Draft News and Notes: January 29, 2011

by on Jan.29, 2011 @ 3:18 pm, under NPB
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This post will be updated throughout the day.

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Hanshin Tigers

Daiki Enokida (1st round) tossed 56 pitches in the bullpen on Friday (standing catcher).  Enokida also threw his curve, slider, and fork.  Incidentally, his fork apparently doesn't have a lot of spin on it.

Shinta Hifumi (2nd) returned to rookie training camp today.  Hifumi had to return to school after practice on the 25th in order to take his final exams.

Yomiuri Giants

As of yesterday, Hirokazu Sawamura (1st round) is / was scheduled to toss a bullpen session today (dependent on how he's feeling). ... Sawamura threw 28 pitches in his first bullpen todayShinnosuke Abe took his spot behind home plate and caught Sawamura, beginning on the 21st pitch.

Nippon Ham Fighters

Tomorrow is the last day of rookie training camp.  After practice today, the rookies packed and shipped their spring camp luggage off.

Seibu Lions

Friday was the last day of rookie training camp.  Tatsuya Oishi (1st round) tossed 23 pitches to a squatting catcher.  And when Oishi gave himself an 80% on his training camp, Masato Kumashiro (6th) jokingly said, "80% is pretty high.  You must be tired, good for you."

2010 Draft News and Notes: January 28, 2011

by on Jan.29, 2011 @ 12:52 am, under NPB
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This post will be updated throughout the day.

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Yomiuri Giants

Hirokazu Sawamura (1st round) impressed a number of the veteran Giant pitchers, like Tetsuya Utsumi, Shun Tono, and Yuya Kubo, when he started throwing at a distance between 80-90 meters (without stepping into the throw since he already had his legs apart) during a game of catch yesterday.  Sawamura also had the chance to do some training with Utsumi for about 30 minutes.

Rakuten Eagles

Friday was the last day of rookie training camp.

Seibu Lions

Tatsuya Oishi was interviewed by Tokyo Walker on Friday.  His interview will appear in issue that hits newsstands in early March.

Yuki Saito News and Notes: January 28, 2011

by on Jan.28, 2011 @ 9:54 pm, under NPB
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This post will be updated with information as it becomes available so keep checking back if you have any interest in Yuki Saito.

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All 6 rookies showed up in the same exact training wear today, confusing both fans and reporters.  Masahiro Inui (3rd round) was the mastermind behind the idea and jokingly told reporters it was the only way he was ever going to get any air time.  Saito wasn't informed of the idea until the very last minute and said he felt a little weirded out by it all.

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Saito tossed his fourth rookie training camp bullpen session today.  He threw a total 29 pitches, including 6 off-speed pitches to a squatting catcher (Yuji Arihara).

Saito was originally scheduled to toss about 50 pitches, but decided to cut the session short because it was cold.

About 1,900 fans were at Kamagaya today.

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Saito could make his debut during a practice game against the Samsung Lions on 2/13.

2010 Draft News and Notes: January 27, 2011

by on Jan.27, 2011 @ 12:19 pm, under NPB
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This post will be updated throughout the day.

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Chunichi Dragons

Yudai Ono (1st round) will get a late start to spring camp because he wants to graduate from college and needs to take the final exams.  Ono left Nagoya on the 25th for the tests and won't be able to get into Okinawa until 2/1.

Daiki Yoshikawa's (2nd round) roommate during spring camp will be Naomichi Donoue.

Hanshin Tigers

Daiki Enokida (1st round) doesn't plan on calling his parents about making the Ichi-gun roster for spring camp since it's only for training camp.  He does, however, plan on giving his parents a call when he makes the actual Ichi-gun roster during the regular season.  Enokida arrived in Ginoza, Okinawa yesterday. ... Exile's Keiji is a fellow Miyazaki Kobayashi-Nishi High School Baseball Team player.

Yakult Swallows

Yuki Shichijo (2nd round) was the only rookie that made the Ichi-gun roster for spring camp.  Said Shichijo, "I'm old (26) so I thought I had to make the Ichi-gun roster."

Yomiuri Giants

Hirokazu Sawamura (1st round) would like to try and toss a bullpen session during the pre-spring-camp mini-camp that got underway today.  He got the red light from the coaches during rookie camp but hopes they'll give him a chance to toss at least one bullpen session before the start of spring camp.  He also wants a chance to watch some of the other pitchers (like Tetsuya Utsumi and Shun Tono) toss bullpen sessions as well.

Seibu Lions

The rookies have the day off today.

Tatsuya Oishi (1st round) received his first paycheck on Tuesday.  He told reporters that he was the type that went shopping, only to not buy anything.  Oishi also said that he gave his parents permission to withdraw money from his account whenever they needed to.

Yuki Saito News and Notes: January 27, 2011

by on Jan.27, 2011 @ 12:01 pm, under NPB
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This post will be updated with information as it becomes available so keep checking back if you have any interest in Yuki Saito.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Both Sanspo and Nikkan Sports are carrying comments from Saito.

First, Sanspo:

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].

Nikkan Sports:

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.

Your weight?

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.