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[1/13/2015] Orix Buffaloes, Nippon Ham Fighters, Chiba Lotte Marines, Rakuten Eagles

by on Jan.14, 2015 @ 2:14 am, under NPB
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Orix Buffaloes

  • Daiki Tomei threw about thirty pitches to a squatting catcher in the bullpen on Tuesday. This was his second session of the year (he tossed his first on the 10th). Source: Sponichi 1/13/2015

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • Shohei Otani told reporters on Monday he would not turn any members of the 2014 draft class away if they wanted to visit him in his room. Source: Daily Sports 1/13/2015, Nikkan Sports 1/13/2015, Sponichi 1/13/2015 ... Otani tossed 128 pitches during indoor batting practice to Ryo Watanabe on Tuesday. He told reporters it was like playing catch. Source: Daily Sports 1/13/2015, Sports Hochi 1/13/2015
  • Some are taking exception to Sho Nakata's hair styles and the way he sometimes chews gum during games. Acting owner Hiroji Okoso spoke up during a fan event in Sapporo on Monday and said he was okay with players expressing their individuality through their hair styles. He also said opinions can change based on the things players say and do and their public persona. Source: Sports Hochi 1/13/2015, Nikkan Sports 1/13/2015
  • First round draft pick Kohei Arihara currently weighs ninety-seven kilograms. He would like to get that down to between ninety-three and ninety-four. Arihara (right elbow) played catch at a distance of about thirty meters on Monday. Source: Sponichi 1/13/2015

Chiba Lotte Marines

  • The Marines announced on Tuesday that they signed Chad Huffman (29) to a new contract for the 2015 season. The deal is worth an estimated twenty-six million yen. Source: official announcement, Daily Sports 1/13/2015
  • Second round draft pick Eisuke Tanaka is trying to get about nine hours of sleep a night. He usually averages about seven, but increased it to nine because of the higher levels of stress and fatigue. Source: Daily Sports 1/13/2015

Rakuten Eagles

  • The media learned on Monday that fourth round draft pick Fernando Luciano had surgery on his left hand in December last year. Source: Daily Sports 1/13/2015
  • First round draft pick Tomohiro Anraku completed 104 shuttle-runs on Monday (sixth out of nine). Source: Daily Sports 1/13/2015 ... Luciano completed eighty-eight (ninth out of nine, only player that failed to reach 100). Ikusei first round draft pick Takumaru Yaoita completed 126 (first out of nine). Source: Sports Hochi 1/13/2015, Sports Hochi 1/13/2015 ... Ikusei second round draft pick Hiroki Osakaya completed 114 (third out of nine). Source: Nikkan Sports 1/13/2015
  • Anraku on his shoulder and elbow: "My shoulder and elbow are a consumable commodity so I'd like to discuss how to proceed with the trainers. When I was in high school, a part of me threw a lot on purpose. I want to play for twenty more years, so I don't want to overdo it." Source: Nikkan Sports 1/13/2015 ... Otani does not like throwing bullpen sessions because there are no batters to face. His velocity tends to remain below 140km/h. His fastball also tend to stay below 150km/h during practice games. Source: Sponichi 1/13/2015

[1/11/2015] Softbank Hawks, Orix Buffaloes, Nippon Ham Fighters, Chiba Lotte Marines

by on Jan.12, 2015 @ 1:44 am, under NPB
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Softbank Hawks

  • Kimiyasu Kudo is conducting in-depth checks on injury histories for every player in the organization. He feels injuries sustained during childhood can still cause problems during adulthood. Source: Sponichi 1/11/2015 ... Kudo is reviewing footage from last season. So far, he has watched about twenty games (no fast-forwarding). He is checking on Softbank players. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/11/2015
  • Fourth round draft pick Shunsuke Kasaya can solve a Rubik's Cube in about a minute and thirty seconds on average. His best time was a minute and ten seconds. Source: Sponichi 1/11/2015
  • Fifth round draft pick Yosuke Shimabukuro feels his pitching mechanics were at their best when he was in his second year of high school. He also got some ideas on what he needs to work on when he visited Winning Ball (training gym) in Kobe last year in September and December. Source: Sponichi 1/11/2015 ... Shimabukuro threw fifteen pitches to a standing catcher on Sunday. It was his first session at the Saitozaki training facilities. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/11/2015

Orix Buffaloes

  • Training camp for the 2014 draft class started at the Ni-gun facilities in Kobe on Sunday. Source: Daily Sports 1/11/2015 ... Second round draft pick Yuma Mune hurt his right knee in June last year and went through a partially modified training routine on Sunday. Source: Sports Hochi 1/11/2015

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • Yuki Saito threw twenty pitches to a standing catcher in the bullpen on Sunday. It was his second session this year. Source: Sponichi 1/11/2015
  • Shohei Otani could pitch in his first game/scrimmage on either February 9 (intra-squad game) or February 11 (practice game against Hanshin). Source: Sanspo 1/11/2015, Daily Sports 1/11/2015
  • First round draft pick Kohei Arihara is taking things slow when playing catch because he is coming off right elbow problems. When playing catch on Saturday, he kept his distance at around twenty meters while others around stretched things out to about fifty. The Fighters do not want to rush Arihara and will probably assign him to Ni-gun spring camp. Hideki Kuriyama feels Arihara will be fine for the start of the regular season if he can pitch in one or two exhibition games in mid-March. Source: Sponichi 1/11/2015

Chiba Lotte Marines

  • Second round draft pick Eisuke Tanaka finished in second or better in seven (and first in three) running exercises on Saturday. He ran three round-trips between the poles (900 meters) in three minutes and thirty seconds (first place). He then ran two round-trips between the poles (600 meters) five times, finishing in second four times and in first during the last run (two minutes and twenty-one seconds). He did the fifty-meter shuttle run in fifty-five seconds (total distance 300 meters). Source: Sanspo 1/11/2015, Daily Sports 1/11/2015, Sponichi 1/11/2015

[1/9/2015] Softbank Hawks, Nippon Ham Fighters, Chiba Lotte Marines, Seibu Lions, Rakuten Eagles

by on Jan.10, 2015 @ 12:17 am, under NPB
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Softbank Hawks

  • Training camp for the 2014 draft class started on Friday at the Saitazaki facilities. Thirteen players, including eight Ikusei players, participated in the two-hours workouts. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/9/2015
  • The groundbreaking ceremony for the new Ni-gun facilities in Chikugo, Fukuoka took place on Friday. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/9/2015

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • Second round draft pick Yushi Shimizu moved into the team dormitory in Kamagaya on Friday. Source: Sports Hochi 1/9/2015
  • Yuki Saito threw about twenty pitches, all fastballs, to a standing catcher in the bullpen on Friday. It was his first session of the year. Source: Daily Sports 1/9/2015
  • Mitsuo Yoshikawa threw fifty-five pitches, including curves and sliders, in the bullpen on Friday. It was his third session since the start of the new year. Source: Sports Hochi 1/9/2015 ... Yoshikawa, Kensuke Tanaka, and Takuya Nakashima worked out in Miyakojima, Okinawa on Friday. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/9/2015
  • Shohei Otani tossed an unscheduled bullpen session on Thursday. He threw thirty-eight pitches, including fastballs, sliders, and curves, to a standing catcher. It was his first session since early-December last year. Ryo Watanabe caught the session and was impressed with Otani's velocity. Source: Chunichi Shimbun 1/9/2015 ... Otani threw all the pitches from the wind-up. It was the first time he used the wind-up since high school. Source: Sanspo 1/9/2015 ... Otani will most likely toss a number of bullpen sessions at Kamagaya until he heads to Okinawa on the 23rd. Daily Sports 1/9/2015 ... Otani hit about thirty softballs during soft-toss batting practice on Thursday. Source: Sponichi 1/9/2015
  • The Fighters announced that Kenso Takeda will become an adviser on February 1. He will then take over as the new team president when Toshikazu Tsuda steps down and becomes an adviser on March 16. Source: official announcement

Chiba Lotte Marines

  • Training camp for the 2014 draft class began on Friday at QVC Marine. Workouts started at 11:00am and ran for about two hours and forty minutes, no breaks. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/9/2015, Nikkan Sports 1/9/2015
  • Senryokugai Shota Koike retired and accepted a job in the organization as Ni-gun equipment handler. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/9/2015
  • Former Lotte Shunsuke Watanabe returned to Japan on Friday. He was playing winter ball in Venezuela and won MVP of the week during the final week of the season. He pitched in six games, all starts, and went 1-1 with a 2.91 ERA over 34.0 innings of work. Watanabe would like to play in the Majors this year. Source: Daily Sports 1/9/2015, MLB.com Player Card

Seibu Lions

  • Atsushi Okamoto and Ryoma Nogami worked out in Yamaga, Kumamoto on Friday. Workouts started at 9:00am, lasted about six hours, and included running, running hills, trunk strengthening exercises, playing catch, and weight training. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/9/2015
  • Training camp for the 2014 draft class started at Seibu 2 Stadium on Friday. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/9/2015
  • First round draft pick Kona Takahashi and second round draft pick Yasuo Sano were scheduled to run a six kilometer course around Seibu Dome on Thursday, but they ended up running fifteen after they got lost. Source: Daily Sports 1/9/2015

Rakuten Eagles

  • Hiromoto Okubo is thinking about canceling morning walks and exercises during spring camp to make sure players have a chance to sleep and eat breakfast. He is also thinking about giving players an hour for lunch, instead of the thirty they had been getting. Source: Sponichi 1/9/2015
  • Sho Miyagawa had surgery on his right elbow in October last year and is hoping to pitch in his first rehab scrimmage/game in June. Source: Sports Hochi 1/9/2015

[1/8/2015] Softbank Hawks, Orix Buffaloes, Nippon Ham Fighters, Chiba Lotte Marines, Seibu Lions, Rakuten Eagles

by on Jan.09, 2015 @ 1:34 am, under NPB
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Softbank Hawks

  • The 2014 draft class moved into the team dormitory in Fukuoka on Thursday. Source: Sanspo 1/8/2015
  • Nobuhiko Matsunaka and Nobuhiro Matsuda left Japan out of Fukuoka Airport on Thursday. They will be training in Guam. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/8/2015
  • Tadashi Settsu could not meet with the Hawks in December for salary negotiations because he was on his honeymoon with his wife (they were married in 2013). Source: Sports Hochi 1/8/2015 ... Settsu is slated to earn his domestic FA option some time this season. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/8/2015

Orix Buffaloes

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • First round draft pick Kohei Arihara, third round draft pick Daiki Asama, and seventh round draft pick Yuto Takahama moved into the team dormitory in Kamagaya on Thursday. Source: Daily Sports 1/8/2015, Daily Sports 1/8/2015

Chiba Lotte Marines

  • Ayumu Ishikawa developed a fever after he had four wisdom teeth removed in December. He was out for a few days and dropped about three kilograms. He managed to regain what he lost, plus a little more, and is currently between eighty-three and eighty-four kilograms. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/8/2015
  • Former Lotte Hiroyuki Kobayashi will be a pitching coach for the Musashi Heat Bears (BC League) this year. Source: official announcement

Seibu Lions

  • Fourth round draft pick Yusuke Tamamura moved into the team dormitory on Thursday. He was originally planning to move in two days earlier, but was out with a fever. Source: Sports Hochi 1/8/2015
  • Kazuki Miyata filed marriage papers with a woman on Thursday. Source: Sponichi 1/8/2015

Rakuten Eagles

  • Yasunori Kikuchi, Takahiro Shiomi, Kenji Tomura, and Kodai Hamaya left Japan on Thursday. The four will be spending some time training with Hisashi Iwakuma in Los Angeles. They are scheduled to return later this month. Source: Sponichi 1/8/2015
  • The Eagles are slated to play a practice game against the Hanshin Tigers on February 17. Senior Adviser Senichi Hoshino is expected to watch the game. Rakuten is also scheduled to play practice games against KBO teams on the 15th and 16th. Source: Sponichi 1/8/2015

[1/7/2015] Softbank Hawks, Orix Buffaloes, Nippon Ham Fighters, Chiba Lotte Marines, Seibu Lions, Rakuten Eagles

by on Jan.08, 2015 @ 2:47 am, under NPB
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Softbank Hawks

  • Akira Nakamura (left elbow) hit about thirty baseballs during workouts at the Saitozaki facilities on Wednesday. It was his first session hitting baseballs since his surgery in November. Source: Daily Sports 1/7/2015
  • Shingo Tatsumi (27) will file marriage papers with a twenty-nine-year-old woman from Wakayama on the 10th. Source: Daily Sports 1/7/2015

Orix Buffaloes

  • Yoshio Itoi began workouts with eight other players at Hamamatsu Stadium on Wednesday. The other players: Hanshin's Ryota Imanari, Softbank's Yuki Yanagita and Taisei Makihara, Nippon Ham's Shingo Ishikawa and Yuji Arahari, Lotte's Takeshi Kanazawa, Rakuten's Keiji Oyama, and Yakult's Takahiro Imanami. Source: Daily Sports 1/7/2015

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • Fourth round draft pick Naoya Ishikawa moved into the team dormitory on Wednesday. Source: Daily Sports 1/7/2015
  • Naoki Miyanishi threw about ten pitches to a standing catcher on the 3rd. He does not plan on throwing full sessions until the third block of spring camp. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/7/2015
  • Hirotoshi Masui likes how he feels when he closes out games and prefers it over being a set-up man. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/7/2015
  • Sho Nakata purchased a Lamborghini this off-season. Source: Daily Sports 1/7/2015

Chiba Lotte Marines

Seibu Lions

  • Second round draft pick Yasuo Sano was the first to move into the team dormitory on Monday; third round draft pick Shuta Tonosaki and Ikusei first round draft pick Daisuke Togawa moved in on Tuesday; first round draft pick Kona Takahashi and fifth round draft pick Haruka Yamada on Wednesday. Chun-Lin Kuo also moved in on Wednesday. Fourth round draft pick Yusuke Tamamura is not feeling well and will move in on another day. 2014 draft class training camp will begin on the 9th. Source: official announcement

Rakuten Eagles

  • Hiromoto Okubo is planning to go with a six-man rotation this season after listening to suggestions made by the pitching coaches. He will be satisfied if starters can go at least five innings without giving up more than three runs. Source: Daily Sports 1/7/2015, Chunichi Shimbun 1/7/2015, Sports Hochi 1/7/2015 ... Okubo does not expect starters to throw 120 to 130 pitches just because they are getting six days of rest. He believes the bullpen will hold the key to the team's success. Source: Sponichi 1/7/2014

[1/6/2015] Softbank Hawks, Orix Buffaloes, Nippon Ham Fighters, Seibu Lions, Chiba Lotte Marines, Rakuten Eagles

by on Jan.06, 2015 @ 11:58 pm, under NPB
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Softbank Hawks

Orix Buffaloes

  • Teppei is training with a special 850 gram jump rope -- three sets of 100 every day during off-season workouts. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/6/2015
  • Senryokugai Masaki Ihara (28) retired and remained in the organization as a batting practice pitcher. Ihara decided to retire because he wanted to provide more stability for his family (wife and two sons). He considered attending a tryout, but Orix's job offer would no longer be on the table. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/6/2015

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • Hideki Kuriyama will first look to Shohei Otani as a pitcher in 2015. After that, a designated hitter, and then an outfielder. Source: Sponichi 1/6/2015

Chiba Lotte Marines

Seibu Lions

Rakuten Eagles

  • Hiroaki Shimauchi (24) filed marriage papers with a twentu-two-year-old woman on the 5th. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/6/2015
  • Hiromoto Okubo is planning to assign first round draft pick Tomohiro Anraku to Ichi-gun spring camp, assuming he is physically capable. Anraku has managed to increase his weight from eighty-eight to ninety kilograms since the summer. He has also dropped his fat content from fifteen to twelve percent. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/6/2015

[1/3/2015] Softbank Hawks, Orix Buffaloes, Chiba Lotte Marines, Seibu Lions

by on Jan.03, 2015 @ 11:49 pm, under NPB
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Softbank Hawks

  • The Hawks will try to improve customer relations at YafuOku Dome by having their staff study how things are done at Tokyo Disney Resort. About 150 staff will be sent to Disney Resort for two days some time this month. Source: Sponichi 1/3/2015

Orix Buffaloes

  • Eiichi Koyano is open to playing second and the outfield. Source: Sponichi 1/3/2015

Chiba Lotte Marines

Seibu Lions

  • Daichi Mizuguchi was listed at 171 centimeters when he was in high school. That was later changed to 168 centimeters when he started playing Independent League baseball in 2008. He was then selected by Seibu during the 2012 Ikusei Draft and was listed at 165. His listing this year will be 163. Source: Sports Hochi 1/3/2015

[1/2/2015] Softbank Hawks, Orix Buffaloes, Nippon Ham Fighters, Chiba Lotte Marines, Seibu Lions

by on Jan.02, 2015 @ 11:57 pm, under NPB
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Softbank Hawks

  • Senryokugai Shota Miura (25) is planning to finish the teaching license program he started while enrolled at Iwate University before he was drafted by Softbank. His goal is to become a physical education teacher at a public junior high school in Iwate. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/1/2015

Orix Buffaloes

  • Yoshihisa Hirano on free agency and the Majors: "I had no plans to exercise my [domestic] option. I felt winning a championship with this team was important. It wouldn't be easy going overseas. I'm not sure if I can adjust to the MLB baseball. I can't imagine going to the United States, it was never a dream. The level of play in the Majors is high, but I think Japanese baseball has more subtleties. I want to do well in Japan and help bring excitement to the game. Last year, I worked hard and was able to bring some excitement to Kansai. I'm sure we can bring more excitement to Kansai if we win a championship for the first time in nineteen years. I want this team to become as popular as Hanshin." Source: Sanspo 1/1/2015

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • Shohei Otani on his dreams of playing in the Majors: "It was where I wanted to go in the beginning. I was impressed when I played in the Nichibei series and it made me want to compete at that level. This isn't about going or not going, but rather about wanting to become a player at that level, wanting to become a player that can compete at that level." ... Otani on when he would like to go: "In terms of my skills, I still have a long way to go before I hit my stride, but I'd like to go when I'm peaking physically. I want to leave my mark with Nippon Ham as well. Winning a championship and becoming the type of player I want to be, it means nothing if I can't accomplish these things first. I would like to go when I am physically ready to take on the challenge." ... Otani on giving kids the dream of playing in the Majors: "It would obviously make me happy if I could influence kids, but I'm not really about telling them not to give up on their dreams or giving them something to strive for. I just love baseball, that's why I play. It would make me happy if they thought I was cool because I worked hard and made it to the Majors. But I don't want to force something out of them. I work hard for myself and if people around me want to watch, that's fine." Source: Nikkan Sports 1/1/2015 ... Otani on velocity: "I'm not really thinking about velocity right now, but during the 2013 off-season, when I trained and worked on my mechanics to help my overall game, I felt an increase in my average velocity. It was the opposite when I was in high school, I wanted to hit 160km/h and did the necessary training for that. Now, I feel I can just train without focusing on [velocity] and it will improve on its own." ... Otani on when he thinks he will hit his physical peak: "I think physically, around twenty-six or twenty-seven. But throw in skill and I think it's more like twenty-seven to thirty." Source: Sponichi 1/2/2015, Sponichi 1/2/2015

Chiba Lotte Marines

Seibu Lions

  • Takumi Kuriyama spent about two-and-a-half hours hitting 1,000 baseballs on New Years Day on Thursday. He told fans about it during a talk event on Friday and said he was going for "quantity over quality." Source: Sanspo 1/2/2015
  • First round draft pick Kona Takahashi could make his debut during an exhibition game at Seibu Prince Dome in March. Source: Daily Sports 1/1/2015
  • Norio Tanabe finalized a one-year contract worth an estimated fifty million yen on Wednesday. Tanabe's contract as a hitting coach last season was worth an estimated sixteen million yen. Source: Sanspo 1/1/2015

[12/27/2014] Rakuten Eagles, Chiba Lotte Marines, Nippon Ham Fighters

by on Dec.28, 2014 @ 3:00 am, under NPB
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Rakuten Eagles

  • The Eagles are planning to assign mentors to their 2014 draft class. Mentors will be selected from development staff. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/27/2014

Chiba Lotte Marines

  • Team president Shinya Yamamuro is thinking about scheduling mini fan appreciation days once a month next season, beginning in April, to help improve attendance. Renovations at QVC Marine will include a new digital audio facility, 100 video monitors for the concourse area, and improving the general environment with new decorations. Changes should be complete by opening day. Source: Daily Sports 12/27/2014, Sports Hochi 12/27/2014, Sanspo 12/27/2014

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • Hideki Kuriyama does not want everyone to think that Shohei Otani will be the opening day start next year because anything can happen until then. He wants to make a decision after he has had a chance to see him pitch during spring camp. Source: Daily Sports 12/27/2014

[12/26/2014] Seibu Lions, Chiba Lotte Marines, Orix Buffaloes, Nippon Ham Fighters

by on Dec.27, 2014 @ 3:49 am, under NPB
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Seibu Lions

  • Tomomi Takahashi (26) filed marriage papers with a twenty-three-year-old woman living in Nagoya on the 17th. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/26/2014

Chiba Lotte Marines

  • Team president Shinya Yamamuro told reporters about plans for renovating some of the facilities at QVC Marine Field to help improve attendance. Total construction could cost about 500 million yen. Source: Sponichi 12/26/2014

Orix Buffaloes

  • Hiroshi Moriwaki is planning to assign Chihiro Kaneko (right elbow) to Ichi-gun spring camp next year because it will be easier to keep track of his progress and because he feels it will be his best option -- it might be warmer at Ni-gun camp, but the facilities at Ichi-gun camp will be better. Source: Sports Hochi 12/26/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/26/2014, Sanpso 12/26/2014 ... Moriwaki wants Kaneko at Ichi-gun spring camp because he is considered one of the team's central players. Source: Daily Sports 12/26/2014
  • Kaneko is thinking about training in the United States in January. Los Angeles is a possibility. His main focus will be rehabbing his right elbow and conditioning. Source: Sponichi 12/26/2014

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • Shohei Otani has included swimming as part of his off-season routine because it provides a total body workout without placing too much strain on the body. Source: Daily Sports 12/26/2014
  • Hideo Nomo's son, Takahiro (22), will be an interpreter for the Fighters next year. An announcement will be made in January. Source: Chunichi Sports 12/26/2014