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Yomiuri Giants: March 14, 2012

by on Mar.14, 2012 @ 11:59 pm, under NPB
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Bullpen Sessions / Batting Practice

Wednesday

  • Shun Tono threw fifty-one pitches in the bullpen. (Nikkan Sports)
  • Yuya Kubo threw sixty-one pitches in the bullpen. (Nikkan Sports)

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The Giants decided to demote Daisuke Fujimura and Tetsuya Matsumoto due to their struggles at the plate.

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Yuya Kubo tossed a bullpen session at Giants Stadium today and could pitch in a Challenge Match game on March 20.

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Shun Tono tossed a bullpen session today for the first time since he felt some tightness in his right shoulder during his last start against the Hiroshima Carp on March 6.  Tono told reporters he felt a little tightness after the session, but no pain.

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Yoshihito Ishii is currently working his way back from lower back pains at Ni-gun.  He kept his workouts light at Giants Stadium today and told reporters that he was feeling much better and a little more rested.

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Scott Mathieson worked out for about two hours at Giants Stadium today (running, bullpen).  Mathieson will most likely 

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D.J. Houlton's next start will likely be against the Seibu Lions at Seibu Dome on March 17.

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The Giants would ideally like to go with a five-man rotation pitching on five days of rest up until the start of Inter-league play instead of a six-man rotation pitching on six days of rest.  In other words, have their best pitchers start as many games as possible to put their team as many games above 500 as possible before the start of Inter-league play.

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Yomiuri Giants: March 13, 2012

by on Mar.13, 2012 @ 11:59 pm, under NPB
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Bullpen Sessions / Batting Practice

Monday

  • Ryosuke Miyaguni threw 129 pitches in the bullpen.  This is the most he has thrown in a bullpen session since turning pro. (Sanspo, Nikkan Sports)

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Veteran players took part in extra batting practice at Kyocera Dome before tonight's game the Orix Buffaloes.

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D.J. Houlton tossed some live batting practice today and appears to be closer to being ready to pitch again after taking a batted ball off his right hand during an exhibition game against the Seibu Lions on March 4.

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Shun Tono was scratched for an exhibition game start against Chunichi on March 15.  Ryosuke Miyaguni was supposed to start a Kyoiku League game against Seibu today but will instead take Tono's start on the the 15th.  The Giants will test Miyaguni's stamina by having his toss about eighty pitches.  Depending on how the start goes, he could win himself a chance to pitch in the season opener against the Yakult Swallows (at Tokyo Dome).

Scott Mathieson is also a candidate for the starting rotation.

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Tono told reporters that he was not too concerned about the tightness in his right shoulder and that he was going to be ready for the start of the season.  He worked out at Giants Stadium with Tetsuya Utsumi, Toshiya Sugiuchi, and Hirokazu Sawamura on Monday.

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Shuichi Murata and Kazunari Sanematsu watched some sumo on Monday.

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The Giants will be hosting Mosugu Orange Day Nighter on April 12.

What is Orange Day?  Ehime Prefecture is trying to set up a new day like Valentine's Day where people give each other something orange.

====== UPDATE 3/14 @ 12:47am

Hirokazu Sawamura is apparently having a hard time adjusting to his bigger frame -- he added seven kilograms during the off-season.

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Yomiuri Giants: March 8, 2012

by on Mar.08, 2012 @ 11:49 pm, under NPB
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The Giants announced today that they will have two Ni-gun coaches in training from Korea:

  • Jae-Hyun Kim - batting coach, uniform number 111
  • Oh-Won Kwon - training coach, uniform number 112
The two coaches are scheduled to join the team on Friday.

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D.J. Houlton worked out at Giants Stadium today.  He did not pitch but did tell reporters he was feeling better with each day that passed and that he almost forgot he had a contusion on his right hand while practicing bunts.

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Ryosuke Miyaguni's next outing will most likely be against the Seibu Lions on March 13 (Kyoiku League @ Giants Stadium, seventy to eighty pitches).

Miyaguni worked out (running, fielding practice) for about two hours today at Giants Stadium.

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Yomiuri Giants: March 7, 2012

by on Mar.07, 2012 @ 11:50 pm, under NPB
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Bullpen Sessions / Batting Practice

Wednesday

  • Scott Mathieson threw seventy pitches in the bullpen.  He also worked on pitching out of the set position. (Nikkan Sports)

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The Giants sent Satoshi Fukuda down to Ni-gun because of lower back pains and called up 4th round draft pick Kyosuke Takagi to take his place.

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D.J. Houlton started playing catch today for the first time since he took a batted ball off the back of his right hand during a game on March 4.

"I did not feel any discomfort will playing catch or running.  I may be able to toss a bullpen session depending on how I am feeling tomorrow," said Houlton.

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Shigeyuki Furuki had a laundry mix-up and was wearing Satoshi Fukuda's uniform when he was called up to pinch-hit for Daisuke Fujimura in the 9th inning of Tuesday's game against the Hiroshima Carp.

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Yomiuri Giants: March 4, 2012

by on Mar.04, 2012 @ 11:52 pm, under NPB
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D.J. Houlton was hit on the right hand by a come-backer to the mound in the 3rd inning of today's game against the Hiroshima Carp.  He was taken to the hospital for an examination and was diagnosed with a contusion on the back of his right hand.  There was no damage to the bones.

The injury does not appear to be serious but he will most likely skip his next outing.

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Scott Mathieson started a Kyoiku League game against the Rakuten Eagles today and did not allow a run or a hit over three innings of work.  He did walk two, hit one, and strikeout one.  His also topped out at 150km/h.

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The 2011 draft class greeted fans at the entrance gates at Tokyo Dome before today's game.

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The Giants announced today that AKB48 will sing the National Anthem on Opening Day.

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According to Sanspo, Tetsuya Utsumi will be the opening day starter; Toshiya Sugiuchi will start the second game of the season.

Nikkan Sports and Sponichi also point to Utsumi as the opening day starter, but make no mention of Sugiuchi as being the number two starter.

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Sugiuchi became the first Giants' pitcher to take the mound at Tokyo Dome while wearing the number eighteen since Masumi Kuwata on April 13, 2006.

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Yomiuri Giants: January 31, 2012

by on Jan.31, 2012 @ 11:46 pm, under NPB
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The coaches and remaining players working out at Giants Stadium arrived at Miyazaki Airport today and attended a welcoming ceremony.  Players and staff later visited Miyazaki Jingu and prayed for a successful season.  At night, the entire team convened for a general meeting.

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D.J. Houlton gave himself a clean shave before heading to Miyazaki today.  The team also held a press conference for Houlton at the team hotel in Miyazaki.

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Shuichi Murata plans take BP without wearing batting gloves whenever he can, especially during soft-toss, so that he can get a better feel for hitting the ball.  Tatsunori Hara is also a strong proponent of taking BP without batting gloves.

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While Yoshinobu Takahashi did not visit Miyazaki Jingu with the rest of the team today because of his cold, he did attend the general meeting later in the day.  He should be ok for the start of spring camp tomorrow.

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In order to help break the ice, both Toshiya Sugiuchi and Murata suggested that teammates call them by his first names.  More specifically, by their "nicknames": Toshi-nee (literally, brother Toshi) and Shu-san (shortened version of Shuichi).

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The media learned that sumo wrestler Hakuho is planning to visit the team some time during spring camp in Miyazaki.

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Nippon TV announced their schedule for Yomiuri games today:

Terrestrial: twenty-two games (sixteen day games and six night games) down from twenty-three games (fifteen day games and eight night games) last year.

BS NTV: sixty-one games

CS NTV G+: seventy-two games

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Yomiuri Giants: January 29, 2012

by on Jan.29, 2012 @ 8:19 pm, under NPB
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D.J. Houlton arrived at Narita Airport today and told reporters that he already tossed two bullpen sessions before coming to Japan.

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Actress Masami Nagasawa participated in workouts (warm-ups, fielding practice) with the Giants at Miyazaki Sports Park today as part of a story for Kaze to Rock (free newspaper).

The Urawa Red Diamonds (soccer), also holding workouts in Miyazaki Sports Park, spent some time watching BP and bullpen sessions today.

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The Giants attending early training camp in Miyazaki worked out indoors on Saturday due to the rain.

Yoshinobu Takahashi was excused from practice because he was not feeling well, but he did suit up for photos in the afternoon.  Takahashi was back at practices today.

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Hisayoshi Chono spent time in the cages on Saturday working on bunts.

Chono's workouts today started at around 10am and lasted about three and a half hours.

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Hirokazu Sawamura signed an advisory contract with Under Armor.

Sawamura threw a cutter during his bullpen session on Saturday.  The pitch apparently is not for use during games, just during practice sessions.

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Ni-gun manager Masahiro Kawai does not want players to wear sunglasses during Ni-gun spring camp.

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Bullpen sessions:

Sunday

Toshiya Sugiuchi threw 26 pitches (standing catchers).  That is three more than he threw on Saturday.

Saturday

Tetsuya Utsumi threw 44 pitches.

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Yomiuri Giants sign D.J. Houlton

by on Dec.16, 2011 @ 4:45 pm, under NPB
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The Yomiuri Giants announced today that they signed D.J. Houlton (32) and gave him the number 54.  So far no reports on the contract.

UPDATE @ 9:24pm - Nikkan Sports is reporting that Houlton signed a two-year deal worth an estimated US$5M (or around 375M yen).

UPDATE 12/17 @ 9:48am - Softbank Hawks official Itaru Kobayashi told reporters on Friday that during the past week, he was contacted by Houlton's agent and told they were not interested in returning to the negotiating table.

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Softbank Hawks: pitching will be a priority

by on Dec.01, 2011 @ 3:18 pm, under NPB
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The Softbank Hawks could end up losing three front-line starting pitchers this winter.  In response to this, team director Itaru Kobayashi told reporters on Wednesday that securing pitchers was a priority.

On Kazuyuki Hoashi: "He is a player from the area; he makes the starting rotation every season and consistently puts up good numbers.  We know he is a good pitcher."

On Toshiya Sugiuchi: "We felt we gave him our best offer, but it was not enough.  We will discuss internally what to do next."

The Hawks are rumored to have offered Sugiuchi a four-year deal worth 1.6B yen and a one-year deal worth 450M yen.

On D.J. Houlton: "We will continue to negotiate with him.  We have also agreed to meet one more time in December, after he has spoken to other teams. ... He will probably go to the team with the best offer."

The Hawks are rumored to have offered Houlton a 2-year deal worth a total of around 600M yen.

UPDATE 12/2 @ 12:46am - Kobayashi's comments regarding Hoashi on Thursday: "He is a player we want.  We will contact him as soon as possible.  He is the type of pitcher that can become a mainstay in the rotation."