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[1/30/2016] Yakult Swallows, Hanshin Tigers, Yomiuri Giants, Hiroshima Carp, Chunichi Dragons, Yokohama Bay Stars

by on Jan.31, 2016 @ 7:18 am, under NPB
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Yakult Swallows

Hanshin Tigers

Yomiuri Giants

  • General manager Tatsuyoshi Tsutsumi told reporters on January 30 that Shinnosuke Abe will be registered as a catcher this season. He was registered as an infielder last year. Source: Daily Sports 1/30/2016 ... Abe spent some time in the bullpen on January 29. He caught Hayato Takagi, Tetsuya Yamaguchi, and Ryosuke Miyaguni (seventy-five pitches in all). Source: Sanspo 1/30/2016, Nikkan Sports 1/30/2016
  • Players were given a lecture on muscle strain prevention -- Ni-gun players on January 29 and Ichi-gun players on January 30. Source: Daily Sports 1/30/2016, Sanspo 1/30/2016

Hiroshima Carp

  • The Carp held a press conference for Jay Jackson, Jason Pridie, and Bradin Hagens on January 29. Source: official announcement
  • Former Carp Kenta Maeda ended his workouts in Hiroshima on January 30.

Chunichi Dragons

  • Ricardo Nanita dropped twelve kilograms since last year. Nanita weighed 93.6 kilograms at the start of spring camp last year. He gained over six kilograms after he had surgery on his left elbow in August. He is now at eighty-eight kilograms. His fat dropped from twenty-one percent to 10.5 percent. Source: Sports Hochi 1/30/2016

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • Rookie training camp ended on January 30. Source: Daily Sports 1/30/2016
  • First round draft pick Shota Imanaga and second round draft pick Kento Kumabara will most likely get to pitch in an intra-squad game on February 11. Source: Sponichi 1/30/2016

[1/28/2016] Yakult Swallows, Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Hiroshima Carp, Chunichi Dragons, Yokohama Bay Stars

by on Jan.29, 2016 @ 5:56 am, under NPB
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Yakult Swallows

  • Kyle Davies arrived in Japan on January 28. Source: Sponichi 1/28/2016
  • Wladmir Balentien arrived in Japan on January 28. Balentien started a fund (CB4 - Coco Balentien uniform number 4) during the off-season to help promote baseball in Curaçao. Source: Daily Sports 1/28/2016

Yomiuri Giants

  • Scott Mathieson and Leslie Anderson arrived in Japan on January 27. They were on the same flight. Source: Sponichi 1/28/2016 ... Miles Mikolas also arrived in Japan on January 27. Source: Sponichi 1/28/2016 ... Mathieson is open to ending his career in a Yomiuri uniform. Source: Daily Sports 1/28/2016
  • The Giants held a press conference for Garrett Jones and Luis Cruz on January 28. Source: official announcement

Hanshin Tigers

  • The Tigers held a press conference for Marcos Mateo and Rafael Dolis on January 28. Source: official announcement
  • There may be some concerns within the organization about Matt Hague's propensity to tweet. The Tigers understand Twitter can be a powerful marketing/public relations tool if used properly, but they are worried about the potential fallout from a bad/errant tweet. Source: ZakZak 1/28/2016, Tokyo Sports 1/28/2016
  • Shintaro Fujinami managed to push his weight up to 96.5 kilograms (up 4.5 kilograms). Source: Sports Hochi 1/28/2016, Daily Sports 1/28/2016
  • Shinobu Fukuhara's wife gave birth to the couple's fourth child, a boy weighing 3,192 grams, at a hospital in Hyogo on January 27. Source: Daily Sports 1/28/2016

Hiroshima Carp

Chunichi Dragons

  • Anderson Hernandez arrived in Japan on January 28. Source: Tokyo Sports 1/28/2016
  • The Dragons held a press conference for Juan Jaime, Jordan Norberto, and Dayan Viciedo on January 28. Source: official announcement
  • Kazuki Yoshimi has already tossed four bullpen sessions. He is planning to pace himself a little more since he is coming off right elbow surgery (October 2015). Source: Sponichi 1/28/2016

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • Yoslan Herrera arrived in Japan on January 28. Source: Sponichi 1/28/2016
  • The Bay Stars held a press conference for Jamie Romak and Zach Petrick on January 28. Romak was assigned the uniform number 52, Petrick the number 67. Source: official announcement (Romak), official announcement (Petrick), official announcement (uniform numbers)
  • Noriharu Yamazaki added ten kilograms during the off-season without increasing fat. He now weighs eighty-six kilograms. Source: Daily Sports 1/28/2016
  • The Bay Stars will be making a couple of minor changes at Yokohama Stadium, as a part of their Community Ballpark project. 1) More seats will be converted to blue: a total 6,035 seats (2,654 seats in right, and 3,381 infield reserved seats on the third base side). Additional seats will be converted in stages at a later date. 2) The infield seat section on the first base side will be renamed to Bay Side and the section on the third base side will be renamed to Star Side. The organization is trying to get rid of the first base side for home team fans and third base side of visiting team fans split. 3) A Bay Stars section will be created on the third base side. Source: official announcement

[1/27/2016] Yakult Swallows, Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Hiroshima Carp, Chunichi Dragons, Yokohama Bay Stars

by on Jan.28, 2016 @ 12:59 am, under NPB
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Yakult Swallows

Yomiuri Giants

Hanshin Tigers

  • Matt Hague and his wife arrived in Japan on January 26. Source: Daily Sports 1/26/2016 ... The Tigers held a press conference for Hague at their offices in Nishinomiya on January 27. Source: Daily Sports 1/27/2016
  • Nelson Perez arrived in Japan on January 26. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/27/2016
  • Mauro Gomez, Marcos Mateo, and Rafael Dolis are slated to arrive in Japan on the same flight. Source: Sanspo 1/26/2016 ... The three arrived in Japan on January 27. Source: Daily Sports 1/27/2016
  • Takashi Toritani used bats that were 910 to 920 grams at 33.5 and 34 inches last season. He will be using a lighter bat this year: 890 to 895 grams at 34 inches. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/26/2016
  • ZETT has prepared two differently colored gloves for Shintaro Fujinami (by request): a dark purple and a reddish-brown. Fujinami used a black and reddish-brown glove in his first year, a black in his second year, and a navy glove last year. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/27/2016, Sponichi 1/27/2016
  • MBS TV is planning to broadcast footage from spring camp on a daily basis. Source: Sponichi 1/27/2016

Hiroshima Carp

Chunichi Dragons

Yokohama Bay Stars

[1/25/2016] Yakult Swallows, Hanshin Tigers, Hiroshima Carp, Chunichi Dragons, Yokohama Bay Stars

by on Jan.26, 2016 @ 8:37 am, under NPB
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Yakult Swallows

Hanshin Tigers

  • Ryota Arai was able to leg press 616 kilograms (405 kilograms in weights, fifty kilograms in equipment, and two staff members weighing a total 161 kilograms) for fourteeen reps on January 23. His previous high was somewhere between 400 and 500 kilograms. He has so far added eight kilograms this off-season (from ninety-three last to season to 101 kilgorams). Source: Nikkan Sports 1/24/2016, Daily Sports 1/24/2016
  • Sixth round draft pick Yutaro Itayama vision was 0.6 when he played college ball. He recently got contact lenses that improved his sight to 1.5. (1.0 = 20/20 vision) Source: Sanspo 1/24/2016

Hiroshima Carp

  • Shota Dobayashi is trying a heavier and longer bat: from 880 grams to 930 grams and 34 inches to 34.5 inches. It is the same model bat used by Takahiro Arai. Source: Daily Sports 1/25/2016, Sponichi 1/25/2016

Chunichi Dragons

  • Drew Naylor arrived in Japan on January 24. He has already tossed three bullpen sessions. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/24/2016 ... Naylor worked out five days a week during the off-season. He spent the first month working with weights, then focused on running. He dropped two kilograms (currently weighs 108) and also lowered his body fat. Source: Tokyo Sports 1/24/2016
  • Dayan Viciedo arrived in Japan on January 24. Source: Sports Hochi 1/24/2016

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • Alex Ramirez is not necessarily looking for a smart catcher that can hit. What he wants, at the very least, is a catcher that has good hands, can make the plays at home plate, and has a strong arm to gun out runners at second. The catcher does not have to worry about anything else, since the dugout will be making all the decisions. Source: Sponichi 1/24/2016

[1/23/2016] Yakult Swallows, Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Hiroshima Carp, Yokohama Bay Stars

by on Jan.24, 2016 @ 3:28 am, under NPB
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Yakult Swallows

Yomiuri Giants

  • Second round draft pick Shinnosuke Shigenobu is planning to pack both an outfielder's glove and infielder's glove for spring camp. He will also have two bats: a practice-swing bat that weighs 600 grams and game-use bat that weighs 890 grams. Source: Sponichi 1/22/2016
  • Takayuki Terauchi's wife gave birth to the couple's first child, a boy, at a Tokyo hospital on January 7. Source: Sanspo 1/23/2016
  • Tokyo Dome will undergo renovations over the next three years. The changes and improvements will cost about five billion yen. Renovations: new luxury leather seats behind home plate (January-March 2016); improved infield seats (first floor January-March 2016 and second floor January-March 2017); LED lighting for the arena area (outfield March 2016 and infield March 2017); improved speaker system (outfield March 2016 and infield March 2017); improved toilet seats (March 2016); upgrades to the surrounding areas (February 2016 - January 2019). Source: official announcement (PDF)

Hanshin Tigers

  • Ichi-gun coaches will be evaluating players from the first day of spring camp. Players that appear under prepared will be re-assigned to Kochi camp. Tomoaki Kanemoto expects every player to be fully prepared for spring camp. Source: Daily Sports 1/23/2016
  • Yamato is only thinking about second base. He plans to leave his outfielder's glove at home during spring camp. He also made changes to his bat: 84.5 centimeters (0.5 centimeters shorter) at 870 grams (twenty grams lighter). Source: Daily Sports 1/22/2016

Hiroshima Carp

  • Ryuji Ichioka started working on a curveball three years ago and a change-up two years ago. The two pitches could be ready for use this season. Source: Daily Sports 1/23/2016

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • Takayuki Kajitani pushed his weight up to 88.5 kilograms. He is aiming to make spring camp at either 89 or 89.5 kilograms. He squatted 160 kilograms for eleven reps in front of reporters on January 22. Source: Daily Sports 1/22/2016, Daily Sports 1/22/2016 ... Kajitani's weight dropped to as low as seventy-eight kilograms last summer. Source: Daily Sports 1/23/2016
  • The media learned on January 22 that Shoichi Ino (29) married a twenty-six-year-old woman living in Kawasaki. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/23/2016

[1/21/2016] Yakult Swallows, Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Hiroshima Carp, Chunichi Dragons, Yokohama Bay Stars

by on Jan.22, 2016 @ 4:33 am, under NPB
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Yakult Swallows

  • Mitsuru Manaka is hoping he can give first round draft pick Juri Hara a spot in the opening day starting rotation. Source: Daily Sports 1/19/2016
  • The Swallows decided to assign Wladimir Balentien to Ichi-gun spring camp after seeing footage of his workouts. Source: Sponichi 1/21/2016

Yomiuri Giants

  • Shinnosuke Abe has so far dropped his weight from 103.8 to ninety-seven kilograms. He is fifteen percent ready for the season. He would like to be at fifty percent at the start of spring camp, sixty to seventy percent at the start of Okinawa camp, and eighty to ninety percent at the start of the season. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/21/2016
  • Abner Abreu worked out at Giants Stadium for the first time on January 20. Source: Daily Sports 1/20/2016
  • Garrett Jones registered name will be Garrett. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/20/2016

Hanshin Tigers

  • The Ni-gun Tigers are scheduled to play eleven Western League home games at Koshien Stadium this season (up from last year's nine). Source: Sanspo 1/20/2016
  • Hiroya Shimamoto gained four kilograms and is currently seventy-six kilograms. Source: Sanspo 1/21/2016
  • The Tigers are planning to give Matt Hague a look at third early on during spring camp. Head coach Nobuhiro Takashiro is concerned about Hague's abilities at third, since he has spent more time at first. Left field could also be an option. Source: Sponichi 1/20/2016, Daily Sports 1/20/2016

Hiroshima Carp

  • Team officials and staff visited Gokoku Shrine in Hiroshima on January 21 to pray for a successful season. Source: Daily Sports 1/21/2016
  • First round draft pick Akitake Okada could make his "debut" during an exhibition game against Yakult on February 20. Source: Daily Sports 1/19/2016 ... The 2015 draft class visited the Hiroshima Oral Health Center for tests on January 19. Source: Sponichi 1/20/2016

Chunichi Dragons

  • First round draft pick Shinnosuke Ogasawara could pitch in a practice game against the Yomiuri Giants on February 24. Source: Daily Sports 1/21/2016 ... Ogasawara has final exams between January 26 and 28. Source: Sponichi 1/21/2016
  • Hitoki Iwase has been making adjustments to his delivery since last fall. He is also trying to pick up a new pitch with downward movement. Source: Sponichi 1/19/2016
  • Kyohei Kamezawa (27) filed marriage papers with a twenty-seven-year-old woman earlier this month. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/18/2016

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • Yoshitomo Tsutsugo is the first non-pitcher drafted out of high school in franchise history to reach 100 million yen within his first seven seasons in the NPB. The previous record of eight was set by Takanori Suzuki in 1998. Source: Sponichi 1/20/2016
  • Jose Lopez provided the Bay Stars with footage from his workouts. He is expected to arrive in Japan some time next week. Source: Sanspo 1/18/2016
  • Alex Ramirez would like to see the coaching staff checking players at all levels in the organization on a regular basis, not just players within their own levels -- Ichi-gun coaches should have opportunities to see Ni-gun players and Ni-gun coaches should have opportunities to see Ichi-gun players. Source: Daily Sports 1/19/2016

[1/18/2016] Hanshin Tigers reach agreement with Rafael Dolis

by on Jan.18, 2016 @ 7:31 pm, under NPB
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The Hanshin Tigers announced today that they reached an agreement with twenty-eight-year-old pitcher Rafael Dolis. According to reports by the media, the two sides agreed to a one-year deal worth an estimated fifty million yen. He was assigned the uniform number 98.

Source: official announcement, Daily Sports 1/18/2016

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[1/17/2016] Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Hiroshima Carp, Chunichi Dragons

by on Jan.18, 2016 @ 3:24 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

Hanshin Tigers

Hiroshima Carp

  • Hiroki Kuroda is scheduled to join the team during the last block of Nichinan camp that begins on February 16. It will be the first time Kuroda will be in Nichinan for spring camp since 2007. He did not join the team until Okinawa camp on February 20 last year. Source: Daily Sports 1/17/2016, Nikkan Sports 1/17/2016 ... Kuroda is set to arrive in Miyazaki on Janaury 15 and participate in the last block of Nichinan camp (February 16-18). He arrived in Okinawa on February 17 last year and joined the team on February 18. Source: Sponichi 1/17/2016

Chunichi Dragons

  • The Dragons are expected to assign twenty-two to twenty-three pitchers to Ichi-gun spring camp. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/17/2016
  • If first round draft pick Shinnosuke Ogasawara is assigned to Ichi-gun spring camp, he will be the first first round draft pick out of high school in franchise history to be assigned to Ichi-gun spring camp since Hiroshi Hirata in 1994. Source: Sanspo 1/17/2016

[1/16/2016] Yakult Swallows, Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Hiroshima Carp, Chunichi Dragons

by on Jan.17, 2016 @ 2:54 am, under NPB
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Yakult Swallows

  • Mitsuru Manaka is hoping Wladimir Balentien is healthy enough not to miss any games this season. Source: Daily Sports 1/16/2016 ... Manaka would also like to see Balentien hit thirty home runs (something that should not be a problem if he is healthy) and show more consistent hustle while playing defense and running the bases. Source: Sports Hochi 1/16/2016, Nikkan Sports 1/16/2016

Yomiuri Giants

  • The 2015 draft class took a course on mental training on January 16. Source: Daily Sports 1/16/2016
  • Yoshinobu Takahashi is planning to introduce a virtual pitching machine during spring camp that includes Shintaro Fujinami, Hiroki Kuroda, Kris Johnson, and Yudai Ono. Source: Daily Sports 1/16/2016 ... Takahashi believes the team can win more games if the offense can bat .260 or better and do a better job executing sac bunts. The improved hitting could then lead to roughly four runs a game. Over the last two years, the team has won about eighty percent of the games where the offense scored four or more runs. Takahashi believes there is room for improvement in the late-inning relief corp: Scott Mathieson (eight losses), Tetsuya Yamaguchi (five losses), and Hirokazu Sawamura (three losses) combined for sixteen losses last season. He would also like to see Tomoyuki Sugano find success against the Yakult Swallows before it becomes a bigger problem than it should be. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/16/2016, Sponichi 1/16/2016, Sponichi 1/16/2016
  • Murata has so far managed to lose about five kilograms during the off-season. He now weighs ninety-five kilograms. He is hoping to make it to spring camp at ninety-three. Source: Sanspo 1/16/2016
  • The Giants set early curfews during fall camp last year after three of its players were caught gambling on baseball. They have decided to ease up a little during spring camp: on normal days with practices, curfew will be 10:30pm instead of 10:00pm and on days before off-days. curfew will be 1:00am instead of 12:00am. The ban on golf, pachinko, and mahjong will also be lifted. Source: Sponichi 1/16/2016, Sanspo 1/16/2016

Hanshin Tigers

  • The Tigers could play their first intra-squad game of the year on either February 6 or 7. Younger players are expected to have a number of opportunities to show how much they improved this winter during the first-half of spring camp. Tomoaki Kanemoto has already told reporters that he plans to promote and demote players between Ichi-gun and Ni-gun camps as needed. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/16/2016
  • Taiga Egoshi will be switching the color of his glove and batting gloves from red/brown to black. Source: Daily Sports 1/16/2016

Hiroshima Carp

  • First round draft pick Akitake Okada decided to go gluten-fee after reading a book on Novak Djokovic's diet. Source: Sports Hochi 1/16/2016

Chunichi Dragons

  • The Dragons visited Naritasan Nagoya Betsuin Daishoji Temple in Inuyama, Aichi on Janaury 16 to pray for a successful season. Source: Sponichi 1/16/2016
  • First round draft pick Shinnosuke Ogasawara will most likely be assigned to Ichi-gun spring camp. Source: Sponichi 1/16/2016 ... Second round draft pick Yu Sato and fourth round draft pick Hiroto Fuku will also most likely be assigned to Ichi-gun spring camp. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/16/2016
  • Ichi-gun pitching coach Shinichi Kondo had surgery to treat a herniated disc in his lower back and is expected to miss some time. Either Ni-gun pitching coach Akinori Otsuka or Ni-gun pitching coach Takashi Ogasawara will be reassigned to Ichi-gun pitching coach. The Dragons announced on January 16 that they added Kenta Asakura to their staff as Ni-gun pitching coach. Asakura will retain his other title as a team operations supervisor. Source: Sports Hochi 1/16/2016, Nikkan Sports 1/16/2016

[1/15/2016] Yakult Swallows, Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Hiroshima Carp, Chunichi Dragons, Yokohama Bay Stars

by on Jan.16, 2016 @ 2:47 am, under NPB
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Yakult Swallows

  • Fifth round draft pick Kotaro Yamasaki ran thirty meters in 3.94 seconds on January 14. He was the only member of the 2015 draft class to finish with a time under four seconds. Source: Daily Sports 1/15/2016 ... Third round draft pick Keiji Takahashi finished in second with a time of 4.02 seconds. First round draft pick Juri Hara's time was 4.35 seconds. Source: Sanspo 1/15/2016

Yomiuri Giants

  • Yoshinobu Takahashi is thinking about letting veteran players train at their own pace during spring camp. Source: Sponichi 1/15/2016
  • First round draft pick Toshiki Sakurai might be ready to toss a bullpen session on the first day of spring camp. Source: Sponichi 1/14/2016 ... The Giants are currently planning to assign Sakurai, second round draft pick Shinnosuke Shigenobu, and seventh round draft pick Kota Nakagawa to Ichi-gun spring camp. Source: Sponichi 1/14/2016 ... Players participated in a Yo-Yo Intermittent Test on January 14. Seventh round draft pick Kota Nakagawa finished in first with ninety-eight. Shigenobu finished in second with ninety-seven and Sakurai in eighth with seventy-seven. Source: Daily Sports 1/14/2016
  • Hideki Matsui will be a roving special instructor during spring camp (Ichi-gun, Ni-gun, and San-gun). Source: Sponichi 1/14/2016, Daily Sports 1/14/2016

Hanshin Tigers

  • Second round draft pick Seishiro Sakamoto's graduation thesis was on Jackie Robinson. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/15/2016

Hiroshima Carp

  • General workouts began at the Ono training facilities on January 15. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/15/2016
  • Pitching coach Tatsumi Une feels first round draft pick Akitake Okada can be effective is either a starter or reliever. With Daichi Osera heading back to the starting rotation this year, Okada could find a spot in the bullpen. Une is planning to use him as a starter at first, but could try him in the bullpen if the rotation is full or the bullpen needs arms. Source: Daily Sports 1/15/2016, Nikkan Sports 1/15/2016
  • Yoshihiro Maru is making adjustments to his stance, like setting his hands at a higher position and using a higher leg kick. He is using more of a downward stroke, instead of an upward stroke. Source: Daily Sports 1/14/2016

Chunichi Dragons

  • General workouts at Nagoya Stadium will take place between January 15 and 25. Source: Daily Sports 1/15/2016 ... Players ran five kilometers on January 15. Kodai Ishigaki finished in first. Source: Sanspo 1/16/2016
  • First round draft pick Shinnosuke Ogasawara decided to switch gloves after turning pro. He used to use a Tomoyuki Sugano model glove and is now using a modified Takashi Saito glove (special ordered to be about ten millimeters smaller). Source: Sanspo 1/15/2016

Yokohama Bay Stars