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[2/14/2014] Yomiuri Giants News and Notes

by on Feb.15, 2014 @ 3:09 am, under NPB
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Quick Notes

  • The Giants drew 184,500 fans during Miyazaki camp this year, up about 40,000 over last year.  Source: Sanspo 2/14/2014
  • Hideki Matsui threw 1,024 batting practice pitches during his run as special spring camp instructor (he tossed batting practice in nine of the eleven days).  He also hit five over fence in twenty-two swings during batting practice on the 9th.  Source: Nikkan Sports 2/14/2014
  • Tatsunori Hara had dinner with Matsui on Thursday night (last day of Miyazaki camp).  Source: Sponichi 2/14/2014
  • The Ichi-gun team traveled to Okinawa on Friday.  Tetsuya Utsumi (batting ball off left shin), Toshiya Sugiuchi (discomfort in lower back), and Tetsuya Yamaguchi (general fatigue) are taking things a little slow.  Source: Nikkan Sports 2/14/2014
  • The Giants are scheduled to play seven games over their next eleven practice days.  Source: Nikkan Sports 2/14/2014
  • Shuichi Murata, Hirokazu IbataYasuyuki Kataoka, and Kan Otake visited the Peace Memorial Park in Itoman, Okinawa on Friday.  Source: Nikkan Sports 2/14/2014

[2/14/2014] Tsuyoshi Wada, Yoshinori Tateyama, Masahiro Tanaka

by on Feb.14, 2014 @ 3:57 pm, under MLB
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Tsuyoshi Wada will be late to camp because of delays in obtaining his visa.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/14/2014

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Yoshinori Tateyama is also apparently experiencing some delays with his visa and may not be able to make camp until the 16th (17th Japan time), at the earliest.

Source: Sponichi 2/14/2014

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Masahiro Tanaka tossed a bullpen session on the 13th: five to a standing catcher and twenty-three to a squatting catcher (including breaking pitches).  Pitching coach Larry Rothschild watched over the session; Francisco Cervelli caught the session.

Source: Daily Sports 2/14/2014Daily Sports 2/14/2014, Daily Sports 2/14/2014

Comments from Rothschild and Cervelli, via the New York Posts' Dan Martin:

... “He only threw 25 pitches,” Cervelli said. “We have to see the whole spring training.’’

... Asked what he thought of the splitter, Cervelli said: “It was good. Today was windy and a little chilly. … In spring training, we’re going to see more of Tanaka.”

... “The fastball comes out so well,” said Cervelli, who will be fighting for a backup job this spring. “His mechanics are so smooth.”

... “I think the adjustments are going to be made, it’s just a question of how long it takes,” Rothschild said. “I’m trying right now to moderate his schedule according to what he’s done in the past because he’s stayed healthy throughout his career.”

... “We’ve got plenty of time,” Rothschild said. “He’s got to get into games and into the season and [see] just how he reacts to the different schedule. It’s not an overnight thing. It’s a process.”

That process will include not only a new schedule, but a different sized ball and different mounds. As long as Tanaka continues to be open to making changes, Rothschild is confident he will be fine.

Source: New York Post 2/13/2014

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Former Softbank Hawk Yao-Hsun Yang has signed a minor league deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates that includes an invite to major league spring training.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2/13/2014 via Sponichi 2/14/2014

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Hideki Matsui will be a spring training instructor for the Yankees.  From the New York Post:

Hideki Matsui will join the Yankees as a spring-training instructor, The Post has learned. The beloved former player was scheduled to arrive in Tampa on Tuesday.

... The 39-year-old Matsui should be able to help newly signed Masahiro Tanaka in the transition from Japan to the Yankees. The two spoke briefly during the Yankees’ recruitment of Tanaka. Matsui is expected to remain with the Yankees until spring training games begin.

Source: New York Post 2/11/2014

[2/9/2014] Yomiuri Giants News and Notes

by on Feb.10, 2014 @ 4:34 am, under NPB
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Name Date Swings Notes
Leslie Anderson 2/8 14 Faced Tetsuya Yamaguchi; collected three could-be hits.  Sponichi 2/9/2014
Name Type Date NP Notes
Tetsuya Utsumi BP 2/9 44 Faced Kenji Yano and Masaki Sakaguchi.  Sanspo 2/9/2014
Nobutaka Imamura BP 2/8 45 Faced Yoshiyuki Kamei (22 pitches, 4 could-be hits) and Hayato Sakamoto (23 pitches, 2 could-be hits).  Daily Sports 2/9/2014
Toshiya Sugiuchi Bullpen 2/8 82 Sanspo 2/9/2014

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Hideki Matsui took batting practice in public on Sunday.  Shinnosuke Abe threw twenty-nine pitches; 1st round draft pick Seiji Kobayashi was the catcher.  Matsui took twenty-two swings and hit five over the fence (5th pitch/4th swing, 10th pitch/8th swing, 14th pitch/12th swing, 18th pitch/15th swing, 29th pitch/22nd swing).

Source: Sanspo 2/9/2014, Nikkan Sports 2/9/2014

Matsui threw 827 batting practice pitches over the first seven days of camp (excluding a day off).

Source: Sanspo 2/9/2014

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Tomoyuki Sugano canceled a bullpen session on the 8th because of tightness in his back.  It does not appear to be serious.

Sugano played catch on Sunday and told reporters he was fine.  He is hoping to either toss batting practice or pitch in an intra-squad game on the 13th.

Source: Sanspo 2/9/2014, Sponichi 2/9/2014, Sponichi 2/9/2014

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Nobutaka Imamura will be sent down to Ni-gun camp because of tightness in his left shoulder.  Ryota Katsuki will be called up to take Imamura's place.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/9/2014

[2/1/2014] Yomiuri Giants News and Notes

by on Feb.02, 2014 @ 3:00 am, under NPB
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Bullpen Sessions / Batting Practice

February 1

  • Toshiya Sugiuchi - forty-six pitches to squatting catcher
  • All pitchers tossed bullpen sessions

Source: Sponichi 2/1/2014

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The Giants visited Aoshima Shrine on Saturday morning before the start of spring camp.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/1/2014

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Hideki Matsui was at Ni-gun camp on Saturday morning and worked with players like Taishi Ota.  He moved to Ichi-gun camp in the afternoon and spent time watching players take batting practice.  He also tossed some indoor batting practice to Yoshiyuki Kamei.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/1/2014, Nikkan Sports 2/1/2014, Sponichi 2/1/2014

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Players gathered at the indoor training facilities in the evening on Saturday to work on their bunts.  Tatsunori Hara and Matsui were also in attendance.

Source: Sanspo 2/1/2014

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Ni-gun manager Kaoru Okazaki was not feeling well after practices on Saturday and was diagnosed with influenza A.  He will spend the next few days resting in his hotel room.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/1/2014

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General Pitching Coach Kazuhisa Kawaguchi told reporters on Friday that he will probably use younger pitchers (like Nobutaka Imamura, Shoki Kasahara, and Ikusei Mizuki Tsuchida) during an intra-squad game on the 11th and possibly regular pitchers (depending on their condition, and for one inning at a time) during an intra-squad game on February 13.  Ryosuke Miyaguni could pitch on the 13th.

Source: Daily Sports 2/1/2014, Sponichi 2/1/2014

[1/31/2014] Yomiuri Giants News and Notes

by on Feb.01, 2014 @ 2:52 am, under NPB
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Hideki Matsui arrived in Miyazaki with the other coaches on Friday.  He will be a special instructor during spring camp (February 1-13).

Matsui does not plan to wear a uniform, but is thinking about tossing some batting practice (if only to get some exercise in).

Source: Daily Sports 1/31/2014, Sponichi 1/31/2014

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The Ichi-gun group visited Miyazaki Shrine on Friday to pray for a successful season.

Source: Nikkan Sports 1/31/2014

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Fourteen of the sixteen pitchers that attended pre-spring camp training in Miyazaki tossed bullpen sessions on Thursday.  There are some that are concerned pitchers are pushing too hard and might get hurt before the season starts.  Shinnosuke Abe may also be a little worried that some pitchers, like Kan Otake, might be feeling pressured to push harder than they should.  He told reporters it was his job to tell pitchers to slow down if it seemed like they were rushing too much.

Source: Tokyo Sports 1/31/2014

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1st round draft pick Seiji Kobayashi caught Takahiro Aoki and Yuki Koyama in the bullpen on Thursday (about 100 pitches between the two pitchers).  Abe stood behind Kobayashi during the sessions to watch the two pitchers and to give the rookie some insight into the two arms.

Source: Daily Sports 1/31/2014Sanspo 1/31/2014

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Abe caught Tetsuya Yamaguchi in the bullpen on Thursday.  He checked on pitchers like Tetsuya UtsumiTomoyuki SuganoKan Otake, and Toshiya Sugiuchi by standing behind the catcher.  He also stood behind the mound to give a number of younger pitchers, like Seiji Tahara and Mizuki Tsuchida, whatever advice he could.

Source: Daily Sports 1/31/2014

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Tsuchida threw fifty-three pitches in the bullpen on Thursday.

Source: Sanspo 1/31/2014

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Scott Mathieson went hunting during the off-season and killed three wild pigs.  He made sausages and handed them out to family and friends.

Source: Sponichi 1/31/2014

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Players on the team have apparently given Yasuyuki Kataoka a list of places to go and places to avoid if he wants to stay away from the media.

Source: Tokyo Sports 1/31/2014

[1/6/2014] Shunsuke Watanabe, Ichiro Suzuki, Nyjer Morgan, Hideki Matsui

by on Jan.06, 2014 @ 3:22 pm, under MLB
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Shunsuke Watanabe worked out in Yokohama on Sunday.  He played catch using an MLB baseball and checked on his breaking pitches.  He told reporters that he is making changing to the spikes on his cleats (shorter and made of softer materials) to accommodate for the harder mounds in the Majors.

Source: Sponichi 1/6/2014

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The latest on Ichiro Suzuki, from Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal:

Don't be surprised if the Diamondbacks trade right-hander J.J. Putz following their addition of former White Sox closer Addison Reed. Putz is signed for $7 million in 2014, and the D-backs most likely would be required to accept a comparable salary in return.

Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, earning $6.5 million, could be one possibility, though it is not known whether Yankees ownership would part with Suzuki or how he would adjust to a backup role.

Source: Fox Sports 1/5/2014 via Sponichi 1/6/2014

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Former Yokohama Bay Star Nyjer Morgan is attracting some interest from MLB teams.  From ESPN's Jerry Crasnick:

... Jonathan Maurer, one of Morgan's new agents, said he's had a dialogue with 6-8 clubs that have expressed interest in signing the outfielder.

"Japan was a great experience for Nyjer and he would still enjoy playing there, but he's had a great deal of success in the States and would love to come back here as well,'' Maurer said. "We've had interest from teams who see him as a guy who could come in and spell a starter or possibly earn more playing time.''

Source: ESPN 1/4/2014 via Nikkan Sports 1/6/2014, Sponichi 1/6/2014

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Hideki Matsui replaces Alex Rodriguez in "Henry & Me" (animated film).  From the New York Daily News:

... Former Yankee and 2009 World Series MVP Hideki Matsui spent the week of New Year’s pinch-hitting on the silver screen for his ex-teammate, Alex Rodriguez, after A-Rod got left on the cutting room floor. We can only imagine Raul Ibanez had a prior committment [sic].

Flash back to Aug. 5, when Rodriguez was slapped with a 211-game ban in connection with the Biogenesis doping scandal. Rodriguez had already contributed to the animated film, “Henry & Me,” providing the voice for the animated version of himself. But the film’s producers, worried about the negative publicity surrounding Rodriguez, soon began to develop a plan B — which is where Matsui comes in.

Source: New York Daily News 1/4/2014 via Nikkan Sports 1/6/2014

[11/14/2013] Darvish second, Iwakuma third in Cy Young voting

by on Nov.14, 2013 @ 9:16 pm, under MLB
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The 2013 Cy Young Award went to the Detroit Tigers' Max Scherzer (203 points).  Yu Darvish finished in second (93 points), Hisashi Iwakuma third (73 points), and Koji Uehara seventh (10 points).

Source: MLB.com 11/13/2013

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Hideki Matsui has been invited by the NY Yankees to be a special instructor during spring training next year.  Matsui was invited this spring as well, but declined because his wife was due to deliver.

Source: Daily Sports 11/14/2013

[10/31/2013] Junichi Tazawa, Koji Uehara

by on Oct.31, 2013 @ 9:39 pm, under MLB
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From October 30:

Pitchers

Player Tm Last Gm Game NP-S BF IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Junichi Tazawa BOS 10/30 STL 1
BOS 6
2-1 1 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00
Entered the game in the top of the 7th with the bases loaded, two out, and Boston up 6-1. (H, 2). [MLB highlight]
Koji Uehara BOS 10/30 STL 1
BOS 6
13-10 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00
Entered the game in the top of the 9th with Boston up 6-1. [MLB highlight]

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The Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York presented Hideki Matsui with the Eagle on the World Award during their 29th Annual Dinner on the 30th.

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/31/2013

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Tabloids caught Yu Darvish (27) on a possible date with model Malia (30).

Darvish is currently living in an apartment complex that costs about 700,000 yen to rent.  Tabloids have reported in the past that golfer Miho Koga lives there as well.

At about 4:30pm on October 26, Darvish was seen leaving the apartment complex with Koga.  The two climbed into the back seat of a car driven by Darvish's brother Kenta.  Koga got off at Roppongi Hills and met with a friend at a kaiten sushi restaurent.  According to witnesses, she was their about an hour before returning home.

Darvish got off the car at a hotel a few hundred meters away from where Koga was dropped off.  Shortly after he walked into the hotel, a woman wearing a black mini skirt waved at Kenta in the car and headed toward the hotel.  About an hour later, Darvish and the woman emerged from the hotel and got into the car driven by Kenta.

The second woman was fashion model Malia.  She is half Indian and half Japanese.  She married soccer player Hayuma Tanaka in 2001 and divorced in 2004.  She re-married in 2004 (MMA fighter Norifumi Yamamoto) before once against divorcing in 2009.  She bore three children in the two marriages.

Source: ZakZak 10/31/2013

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[8/29/2013] Hiroki Kuroda, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Koji Uehara, Norichika Aoki

by on Aug.29, 2013 @ 3:48 pm, under MLB
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From August 28:

Hitters

Player Tm Last Gm Game Pos AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG Other
Norichika Aoki MIL 8/28 MIL 1
PIT 7
RF 4 0 1 0 1 0 1 .284 Batted lead-off. 1B7, G6, F9, BB, G4.
Munenori Kawasaki TOR 8/27 DNP                    
Hiroyuki Nakajima OAK 8/28 FRE 3
SRC 4
DH 2 0 0 1 1 1   .288 Batted second. BB, Ks, SF9 (RBI), L4.
Hirotoshi Onaka TEX 8/28 AZLTEX 5
AZLOAK 4
3B 5 1 2 0 0 1   .341 Batted lead-off. F7, 1B9, Kl, 1B1 (R), G6.
Ichiro Suzuki NYY 8/28 NYY 2
TOR 7
RF 4 0 0 0 0 0 3 .268 Batted eighth. L5, G4, G3 (force), G3.
Gosuke Katoh NYY 8/28 GCLTOR 2
GCLNYY1 3
2B 4 1 2 0 0 0   .315 Batted second. 1B7 (SB[4]), F8, F8, 1B8 (R).
Kensuke Tanaka SF 8/28 FRE 3
SRC 4
LF 4 0 2 0 0 1   .333 Batted third. 1B1 (bunt), F5, 1B1, Kl.

Pitchers

Player Tm Last Gm Game NP-S BF IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA Other
Yu Darvish TEX 8/24 DNP                     Next start: August 30 vs Twins.
Kyuji Fujikawa CHC 5/26 DNP                      
Hisashi Iwakuma SEA 8/27 DNP                     Next start: September 1 vs Astros.
Hiroki Kuroda NYY 8/28 NYY 2
TOR 7
99-64 26 5.0 9 7 5 1 4 1 2.89 Left the game in the bottom of the 6th with New York down 7-2. (HBP 1). (L, 11-10).
Daisuke Matsuzaka NYM 8/28 PHI 6
NYM 2
110-66 25 4.1 6 4 4 4 5 0 8.68 Left the game in the top of the 5th with the bases loaded, one out, and New York down 2-1. Two of the runners he left on base scored after he was removed from the game. (HBP 2). (L, 0-2). 1B9, G6.
Toru Murata CLE 8/27 DNP                      
Hideki Okajima OAK 8/27 DNP                      
Hisanori Takahashi COL 8/26 DNP                      
Yoshinori Tateyama NYY 8/28 LHV 4
SWB 5
35-27 10 3.0 1 0 0 0 2 0 1.83 Entered the game in the top of the 8th with the score tied at four. Left the game in the top of the 11th with the score still tied at four.
Junichi Tazawa BOS 8/24 DNP                      
Koji Uehara BOS 8/28 BAL 3
BOS 4
9-7 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1.22 Entered the game in the top of the 9th with Boston up 4-3. (S, 14).
Tsuyoshi Wada BAL 8/26 DNP                      

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Hideki Matsui threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Wednesday's Double-A Trenton game.

Source: Nikkan Sports 8/29/2013

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The Minnesota Twins plan to check out Masahiro Tanaka (Rakuten) and Randy Messenger (Hanshin). From a 1500ESPN.com report:

Twins vice president of personnel Mike Radcliff will be scouting in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan in the coming weeks. ... One player he and other Twins scouts will watch is Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. Just 24-years-old, he's 18-0 with an ERA of 1.15 for the Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Pacific League. ... At least one other pitcher the Twins are expected to scout while in is Japan is 32-year-old Randy Messenger. In 145 1/3 innings for the Hanshin Tigers, he has a 3.34 ERA.

Source: 1500ESPN.com 8/27/2013

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