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Softbank Hawks News and Notes: February 19, 2013

by on Feb.19, 2013 @ 11:26 pm, under NPB
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Ichi-gun and Ni-gun camps had the day off today.

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Hayato Terahara is scheduled to start a practice game against WBC Brazil on the 28th.

Source: Daily Sports 2/19/2013

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Koji Akiyama spent about an hour hitting about 500 baseballs to Hiroyuki Kawahara at close range during workouts on Monday.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/19/2013

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Sadaharu Oh does not want Bryan LaHair to worry about his pre-season numbers and instead wants him to focus on getting used to Japanese baseball.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/19/2013

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1st round draft pick Nao Higashihama could start an exhibition game against Yakult at Jingu Stadium on March 17.  He is also slated to start an exhibition game against Seibu at Ivy Stadium on the 24th.

Source: Sponichi 2/19/2013

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Softbank Hawks: February 24, 2012

by on Feb.24, 2012 @ 11:54 pm, under NPB
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Bullpen Sessions / Batting Practice

Friday

  • Brad Penny threw thirty-nine pitches, including off-speed pitches, in the bullpen. (Nikkan Sports)

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After watching Nobuhiro Matsuda take soft-toss batting practice and deposit the ball over the fence a number of times today, batting coach Yoshiie Tachibana took some swings of his own and managed to hit one over on his twenty-fifth swing.

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Duskin presented the Hawks with 300 donuts from Mister Donut today.

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Hiroyuki Kawahara is scheduled to start Saturday's exhibition game against the Hiroshima Carp.

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The Hawks currently have twenty pitchers at Ichi-gun camp and will drop that down to between twelve and thirteen.

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Softbank Hawks: February 16, 2012

by on Feb.16, 2012 @ 11:42 pm, under NPB
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Bullpen Sessions / Batting Practice

Thursday

  • Tadashi Settsu faced Seiichi Uchikawa and Nobuhiko Matsunaka during batting practice and allowed fourteen hits on sixty-one pitches. (Daily Sports)
  • Kazuyuki Hoashi faced Wily Mo Pena and Alex Cabrera during batting practice and allowed four could-be hits on forty-six pitches. (Nikkan Sports)
  • Rehab coach Kazumi Saito threw thirty-two pitches in the bullpen.  He also had the catcher stand on one knee. (Nikkan Sports)

Wednesday

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Today was the last day of the fourth block of spring camp.  The team has the day off tomorrow.

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Brad Penny wanted to pitch on four days of rest instead of six days of rest.

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Koji Akiyama spent over an hour giving Kenta Imamiya hitting advice on Wednesday -- forty minutes on how to use his lower body while hitting off a tee and about another thirty minutes after full squad bunt practices.

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Takehito Kanazawa canceled his bullpen session on Wednesday because he was feeling tightness in his lower back.  He also did not participate in fielding practice and instead focused on stretches and getting massages.  He is basically day-to-day.

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Toru Hosokawa caught Hiroyuki Kawahara's bullpen session on Wednesday and later advised the 20-year-old to make adjustments to how he throws the curve because he might be tipping the pitch to batters.

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Softbank Hawks: February 15, 2012

by on Feb.15, 2012 @ 11:59 pm, under NPB
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Today's intra-squad game was canceled due to rain.  One of today's scheduled starters, Hiroyuki Kawahara, will make a relief appearance in Thursday's intra-squad game.

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The Hawks received 300 rice balls and 240 bottles of mineral water for Lawson today.

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Ikusei 3rd round draft pick Shota Miura and Ikusei 4th round draft pick Takashi Shimizu had a chance to workout with the A group in Miyazaki today.

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Brad Penny will make his "debut" during an exhibition game against the Hiroshima Carp on February 26.

Penny's agent, Don Nomura, visited Miyazaki camp on Tuesday.

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The Hawks are going to give Kenta Imamiya a shot at winning the starting shortstop job.

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Shoe-maker Hitoshi Mimura (adidas) visited Miyazaki camp on Tuesday in order to get measurements for Seiichi Uchikawa's new cleats.

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Masahiko Morifuku received about 200 Valentine's presents on Tuesday.

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Softbank Hawks: February 11, 2012

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

Saturday

  • Hiroki Kokubo collected two hits during situational BP: a double to left off Keisuke Katto and a single to center off Shingo Tatsumi. (Sponichi)

Friday

  • Wily Mo Pena went 1-for-3 during situational BP: double to right-center off Mu-Young Kim and then struck out twice. (Sponichi)

Saturday

  • Tadashi Settsu threw fifty-three pitches in the bullpen. (Nikkan Sports)
  • Sho Iwasaki struck out Seiichi Uchikawa looking during situational batting practice.  (Sports Hochi)

Friday

  • Hiroyuki Kawahara faced nine batters during situational BP and did not allow a hit.  He also struck out three, two of which were Wily Mo Pena and Nobuhiro Matsuda. (Sponichi)  Nine batters: three strikeouts, one infield ground out, one infield line out, four walks.  He also topped out at 149km/h.  The other strikeout victim was Toru Hosokawa. (Nikkan Sports)

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About 18,500 fans showed up today.

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Tu-Hsuan Lee spent about thirty minutes in the batting cages during extra morning batting practice.  Batting coach Yoshiie Tachibana watched over the session.

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The Hawks held a press conference at Miyazaki Ivy Stadium for Angel Castro today.

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Hiroyuki Kawahara apparently sees the strikezone as two distinct areas: inside and outside.

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Brad Penny on pitching his first bullpen session in Japan on Friday: "The mound seemed a little softer [than what I am used to in the US].  The stitches on the baseball felt bigger and my off-speed pitches were fine."

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Softbank Hawks: February 3, 2012

by on Feb.03, 2012 @ 11:58 pm, under NPB
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Batting Practice Bullpen Sessions

Friday

  • Alex Cabrera took eighty-one swings and hit five over the fence. (Sponichi)

Thursday

  • Four of the seven baseballs Wily Mo Pena hit over the fence landed outside of the stadium. (Nikkan Sports)

Thursday

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Today was the end of the first block of spring camp for the Hawks.  The team has the day off tomorrow.

Shota Oba will be demoted to B Group spring camp; Keisuke Katto will be promoted to A group.

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A number of players, including Seiichi Uchikawa and Tadashi Settsu, visited four child care facilities in Miyazaki after practices today.

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The Hawks have ten lookouts watching out for bystanders around the stadium when Wily Mo Pena enters the batter's box during outdoor BP.

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Kimiyasu Kudo worked with Hiroyuki Kawahara on his pitching mechanics for about twenty minutes on Thursday.  Amongst some of the things he told Kawahara: line-up your back foot with home plate; do not try to store energy in your delivery and just let the body movement flow naturally; and imagine flicking the ball when throwing a curve and cutting the ball when throwing a slider.

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4th round draft pick Naoki Shirane had right elbow surgery on Thursday and will remain in the hospital until February 17.  He will rejoin the team on the following day.

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Rehab coach Kazumi Saito joined the team Miyazaki today.  His arrival was slightly delayed because of the flu.

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The Hawks ordered two flat training bats from Kubota Slugger for use during spring camp.

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Softbank Hawks: January 23, 2012

by on Jan.23, 2012 @ 11:51 pm, under NPB
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Koji Akiyama met the 2011 draft class today and watched over their practices for the first time.

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1st round draft pick Naoki Shirane played catch today for the first time in 13 days.  The Hawks' shut Shirane down after he complained of right elbow pain on the second day of training camp for the 2011 draft class.  They also had him working under a different training schedule because he was having problems with his legs (cramps while running).

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Hiroyuki Kawahara worked out at the Saitozaki training facilities on Sunday.  Kawahara has yet to log innings at the Ichi-gun level, but he did top 155km/h during the Fresh All-Star game last year and Sadaharu Oh feels he could make it to the active roster this year.

Kawahara also had time to work on his two-seamer and cutter while playing winter ball in Puerto Rico.

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Teruaki Yoshikawa tossed thirty-five pitches in the bullpen on Sunday (thirty to a standing catcher and five to squatting catcher).  Like Kawahara, he too had time to work on some pitches while playing winter ball in Puerto Rico: two-seamer, cutter, and sinker.

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The media learned on Sunday that the Hawks are planning to launch 3,000 rounds of fireworks at Ikimeno Mori Athletic Park on February 25.

A victory parade is also scheduled for January 31, some time around 6:20pm.

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Via Sponichi: Oh attended a function celebrating the World Children's Baseball Foundation's 20th anniversary at the Riviera Country Club on Saturday.

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Softbank Hawks: Seating at Yahoo Dome increased to 38,561

by on Jan.12, 2012 @ 11:49 pm, under NPB
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Today was the last day of the first block of training camp for the 2011 draft class.  A portion of the workouts took place at a nearby shrine and included running hills and climbing stairs.

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Koji Akiyama took off for Guam out of Fukuoka Airport today.  Akiyama returned from a family trip to the US on 1/6, attended a team meeting on Wednesday, and is now off to Guam for his last break before the season.

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Hiroyuki Kawahara tossed 51 pitches in the bullpen on Wednesday.

Kawahara picked up a cutter and two-seamer after Ivan Rodriguez suggested he add something more to his arsenal while playing winter ball in Puerto Rico.  He is also working on a change-up.

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Kenta Imamiya's goal for 2012 is to win the starting job at short and bat second in the line-up.

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The Hawks announced today that seating at Yahoo Dome will increase from 37,025 to 38,561.  The new seats, located behind home plate and along the first and third base sides, will be available beginning on 3/3 (exhibition game against Lotte).

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Softbank Hawks Spring Camp News and Notes: February 10, 2011

by on Feb.10, 2011 @ 9:15 pm, under NPB
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This post will be updated throughout the day.

===== 2/10 @ 11:13pm

Yuichi Honda took extra fielding practice today at second to work on his footwork and on his throws.

===== 2/10 @ 9:15pm

Shota Oba had his right shoulder (tightness) examined during his day off yesterday and the results can back negative.  Oba was back at practice today and is expected to toss a bullpen session at some point in the near future.

Hiroyuki Kawahara, hit in the head by a thrown baseball during practice on the 8th, will likely be able to return to general practice on the 11th.  He spent the day today doing light workouts.

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Hiroki Kokubo has been using two types of bats during spring camp BP this year.  One is a Jose Ortiz model bat that he managed to get a hold of last year and a Roberto Petagine bat.  And the new bat he's having Mizuno create for him to use during the regular season this year could be a mix of the two bats -- Ortiz bat head with a Petagine bat handle.

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Despite already have perfect vision without glasses (1.0 in Japan; 20/20 in the US), Nobuhiro Matsuda is thinking about adding contacts to give him better than perfect vision.

Said Matsuda, "I've been thinking about wearing contact this season.  I thought it might help me see the ball better.  I'll discuss this with my eye doctor and then make a final decision."

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