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Yomiuri Giants: February 18, 2012

by on Feb.18, 2012 @ 11:36 pm, under NPB
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Bullpen Sessions / Batting Practice

Friday

  • Hirokazu Sawamura threw fifty-nine pitches in the bullpen. (Sponichi)
  • Ryosuke Miyaguni threw sixty-four pitches in the bullpen. (Sponichi)  Or fifty-seven pitches. (Nikkan Sports)

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The Ichi-gun Giants closed out the Miyazaki portion of their spring camp schedule and traveled to Okinawa today.  Nikkan Sports has posted a list of players heading to Okinawa camp.

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Hisayoshi Chono missed today's exhibition game against the Hiroshima Carp due to tightness in his lower back.  He was allowed to travel with the team to Okinawa today since his back problems do not appear to be serious.

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Shigeo Nagashima feels Ryosuke Miyaguni is a player to watch out for.  And Nagashima told Miyaguni on Friday not to worry about his delivery so much and to just throw the ball.

Nagashima observed Giants' camp again today.

====== UPDATE 2/19 @ 2:35am

The Giants arrived at Naha Airport at 11:39pm, about two hours later than initially scheduled.  Despite the delay, over 200 fans greeted the team at the airport.

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Yomiuri Giants: Feburary 4, 2012

by on Feb.04, 2012 @ 11:59 pm, under NPB
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Batting Practice Bullpen Sessions

Saturday

  • John Bowker faced Jumpei Ono during BP and collected three could-be hits (no homers) on seventeen swings. (Nikkan Sports)

Friday

  • Hisayoshi Chono took fifty-eight swings and hit five over the fence.  Shuichi Murata took sixty swings and hit two over the fence. (Sponichi)

Saturday

  • Scott Mathieson threw forty-one pitches, including his splitter and curve.  He also threw to Shinnosuke Abe for the first time during spring camp. (Sanspo)
  • Shun Tono threw 100 pitches.  It was his third session since the start of spring camp. (Sanspo)

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NPB Commissioner Ryozo Kato visited the team today.

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The Giants received 1200kg of rice from JA Akita and 880 serviings of udon noodles from Sato Yosuke Shoten today.

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Masumi Hoshino faced Daisuke Fujimura and Taishi Ota during batting practice today and allowed five could-be hits on fifty-one pitches (mostly fastballs away).  Tatsunori Hara is hoping Hoshino can become an effective option out of the bullpen.

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Takayuki Takaguchi worked out with the Ichi-gun players on Saturday and took fielding practice at both short and second.  He also showed some power during batting practice.

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Takayuki Terauchi participated in the morning walk at Ni-gun today.  Terauchi felt some pain while throwing the ball during fielding practice on Friday but appears to be ok.

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Yuya Kubo (right hip) told reporters this morning that he was able to do some long distance throwing at a max distance of about 100 meters (although without much power since his range of motion is still limited).

On Saturday, Hara told reporters that he was still hopeful Kubo would be ready by opening day and that he still had the lead for the closer role.  When asked about Scott Mathieson, he said, "If I talk about Mathieson too much it might make Kubo worry/rush."

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Hisayoshi Chono has been teaching John Bowker some Japanese.

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Asuka Kuramochi (AKB48) visited the Giants on Friday for an article she is writing for the Shukan AKB48 Group Newspaper.

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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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Milestones from October 22, 2011

by on Oct.23, 2011 @ 1:33 am, under NPB
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Hisayoshi Chono (YOM) knocked out a pinch-hit walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the 9th against the Yokohama Bay Stars.  Not only was it the first pinch-hit walk-off grand slam since Isao Hirono in 1971, it was also the Central League's 1,000th grand slam -- a Satoshi Sugiyama recorded the first CL grand slam on 4/9/2005; the PL is currently on 1,006; including the 82 grand slams during the one-league format, a total 2,088 grand slams have been hit in pro yakyu history.

Hirokazu Sawamura (YOM) became the first rookie pitcher in the CL to record 200 innings since Yutaka Enatsu tossed 230.1 innings in 1967.  Sawamura missed out on being the first rookie to record an ERA under 2 since Tsuneo Horiuchi registered a 1.39 ERA in 1966.

Shuichi Murata (YOK) became the 57th player in NPB history to reach the 250 homer milestone -- the homer came in the top of the 2nd off Sawamura (YOM).  Murata hit a second homer in his second at bat of the game for 20 on the year.

Shinji Ohara (YOK) appeared in his 71st game of the year and set a new record for appearances by a rookie (since the two league format began in 1950).

The Yokohama Bay Stars finished their 4th straight season with a winning percentage under .400.  The last team to do that: Kintetsu between 1057 and 1961.

Seiichi Uchikawa (SOF) became just the second player in NPB history win batting titles in both the CL and PL.

The Hawks became the first team in NPB history (since the two league format began in 1950) to have three players that played in every inning of every game: Munenori Kawasaki, Yuichi Honda, and Nobuhiro Matsuda.

Soichi Fujita (SOF) became the 36th player in NPB history to appear in 600 games over his career.

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Yomiuri Giants: Hisayoshi Chono has a fracture in his left cheek bone

by on Aug.08, 2011 @ 9:17 pm, under NPB
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Hisayoshi Chono returned to Tokyo from Hiroshima today in order to get additional tests and was diagnosed with a fracture in his left cheek bone.  Chono will not be removed from the active roster for the time being but will not be with the team tomorrow (it has already been decided he'll get the day off).

UPDATE 8/9 @ 9:40am - Chono probably won't play in any games until the Hiroshima series (at the earliest) that begins on the 12th at Tokyo Dome.

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Yomiuri Giants: Hisayoshi Chono taken to the hospital after getting hit in head

by on Aug.07, 2011 @ 11:57 pm, under NPB
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Hisayoshi Chono took an HBP off his head during his at bat in the 8th inning (4th pitch from Hiroshima's Takeru Imamura) and had to be taken off the field on a stretcher (he apparently didn't lose consciousness).

Chono was immediately taken to the hospital for testing.

UPDATE 8/8 @ 8:56am - Chono apparently had some swelling in the area under his left ear.  He also managed to walk on his own from the clubhouse to the taxi that took him to the hospital last night.

Chono will not be traveling with the team today and will instead return to Tokyo for a full examination.

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Yomiuri Giants: Hisayoshi Chono, Yoshinobu Takahashi left tonight’s game early

by on Apr.26, 2011 @ 10:27 pm, under NPB
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Both Hisayoshi Chono and Yoshinobu Takahashi left tonight's game against the Yakult Swallows early:

Chono started in center and batted sixt - was replaced on defense in the 4th due to tightness in his lower back.

Takahashi started in right batted fifth - left in the 4th with 2 outs after hitting the wall in right while chasing down a fly ball hit by Ryoji Aikawa.  Takashi left while holding his left flank area.  He was examined at the hospital and no structural damage was found in the bones.

UPDATE 4/27 @ 10:05am - Quick update: Chono did not go the hospital yesterday and instead got ice treatment.  Takahashi did go to the hospital for x-rays; the results came back negative for any problems.

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Yomiuri Giants Spring Camp News and Notes: February 6, 2011

by on Feb.06, 2011 @ 1:17 pm, under NPB
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This post will be updated throughout the day.

===== 2/7 @ 12:33am

Tetsuya Yamaguchi made an appearance as a BP pitcher and tossed 48 pitches while giving up 10 could-be hits, including a home run to Sakamoto.

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Daisuke Ochi also tossed BP today and gave up 8 could-be hits to Ryota Wakiya and Tetsuya Matsumoto.

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Yuya Kubo tossed 51 BP pitches today and gave up 13 could-be hits.

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Matsumoto faced Ochi and Kubo today during BP and worked on reading the strike zone.

===== 2/6 @ 9:44pm

Two Giants were injured today:

During fielding practice today (specifically, while working on bunt plays), Hisayoshi Chono took a throw from Jumpei Ono off his face.  Chono was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with a bruise on his left face.  The Giants expect him to be ok for practice tomorrow.

Yoshiyuki Kamei ran into Ken Kato while practicing rundowns and suffered a minor cervical spine sprain.  Kamei did not go to the hospital and instead returned to the team hotel for rest.  He is listed as day-to-day.

Both Chono and Kamei were scheduled to take BP against Sawamura today.

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Tatsunori Hara apparently had to order Rusty Ryal to return to the team hotel today.

Said Hara, "Ryal left early today. ... He's the type that wants to go through the entire training.  And so for the first time, I had to order him.  I told him he could leave after BP.  But then he said he wanted to do some running afterward.  So then I told him he to leave after he finished running.  He's the type that wants to do it all, so I had to order him!"

BTW: just in case this wasn't obvious, Hara was happy about Ryal's attitude.

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Sawamura made an appearance as a BP pitcher and tossed 55 pitches (including his slider and curve) against Hayato Sakamoto and Taishi Ota.  He also managed to break two of Sakamoto's bats using his fastbal.

===== 2/6 @ 1:17pm

The Giants received a number of items from Miyazaki prefecture and Miyazaki city today, including 20kg of ripe kumquat, 20kg of citrus tamurana, 10 boxes of strawberries, 100 broiled eels.  The Giants in turn donated 3M yen to in support of relief efforts for bird flu and the volcano.

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In addition to Hirokazu Sawamura (1st round), Tetsuya Utsumi and Shun Tono could also pitch in an intra-squad game on the 15th.

Utsumi and Tono both made appearances as BP pitchers yesterday -- Utsumi threw 53 pitches and gave up 6 could-be hits; Tono tossed 60 pitches and surrendered 2 could-be hits.

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Shinnosuke Abe caught 185 pitches thrown by 5 pitchers yesterday -- Dicky Gonzalez, Jonathan Albaladejo, Daisuke Ochi, Masumi Hoshino, and Jumpei Ono.  This in addition to all his other workouts, like taking grounders before entering the bullpen and taking BP immediately after.

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Adam Bright threw 43 pitches as a BP pitcher yesterday and gave up 2 could-be hits (including one that went over the fence).  Bright is drawing comparisons to former Hanshin Tiger Jeff Williams.

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Brian Bannister and Carlos Torres were amongst the foreign players that took part in a 30-minute English conversation course the Giants held yesterday.  57 people attended the session.

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Yomiuri Giants News and Notes: January 17, 2011

by on Jan.17, 2011 @ 10:31 pm, under NPB
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The Giants held a staff meeting today in order to work on their spring camp schedules and to figure out which players will be going to which camp.

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Hisayoshi Chono is using a 1.5kg training bat during BP in the hopes of improving his power hitting.  That's .3kg heavier than what he was using last year and .5kg heavier than the training bat Hayato Sakamoto uses.

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Shugo Fujii returned to Japan on the 14th after spending about a month working out in New York and Hawaii.  On Sunday, he dropped by Giants Stadium for the first time this year and threw about 30 pitches to a standing catcher in the bullpen.  Fujii has been working on polishing his shuto and change this winter.

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Hidetoshi Tsuburaya worked out at Giants Stadium today and took BP alongside Yoshikyuki Kamei.  Tsuburaya apparently feels a connection to Kamei and asked if he could work out with him this month.  He also told reporters that he considered Ryota Wakiya and Shigeyuki Furuki as his "rivals."

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Three light towers arrived at Giants Stadium today.  The remaining three towers will arrive tomorrow.  Construction to install the lights will begin sometime in the beginning of February and will take about a week to install.  The Giants are hoping that the lights will be ready to go by March.

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The Giants announced the following uniform number changes today:

Hideki Asai - from 68 to 38

Tetsuya Matsumoto - from 31 to 32

Kyohei Tsuchimoto - from 19 to 46

Takanobu Tsujiuchi - from 39 to 98

Levi Romero - from 41 to 39

Jumpei Ono - from 32 to 60

Itaru Hashimoto - from 94 to 65

Yoshiyuki Kamei's and Daiiro Tanaka's registered positions were also changed from OF to INF.

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Yomiuri Giants News and Notes: January 16, 2011

by on Jan.16, 2011 @ 4:50 pm, under NPB
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Tetsuya Yamaguchi is preparing his body for a third straight 70+ game appearance season.  His primary focus: to add a little more muscle to his frame (about 2-3kg).  Yamaguchi has been running in the morning and then spending about 1.5 hours working with weights in the afternoon.

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Tatsunori Hara told reporters that he probably won't require all players to take part in the morning walks during spring camp because players were already pushing themselves pretty hard.  The extra time in the morning will also give players time to do other things like eating breakfast or massages.

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Micheal Nakamura arrived in Japan on Saturday (he took a Quantas flight into Narita out of Australia).  Nakamura tossed his first bullpen session about a week ago (around 40 pitches) and is looking to return to his previous title (with the Fighters) as closer.  Now that he's in Japan, he'll continue his workouts at Giants Stadium.

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Kentaro Nishimura tossed a bullpen session at Giants Stadium today.  Nishimura has been working on his mechanics (specifically with regards to his weight transfer) since the fall after he found that his body was getting out in front at times.

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Yoshiyuki Kamei worked out for about 6 hours at Giants Stadium yesterday.  In the morning, he worked on his fielding, using a brand new infielder's glove, and took some BP and did some weight training in the afternoon.

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Hisayoshi Chono has added about 2-3kg to his frame since last season in the hopes of increasing his power output.  Seems he's eating a lot of chicken.

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Shigeo Nagashima took in some sumo today.  It was just the second time he caught a sumo match in his life and the first in about 50 years.

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