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[11/4/2013] Hanshin Tigers News and Notes

by on Nov.05, 2013 @ 4:12 am, under NPB
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Shintaro Fujinami wants to improve his change-up and curve.  His top three pitches this season were fastball, cutter, and fork.

Source: Daily Sports 11/4/2013

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Hitting coordinator Masayuki Kakefu worked with Issei Morita on Sunday.

"He can hit the ball pretty far for a Japan person.  That is his strength.  I think it is better to consider him a mini Randy Bass instead of a mini Craig Brazell," Kakefu said.  "I am looking forward to what he can do.  There will be an open roster spot with [Shinjiro] Hiyama's retirement.  He could be an interesting option in a situation where a new foreign player is still considered a question mark."

Source: Daily Sports 11/4/2013

Kafeu feels Morita has enough power for a thirty home run season.

Morita took 129 swings during batting practice on Sunday and hit twenty-seven over the fence.

Source: Sanspo 11/4/2013

Kakefu has also been working with Hayata Ito.  He has been trying to get him to take a more relaxed approach to hitting.

Ito took ninety-four swings during batting practice on Sunday and recorded thirty-eight could be hits.

Source: Sanspo 11/4/2013

According to Tokyo Sports, Kakefu is trying to motive players by praising them.  So far, it appears to be working.

Source: Tokyo Sports 11/4/2013

Kakefu's job title will apparently be shorted to DC, as in Development Coordinator.

Source: Sanspo 11/4/2013

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Yutaka Wada and Kakefu are high on Masahiro Nakatani.

Source: Nikkkan Sports 11/4/2013, Nikkan Sports 11/4/2013

Wada is hoping one of the players in the organization can step up and become a bunt specialist.

Source: Daily Sports 11/4/2013

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Ryota Arai has been working on a new swing that involves a smaller leg kick.

Source: Sanspo 11/4/2013

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INF/base-running coach Nobuhiro Takashiro has been helping players with their base-running techniques, with a focus on how to take better secondary leads.

Source: Sanspo 11/4/2013, Nikkan Sports 11/4/2013

[11/3/2013] Hanshin Tigers News and Notes

by on Nov.04, 2013 @ 2:30 am, under NPB
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Kazuya Tsutsumi threw 100 pitches in the bullpen on Sunday.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/3/2013

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Shinta Hifumi had a rigorous workout during batting practice at Naruohama on Sunday -- each time he swung the bat and missed, ten more pitches were added to his total.  By the time he was done, he had swung at about five-hundred pitches.

Source: Daily Sports 11/3/2013

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Yutaka Wada told reporters he could see differences in the way Ryota Arai and Issei Morita were swinging the bat.  Coaches have been working with both players during fall camp.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/3/2013

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Morita hit four over the fence during batting practice on Saturday.  The Tigers like his power potential.

Source: Daily Sports 11/3/2013

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R. Arai took eighty-two swings during batting practice on Saturday and hit four over the fence.

Hitting Coordinator Masayuki Kakefu spent about an hour working with Hayata Ito on his swing after general practices, back at the team hotel.

Source: Sanspo 11/3/2013

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Pitching coach Kiyooki Nakanishi spent about thirty minutes working with Shintaro Fujinami on his pitching mechanics.  A rubber tube was laid out in a straight line, perpendicular to a net.  Fujinami stood on top of the tube at one end and threw into the net on the other end, each time making sure his left foot landed near the tube.  Nakanishi sat on the ground directly behind him.

Fujinami has been throwing pitches across his body (when the left foot of a right-handed pitcher lands toward third).  Nakanishi explained that this was happening because Fujinami was bending his right knee and allowing his weight to move toward third; his right foot was also placed at an angle against the rubber that made him throw across his body even more.  The solution: to use the adductor muscles more and to place his right foot parallel to the rubber.

Fujinami threw sixty-four baseballs into the net.

Source: Daily Sports 11/3/2013

In an effort to keep the changes minimal, Kiyooki focused on just the right leg -- position of the right leg (making sure the right foot is parallel to the rubber) and usage (making sure the weight does not move toward third).

Exercises like this will be done once every other day during fall camp.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/3/2013

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Ryosuke Ogata showed off his strong throwing arm during fielding practices on Saturday.  Ogata is still a little slow on the transfer, but the Tigers believe he could be a candidate for the outfield next year.

Ogata also has speed and has good bat control (he likes to choke up on the bat).

Source: Daily Sports 11/3/2013

Ogata can run the fifty meter in 5.8 seconds and can throw the ball 120 meters.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/3/2013

Hanshin Tigers: February 23, 2012

by on Feb.23, 2012 @ 11:58 pm, under NPB
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The Tigers have the day off on Friday.

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Kohei Shibata spent about fifteen minutes taking batting practice against pitching machines at Ni-gun camp today.  Shibata has been rehabbing at Kochi camp because of inflammation in his left acromioclavicular joint (shoulder).

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Craig Brazell worked out in left during pre-game fielding practice on Wednesday.  Brazell was seen making strong throws to second, third, and home.

"I played some right and left four or five years ago, so this is not new to me," said Brazell.  "I checked on a few things while remembering what I did.  If I am going to do this, I do not just want to stand around, I want to do it right.  I think I did ok throwing the ball today.  I threw them a little high.  Still need more work with my feet.  I will it will get better if I do some throwing for a week or two."

He then added, "I will be catcher during tomorrow's game.  Just kidding.  I will probably play left."

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Yuya Ando has dropped his arm angle a little (three-quarters).  On his outing on Wednesday: "I was able to throw good pitches down low in the zone.  Today was about throwing, not so much at an angle, but from an arm slot I felt comfortable with.  I think I can throw better when I am throwing at around three-quarters instead of over the top."

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Issei Morita spent about an hour taking fielding practice at Ginoza Dome after Wednesday's game -- he committed a fielding error in the game.

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Tomoaki Kanemoto did not play in Wednesday's practice game due to poor field conditions (it rained the night before).

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Yasutomo Kubo continued to focus on training exercises due to tightness in his right shoulder.  Regarding when he might start throwing again, Kubo replied, "I will begin throwing when I feel I can.  I will not force it."

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The rehab group, which includes Shinjiro Hiyama and Shibata, will be returning to Naruohama after practices today.

4th round draft pick Kazuo Ito will also be heading to Naruohama after being diagnosed with periarthritis in his right shoulder.  Ito started feeling discomfort in his shoulder while throwing the ball on Wednesday.

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Some hitting results, through Wednesday:

Hanshin Tigers: February 21, 2012

by on Feb.21, 2012 @ 11:59 pm, under NPB
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Batting Practice

Sunday

  • Takahiro Arai took seventy-three swings during batting practice and hit twenty over the fence. (Sanspo)

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Yasutomo Kubo did not do anything throwing today because he felt some tightness in his right shoulder.  He instead focused on things like running and strengthening exercises.

Pitching coach Takashi Yamaguchi told reporters he was not sure when Kubo would be able to throw again.

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1st round draft pick Hayata Ito took ten practice swings in front of batting coach Atsushi Kataoka before practices today and was cleared to begin taking batting practice again.  During soft-toss BP, Ito used a bat Yoshinobu Takahashi (YOM) gave him on Sunday.  He also took regular batting practice.  Assuming no problems, he will most likely play in Wednesday's practice game against the Rakuten Eagles.

Incidentally, Yutaka Wada told reporters on Monday that even if Ito is not capable of playing in any games because of his right wrist, he still plans to have him attend games because there are plenty of things he can learn just by being in the dugout.

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Kenji Jojima told Norihiro Akahoshi that his right elbow is a ticking time bomb -- his career would effectively be over if he ruptures the remaining tendons in his right elbow.

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Atsushi Nomi is scheduled to start an intra-squad game on February 23.

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Some of the players that worked out on the team's day off on Monday:

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Matt Murton, Randy Messenger, and Jason Standridge unwinded on Monday by playing some ping-pong.

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Wada appeared on ABC's Cast on Monday and said:

  • ...he is planning to play as many different players as possible during an intra-squad game on February 23.
  • ...that while Takahiro Arai is more or less the clean-up hitter at this point, Tomoaki Kanemoto may also need to be considered since he is swinging the bat well.
  • ...both Murton and Craig Brazell are also expected to play on February 23.
  • ...that Yamato will likely join 1st round draft pick Ito, Shunsuke, Ryo Asai, and Tagami as candidates to play center.
  • ...that Takashi Toritani, Hiroki Uemoto, Yamato, and Keiichi Hirano will be considered for the top two spots in the batting order.  He also said that he was thinking Murton and Toritani could bat one or three in the line-up (inter-changeable; he likes Murton's speed and Tortani's ability to get on  base).

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Takahiro Arai's Sanspo Tigers' Promise: win another batting title and become the first Tiger since Randy Bass (1985-1986) to win batting titles in consecutive seasons.  If he succeeds he will be presented with 50,000 yen in clothing for his children.  If he fails he will give a Sanspo reader an autographed game-used bat and glove.

Arai is scheduled to play in the intra-squad game on February 23.

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Team president Nobuo Minami is not against announcing starting pitchers, but does not want to make changes to the rule just to be like the Pacific League.  He also does not think the rule should apply to Climax Series and Nippon Series games.

Milestones from 7/26/2011: Matsui (RAK) records 1,500th career hit

by on Jul.26, 2011 @ 11:28 pm, under NPB
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Rakuten Eagles

Kazuo Matsui became the 109th player in NPB history to reach 1,500 hits tonight.

With 1 out in the top of the 6th and D.J. Houlton (Softbank Hawks) on the mound, Matsui hit a 1-0 fastball into center for his 1,500th career hit.  The hit came in Matsui's 1,233rd career NPB game, which surpasses Alex Ramirez's (Yomiuri Giants) NPB record of 1,236 games.

Matsui's first career hit came on 4/9/1995 against the Nippon Ham Fighters.

Hanshin Tigers

Issei Morita became the first player in franchise history to hit a homer in his first career Ichi-gun at bat.

Morita entered the game in the bottom of the 5th as a pinch-hitter for Atsushi Nomi and deposited an 0-1 Maximo Nelson fastball over the left field wall for the a 2-run homer.

Morita is the 26th player in the CL (51st overall) to hit a homer in his first at bat.  He's also the 13th player to do it as a pinch-hitter.

Hanshin Tigers News and Notes: November 15, 2010

by on Nov.15, 2010 @ 1:56 pm, under NPB
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Minoru Iwata's solid performance (5 IP, 59 NP, 19 BF, 4 H, 2 SO, 0 R) during his second simulated game on Sunday apparently has the Tigers a bit relieved and hopeful that he'll be fully ready to compete for a spot in the 2011 starting rotation.

Said Iwata regarding his outing, "Compared to my first [simulated game], I felt much better.  I'm making good progress.  I'm not 100% back, but there's no doubt that I'm getting closer."

Incidentally, after throwing 59 pitches during the simulated game, Iwata held a bullpen session to push his pitch count over 100 for the day.

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During Sunday's simulated game, Issei Morita went 3-for-6 with 2 RBI, including two doubles, one off Iwata and another off Daiki Kiyohara.  The Tigers have been pushing Morita to concentrate on using his lower body more when swinging the bat during fall camp.

Masashi Nohara picked up 4 hits.

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If Kosuke Kato makes the team, the Tigers might end up using him as a lefty specialist out of the pen.

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The Tigers apparently decided to extend their practice sessions at the Naruohama training grounds until 11/30.  Said Ni-gun manager Haruki Yoshitake, "The players on the farm need to catch up with the Ichi-gun players so this is an obvious decision.  Hitting, fielding, I'd like the players to use this time to figure out how they want to move forward."