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[8/8/2013] Injury Updates: Tateoka, Bowker (YOM), Sarfate, Kikuchi (SEI)

by on Aug.08, 2013 @ 4:01 pm, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

Soichiro Tateoka twisted his right ankle while running the bases in the 9th inning of Wednesday night's game against Yokohama and had to be carried off the field.  He did not go to the hospital and was later seen with crutches.  He was taken off the active roster today.

Source: Daily Sports 8/8/2013

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John Bowker was replaced by a pinch-runner after he took an HBP off his left wrist in the 8th inning of Wednesday's game against Yokohama.  He was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with a bruise.

Source: Sanspo 8/8/2013

Seibu Lions

Dennis Sarfate (left adductor muscle) pitched in a Ni-gun rehab game against the Futures on Wednesday.  He tossed a shutout inning in relief.  He gave up one hit, struck out three, and topped out at 156km/h.

Source: Nikkan Sports 8/8/2013

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Yusei Kikuchi was taken off the active roster on Wednesday with inflammation in his left shoulder.  He later revealed that had been feeling some pain in his left shoulder since a start he made on July 12 (vs Rakuten).

Source: Sponichi 8/8/2013

The Lions are planning to shut down Kikuchi for about a week.  What comes after that will depend on how much improvement he sees in his shoulder.  His workouts today included running and upper body inner muscle training.

Source: Nikkan Sports 8/8/2013

Yomiuri Giants: John Bowker taken off active roster with pinky fracture

by on Apr.26, 2013 @ 8:54 pm, under NPB
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John Bowker was examined at a hospital in Gigu after he hurt his right pinky finger while sliding back into third in the 2nd inning of Thursday's game against Yokohama.  He was re-examined today in Tokyo and diagnosed with a fracture in his pinky.  There is no time table for his return.  He will begin his rehab at Ni-gun.

Source: Daily Sports 4/26/2013

Yomiuri Giants: March 3, 2012

by on Mar.04, 2012 @ 3:47 am, under NPB
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John Bowker took grounders at first base on Friday.

"We expect Bowker to be able to play the outfield and first base.  We went over signs and he did a good job. ... That he can handle two positions is a big plus," said Tatsunori Hara.

Hara is also thinking about trying other players out at different players during exhibition play, like Yoshihito Ishii at second and Daisuke Fujimura at short.

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Michihiro Ogasawara and Yoshinobu Takahashi stayed back after general workouts on Friday for about fifty minutes of extra batting practice.

Yomiuri Giants: February 29, 2012

by on Feb.29, 2012 @ 11:55 pm, under NPB
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John Bowker will likely be given a shot to see if he can handle hitting in the middle of the order (from the third to fifth spot) during games in early March.  Bowker could get his first chance during an exhibition game against the Seibu Lions on March 3.

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The Giants are toying with the idea of using Scott Mathieson as a starter and are planning to have him pitch two or more innings an outing from here on out.

Much could also depend Yuya Kubo's status -- as of now, he is making good progress and might be ready by opening day.

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Ikusei pitcher Kyohei Odachi will likely remain with the Ichi-gun team at least until mid-March.

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Toshiya Sugiuchi is slated to start an exhibition game against the Seibu Lions on March 3.

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Hirokazu Sawamura suggested to Ryosuke Miyaguni that long distance throwing might be better for building up the arm than bullpen sessions.

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Shuichi Murata could get opportunities to bat clean-up this year in order to take some of the pressure/workload off Shinnosuke Abe.

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Some batting stats through Tuesday:

Yomiuri Giants: February 27, 2012

by on Feb.27, 2012 @ 11:52 pm, under NPB
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Through Monday, Ikusei pitcher Kyohei Odachi has struck out seven of the twelve batters he has faced over 3.2 innings of work (three games).

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Head coach Kaoru Okazaki told reporters on Sunday that they will probably tinker with the line-up when they return to Tokyo.  One possibility: Hisayoshi Chono batting lead-off and John Bowker batting third.

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Hirokazu Sawamura wants to throw his fastball, on average, at 150km/h.

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Sponichi mentions that Ryosuke Miyaguni, Kentaro Nishimura, and Dicky Gonzalez are competing for the sixth spot in the starting rotation.  Miyaguni could get two more starts: March 4 vs Seibu and March 11 vs Hanshin.

The first five spots will likely go to Tetsuya Utsumi, Toshiya Sugiuchi, Hirokazu Sawamura, D.J. Houlton, and Shun Tono.

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General pitching coach Kazuhisa Kawaguchi figures starters will begin throwing 100 pitches during their exhibition game starts beginning with one of their games at Kyocera Dome, which means sometime around March 13.

Yomiuri Giants: February 22, 2012

by on Feb.22, 2012 @ 11:59 pm, under NPB
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The practice game against the Yakult Swallows was canceled today because of the rain.

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Pro wrestler Tiger Mask visited Okinawa Cellular Stadium Naha today and met with Tatsunori Hara.

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Tetsuya Utsumi could start Thursday's game against the LG Twins.

Hirokazu Sawamura could start an exhibition game against Lotte on February 26.

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John Bowker is trying to improve his English by watching NHK News in Japanese.

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Through Tuesday, Shuichi Murata was 5-for-10 with one homer and five RBI over three games.

====== UPDATE 2/23 @ 1:27am

Hara, GM Atsushi Harasawa, and players visited Okinogu Shrine in Ono Yama Koen before Tuesday's practice game.  The team was originally planning to visit the shrine on Monday but their plans were derailed when they experienced delays with their flight.

Yomiuri Giants: February 16, 2012

by on Feb.16, 2012 @ 11:42 pm, under NPB
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Ryuichi Kajimae was taken to the hospital today after he took a pitch off his head during an intra-squad game (Scott Mathieson was pitching at the time).  Kajimae was conscious and was able to walk to the ambulance on his own two feet.

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Mathieson told reporters after today's intrad-squad game that he struggled with his control when he started pitching out of the set position because he got caught up in trying to avoid a balk call.

FYI: Mathieson is apparently a huge fan of bananas. ... The Mathieson Special consists of two bananas, some pineapple, crushed ice, and maple syrup.

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Tatsunori Hara is hoping to narrow his opening day roster selections by March 20.

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The Giant decided to call up Yuki Koyama and Ikusei pitcher Kyohei Odachi on Wednesday.

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Daily Sports reports that John Bowker, like Matt Murton (HAN), likes to take notes on how he does against other pitchers because it makes it easier to memorize.

Yomiuri Giants: February 10, 2012

by on Feb.10, 2012 @ 11:59 pm, under NPB
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Bullpen Sessions / Batting Practice

Friday

  • Yuya Kubo threw twenty-one pitches to a standing catcher. (Daily Sports)

Thursday

  • Tetsuya Utsumi threw 161 pitches in the bullpen. (Sanspo)
  • Yuya Kubo threw forty-one pitches to a standing catcher in the bullpen.  This was his first session since the start of spring camp; he was at about 60%. (Sanspo)
  • Ryosuke Miyaguni faced Michihiro Ogasawara and Hayato Sakamoto during batting practice allowed three could-be hits on forty-nine pitches.  He threw 26 pitches to Sakamoto and allowed one could-be hit.  Miyaguni threw his fastballs at 60-70%. (Sanspo)
  • Hirokazu Sawamura faced Shinnosuke Abe and Kazunari Sanematsu during batting practice and allowed two could-be hits on forty-nine pitches. (Nikkan Sports)

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The Ichi-gun Giants had the day off today.

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John Bowker and Scott Mathieson visited an eel restaurant on their day off today and ate eel for lunch.  They also had a chance to grab eels with their bare hands.

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Yuya Kubo will focus on his workouts/rehab and remain at Ni-gun spring camp for the rest of this month.

Kubo plans to toss one or two more bullpens during the current block, which ends on February 15.

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Tetsuya Utsumi wanted to throw 200 pitches during his bullpen session on Thursday but instead stopped at 161 pitches because he was feeling tired.

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Ryosuke Miyaguni is scheduled to pitch two innings during an intra-squad game on February 12.  He may also pitch an inning during an exhibition game against Hanshin on February 19.

Hirokazu Sawamura is scheduled to pitch in an intrad-squad game on February 14 and start an exhibition game against the Hanshin Tigers on February 19.

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Nikkan Sports figures the first four spots in the starting rotation will go to, in no particular order, Toshiya Sugiuchi, Utsumi, Sawamura, and D.J. Houlton.  The remaining two spots could go to Shun Tono, Dicky Gonzalez, or Miyaguni.

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The Yomiuri Giants announced today that they raised 8,947,208 yen through the online charity auction they held between December 11 and January 17.  The entire amount will be donated to relief efforts in northern Japan.

Top three uniforms:

  • Autographed Tatsunori Hara uniform - 675,000 yen
  • Autographed Yoshinobu Takahashi uniform - 648,000 yen
  • Autographed Michihiro Ogasawara uniform - 543,000 yen

====== UPDATE 2/11 @ 2:07am

If Miyaguni does not pitch on February 12, he could pitch two innings during an intra-squad game on February 14.

Yomiuri Giants: February 8, 2012

by on Feb.08, 2012 @ 11:59 pm, under NPB
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Batting Practice Bullpen Sessions

Wednesday

  • Both Shuichi Murata and Shinnosuke Abe stayed back for extra BP after general practices. (Nikkan Sports)

Wednesday

  • Kentaro Nishimura threw forty-seven pitches, including the curve he is working on. (Nikkan Sports)
  • Shun Tono threw fifty pitches.  He also worked on throwing his cutter to the inside corner with someone standing in the left-handed batter's box. (Nikkan Sports)
  • Dicky Gonzalez threw 118 pitches. (Daily Sports)

Tuesday

  • Toshiya Sugiuchi threw 101 pitches, including two difference kinds of sliders.  It was his fourth session since the start of spring camp.  Shinnosuke Abe was the catcher. (Sanspo)

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The Ni-gun Giants had the day off today.

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For the fourth time during spring camp, the Giants decided to start practices indoors today because of the cold weather.

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Tetsuya Yamaguchi faced Hisayoshi Chono and Hayato Sakamoto during batting practice today and threw forty-seven pitches.

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Taishi Ota stayed back after general workouts for about an hour of extra fielding practice in the outfield today.

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Kentaro Nishimura is scheduled to start an intra-squad practice game on February 12.

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Sanspo reports that the first six spots in the line-up could go: Hayato Sakamoto, Daisuke Fujimura, Hisayoshi Chono, Shinnosuke Abe, Shuichi Murata, Michihiro Ogasawara.

Nikkan Sports mentions that Tatsunori Hara could try something a one thru five of: Chono, Sakamoto, John Bowker, Abe, Murata.  It is also possible that Ryosuke Miyaguni gets a shot at being the sixth starter in the rotation.

Regardless, it seems Hara will reserve the four and five spots for Abe and Murata.

====== UPDATE 2/9 @ 1:54am

Fujimura will be using lighter cleats this year, from 330 grams to about 300 grams.

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Shun Tono is working on a new delivery where he does not raise his arms above his head when he lifts his left leg.

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Sponichi reports that Hara wants his base line-up to be Sakamoto batting first, Chono batting third, Murata batting fourth, and Abe batting fifth.  From there, players can be moved around.  For example: if someone different were to bat third, then Chono could move to batting lead-off with Sakamoto dropping down to the seven hole.

Regarding the outfield spots, Sponichi mentions, in a separate article, that Chono will be treated as the everyday right fielder.  Bowker and Yoshinobu Takahashi will battle it out for left, and Tetsuya Matsumoto and Ota will compete for the CF job.

Yomiuri Giants: February 6, 2012

by on Feb.07, 2012 @ 3:30 am, under NPB
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Batting Practice Bullpen Sessions

Sunday

  • John Bowker faced Hirokazu Sawamura and collected nine could-be hits on fifteen swings of the bat. (Daily Sports)  Or seven could-be hits on sixteen swings. (Sponichi)

Sunday

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The Ichi-gun players had the day off on Monday.

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John Bowker and Scott Mathieson played some catch (about fifteen minutes) in the grassy area near the team hotel on their day off on Monday.

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According to Sponichi, Bowker uses bats that weigh between 880-890 grams (lighter for more swing speed) and measure 33.5 inches long (shorter for better bat control).

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Yuya Kubo played catch at a distance of about fifty meters on Monday.  He also stepped into the bullpen with his cleats and did some shadow pitching.

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Hirokazu Sawamura faced Daisuke Fujimura and Bowker during batting practice on Sunday and threw fifty-two pitches.  Sawamura threw twenty-seven pitches to Fujimura and allowed two-could be hits.

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Tatsunori Hara tried playing Hisayoshi Chono in right, Taishi Ota in center, and Bowker in left during situational fielding practice on Friday.  At this point, Chono is the only player with a guaranteed job in the outfield.

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Five former Yomiuri Giant players held training sessions at Giants Stadium for fifty-eight university players on Monday.  Four of the five coaches: Tsuneo Horiuchi and Yoshitaka Katori worked with the pitchers; Kazunori Shinozuka was in charge of hitting; and Shuji Nishiyama worked catchers.  The training session will also be held on Tuesday.