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Tag: Kazuo Matsui

Rakuten Eagles: February 3, 2012

by on Feb.03, 2012 @ 11:57 pm, under NPB
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Batting Practice Bullpen Sessions

Thursday

  • Kazuo Matsui took sixty-three swings and hit forty-six baseball to the opposite direction. (Nikkan Sports)

Friday

  • 1st round draft pick Yoshitaka Muto threw 116 pitches, including off-speed pitches.  This was his third bullpen session in as many days -- he threw fifty pitches on Wednesday. (Sponichi)

Thursday

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If batting coach Hiromoto Okubo could have his way, he would most likely bat Kazuo Matsui forth this year.

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Matsui will be testing a new bat based on the model he used in 2001: 33.5 inches long and around 890 grams.

He was named captain of the team during a team meeting today.

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Keiji Uezono is a candidate for the starting rotation.

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Senichi Hoshino hit a total 223 baseballs during fielding practice for pitchers on Thursday.  Masahiro Tanaka, Takahiro Shiomi, and 1st round draft pick Yoshitaka Muto were part of the group (a total seven pitchers were in the group).

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Norihiro Akahoshi visited Hoshino today.  When reporters asked if he would be interested in hiring Akahoshi as a special instructor, he jokingly replied, "I want to give him a tryout!"  Akahoshi responded, "I am still working out so I am ready to be called up at any time."

Rakuten Eagles: February 2, 2012

by on Feb.02, 2012 @ 11:59 pm, under NPB
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Senichi Hoshino was present during early morning practices again today (7am start time).  He also did some jogging along the outfield wall.

Hoshino spent about 20 minutes hitting grounders to pitchers today.

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4th round pick Takero Okajima stayed back and spent sixteen consecutive minutes in the batting cages hitting off-speed pitches (no rest) during his workouts today.

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The Eagles were presented with a number of local items today, including a 20kg yellowfin tuna.

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Keiji Oyama caught Masahiro Tanaka's bullpen session on Wednesday.

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Tanaka has been focusing on weight placement on his back leg during his bullpen sessions -- on Wednesday it took an average 1.87 seconds for his front foot to land after he picked it up during his delivery.  FYI: Yu Darvish taught Tanaka how to use his back leg more efficiently this past winter.

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Kazuo Matsui told reporters after practice on Wednesday that he woke up at 5:20am and was completely beat.  The first day of practices began at 7am and ended at around 4pm.

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Batting Practice Bullpen Sessions

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Wednesday

  • Shinichiro Koyama threw 201 pitches.  FYI: February 1, or 201, is also his son's birthday. (Sanspo)
  • Daisuke Kato threw about 150 pitches while getting advice from pitching coach Yoshinori Sato. (Nikkan Sports)

Rakuten Eagles: January 31, 2012

by on Jan.31, 2012 @ 11:43 pm, under NPB
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Before leaving for Kumejima, Okinawa, around 80 players and staff members attended a send-off party at Sendai Station.  About 1,500 fans attended the event.

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The Eagles held a press conference for Jose Fernandez and Luis Terrero today in Kumejima, Okinawa.

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The Eagles announced today that Hitoshi Taneda (40) stepped down as Ni-gun infield / base-running coach due to personal reasons.

They also announced the following personnel updates:

Makoto Kosaka - from Ikusei coach to Ni-gun infield / base-running coach

Yoshinori Okihara - hired as farm director

Tomoki Sano (? 佐野 朋生) - hired as an interpreter

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Senichi Hoshino strongly denied reports that the team was going after Hideki Matsui.

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Kazuo Matsui could become the next team captain.  He also plans to take part in early morning practices.

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1st round draft pick Yoshitaka Muto found out on Monday that he will be starting at Ichi-gun spring camp, not Ni-gun spring camp.

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The Eagles may decide not to sign Ken Kadokura because Hoshino is concerned about his conditioning/stamina.

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Seven members of the 2011 draft class spent time introducing themselves to about 50 fans (they handed out business cards) at Sendai NAVIC in Aoba-ku, Sendai on Monday.

Rakuten Eagles: January 14, 2012

by on Jan.15, 2012 @ 12:37 am, under NPB
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The first block of training camp for the 2011 draft class ended on Saturday.  Workouts lasted about five hours and included warmups, fielding practice, playing catch, BP, and lower body strengthening exercises.  2nd round draft pick Yoshinao Kamata told reporters that he planned to stretch his arm out a little more during the next block by increasing the distance when he plays catch.

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Ikusei pitcher Kengo Kimura worked out at Kleenex Stadium on Friday.  His workouts included running, stretching, playing catch, and fielding practice.  Kimura has been working out at Kleenex Stadium since 1/10.

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Manabu Mima is currently working out with Daiki Enokida (HAN) at the Tokyo Gas training facilities.

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Kazuo Matsui is using an iPad 2 to check on his batting mechanics (the team handed them out in May last year).

Rakuten Eagles: January 13, 2012

by on Jan.13, 2012 @ 11:31 pm, under NPB
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Kazuo Matsui worked out for about three hours in Tokyo today.  Workouts included running, fielding practice, and BP.

Matsui's goal this year is to play out a full 144-game season.

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1st round draft pick Yoshitaka Muto showed off his speed on Thursday by pacing the rest of the team during shuttle runs (he did 117 shuttles).

2nd round draft pick Yoshinao Kamata is trying not to do a lot of throwing during practices right now because he is still in the process of building up his shoulder.  During practices on Thursday, he was allowed to take part in fielding practice without having to throw balls back in (he pretended to throw the ball and then placed it inside in a box next to him).  Kamata did start playing catch on 1/10.

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.

Rakuten Eagles Spring Camp News and Notes: February 8, 2011

by on Feb.08, 2011 @ 7:02 pm, under NPB
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This post will be updated throughout the day.

===== 2/8 @ 11:11pm

Shiomi threw 77 pitches during his bullpen session today.

Said Hoshino, "He throws a lot of pitches and has very good balance."

===== 2/8 @ 7:02pm

Manabu Mima (2nd round) faced Daisuke Kusano and Fuminori Yokogawa during BP today and threw 18 pitches while giving up 1 could-be hit.  For Mima, it was his first outing against pro yakyu hitters.

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Kazuo Matsui took extra BP after practice yesterday (about 45 minutes).  He took a total 164 swings of the bat (from the left side using a training bat) and hit 6 over the fence (against both a live arm and a machine).  Over half were line drives that were hit in fair territory.

Matsui also has three things in mind this year: hitting (consciously pulling inside pitches and going to the opposite field with outside pitches during BP); running the bases (he was timed at 7.19 seconds going from first to third and 7.20 seconds going from second to home); and fielding (Matsui averages about 0.44 seconds from gloving the ball to throwing).

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Senichi Hoshino was not only upset at the slight pause Motohiro Shima made during a 4-inning, 4 out bunting drill yesterday that allowed a runner to get into third safely, but was also upset when Yusuke Kusuki failed to execute a squeeze play.

Today, Hoshino checked out Ni-gun spring camp today for the first time this spring.  After spending the morning watching Ichi-gun pitchers in the bullpen, he hopped on a car and went to the Ni-gun facilities (about a 15 minute ride).  While there, Hoshino also had a chance to watch Takahiro Shiomi (1st round) toss a bullpen session.

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Akinori Iwamura spent about an hour fielding 218 grounders at third base during extra fielding practice yesterday.

Iwamura will also be celebrating his 32nd birthday tomorrow.  Before practice today, about 30 kindergartners wished Iwamura an early happy birthday with a song and a chocolate cake.

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Masahiro Tanaka threw 77 pitches in the bullpen yesterday.  For Tanaka, it was his third session in as many days.  His parents were also visiting.

Rakuten Eagles News and Notes: January 12, 2011

by on Jan.12, 2011 @ 10:40 pm, under NPB
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Senichi Hoshino returned to Japan on Tuesday.  He told reporters that he wasn't able to do much while he was in Australia due to the rain (a kids' baseball clinic he was supposed to attend was canceled and he couldn't play any golf) and that he made it a point to stay abreast of the news in Japan (he used an iPad he purchased last year).

Hoshino also added that he thought Kazuo Matsui was physically capable of playing until he was 40 and that he should be preparing to play short this season.

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Kazuo Matsui has added about 2kg to his frame (he now weighs 85kg) in order to increase his muscle mass.  He also told reporters that he was aiming to do a lot of running on the base paths this season and that he wanted to be in the starting line-up everyday.

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Shinichiro Koyama is apparently using an MLB baseball in his training after he found out that Hisashi Iwakuma did the same last year and found it to be helpful.  He's also hoping it'll help him get used to pitching with the new NPB regulation baseball as well.

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Akinori Iwamura, on the other hand, is working on losing some weight.  He also had some problems getting on the plane to Okinawa yesterday because his luggage first came up as being over the weight limit, even though it wasn't.  And while he was trying to get that settled, his flight took off.  Iwamura was initially hoping to start his training in Okinawa on 1/11 at 1:11pm, but gave up and decided to start things today (when all was said in done, Iwamura ended up arriving in Okinawa at 4:30pm).

The other three players in Iwamura's group, Yusuke Kajimoto (ORI), Wataru Nishimura (RAK), and Naoya Washiya (BC League), started their workouts at Kochinda Stadium without Iwamura on the 11th.

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Hisashi Kitani tossed about 30 pitches (while mixing in off-speed pitches) in the bullpen on Tuesday.  Kitani started his training up on the 3rd at his old high school (Omi High School in Shiga).

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Horipro announced that they signed Masahiro Tanaka to a management contract today.  Horipro will be handling all of Tanaka's non-baseball related events, like his off-season TV appearance schedule.  Horipro also recently signed a similar contract with Yusei Kikuchi.

Rakuten Eagles News and Notes: December 25, 2010

by on Dec.25, 2010 @ 9:55 pm, under NPB
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The Eagles announced that 27-year-old Shingo Matsuzaki and a 31-year-old acupuncturist Akiko Sako (酒匂暁子) filed marriage papers on Friday (12/24).

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Kazuo Matsui worked out for about 3 hours on Friday and then called it quits for the rest of the year.

Said Matsui, "I think things are coming along pretty, not bad at all.  The real stuff is still to come.  And it'll be about where I can pick things up in January."

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The Eagles will be playing two practice games against the Samsung Lions on 2/22 and 2/23.

Samsung's manager, Dong Yeol Sun, pitched for the Chunichi Dragons (1996 and 1999) under Senichi Hoshino.

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Hoshino is apparently thinking about buying himself a pair of mounton boots in order to combat the cold weather in Sendai.

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Hisashi Iwakuma will apparently be on the cover for the March issue of Goethe (newsstands on 1/24).

Rakuten Eagles News and Notes: December 18, 2010

by on Dec.18, 2010 @ 5:45 pm, under NPB
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Akinori Iwamura and Kazuo Matsui practiced together again on Friday.  After fielding practice, the two spent about an hour going over batting theories will taking soft toss BP.  Seems Iwamura's mentor, Futoshi Nakanishi, made an impression on Matsui with his hitting theories when he dropped by their practice session on the 14th to see how the two were progressing.  And so Iwamura spent time refreshing Matsui's memories.

Because the two players are fairly busy this winter, it seems Friday's practice seesion may have been their last together.

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The media learned that Masahiro Tanaka will most likely be signing on with HoriPro for management services during the winter.  The two sides are still working on finalizing a deal and a formal announcement could be made in January.  Direct Athlete will continue to handle the financial-side of things for Tanaka.