Tag: Kazuo Matsui
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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).
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."
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.
Hoshino is apparently thinking about buying himself a pair of mounton boots in order to combat the cold weather in Sendai.
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.
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.
Akinori Iwamura and Kazuo Matsui worked out together on Tuesday. Iwamura's mentor, Futoshi Nakanishi, spent about 20 minutes hitting grounders to the two players (Iwamura playing at third and Matsui at short). Nakanishi also spent about 30 minutes tossing soft toss and checking on their swings.
Senichi Hoshino returned to his home in the Kansai area after spending 4 days in Sendai (appearances on local TV shows, press conference to introduce 2010 draft picks, etc). Regarding the exhibition game schedule, Hoshino said that he'll sit down with the other coaches and work on a list of things they'll have players working on. Hoshino will next return to Sendai some time in mid-January.
Hoshino is also looking for a nickname for his 2011 outfield: Akihisa Makida, Ryo Hijirisawa, and Teppei.
Masahiro Tanaka made an appearance at Yoyogi Seminar's main branch today (for House Foods) and gave students a pep talk about their futures. He also handed out House Foods products to about 10 students.
Next season will be Masahiro Tanaka's 5th pro season. On Thursday, he agreed to a 2011 salary of 200M yen plus incentives (up 20M yen). For a pitcher out of high school to reach the 200M yen range, that's faster than Daisuke Matsuzaka (6th pro season), as quick as Ichiro Suzuki (5th year), and one year behind Yu Darvish (4th season).
Satoshi Nagai also met with the team on Thursday and placed a 72.5M yen (up 15.5M yen) offer on hold. It appears there's about a 2.5M yen difference between the two sides.
Nagai wants the Eagles to place more importance in the fact he was able to provide the starting rotation with much needed stability over the last two seasons. The two sides will meet again on the 20th.
Teppei was apparently quite sad about Naoto Watanabe being traded away and teared up while telling reporters that he understood that trades are part of the job description, but that it was something he never expected.
Kensuke Uchimura was also apparently surprised by the move and said that he received a lot of encouragement from Watanabe. Uchimura added that he wanted to try his best to fill in the hole that opens with Watanabe's departure.
Kazuo Matsui and Hiroyuki Nakajima (Seibu Lions) recorded a radio show for Bunka Hoso on Thursday. The show will air on 1/3/2010 and is titled "Matsui Kazuo, Nakajima Hiroyuki - New Year's gathering - What baseball means to us" (松井稼頭央 中島裕之 新春ビッグ対談 僕らのベースボール).
Seems Matsui also encouraged Nakajima to chase after his dreams of playing in the Majors.
"I'd like to see his dream come true," said Matsui. "A of things happened during my 7 years and I consider them all good experiences. And I recommend the Central League because of the time differences."
Katsuya Nomura was asked to provide his thoughts on Saito Yuki and said, "He's got warm hands. He's the type that lives and dies on control and pitch selection. What will decide his fate is his catcher."
Nomura was then asked about the news regarding Tanaka's trip with Mai Satoda and he replied, "What a fool. I think I taught him wrong. Saito? He'll be fine. He's different [from Tanaka]."
The Pro Sports Showa 50 Club agreed to work together with the Sasakawa Sports Foundation. An announcement of the partnership was announced at a press conference yesterday (12/7). The two groups will now work together to help promote baseball (via clinics and various events) across the country.
Kazuo Matsui was also selected to become the new vice chairperson of the Pro Sports Showa 50 Club.
Kazuo Matsui spent some time working on his fielding on Monday. Wearing just a leather glove, Matsui took grounders from a distance of about 11 meters. He then switched over to his regular glove and started taking fielding practice from his knees.
Teppei is planning on bulking up a little during the winter.
Senichi Hoshino is apparently planning on splitting the pitching staff into three main types: pitchers that pitch well in the spring, summer, and autumn.
Said Hoshino, "I need to check each pitcher to decide where they fit. You'll find me in the bullpen during spring camp. I'll know more about [each pitcher's tendencies] after watching them for a month."
Hoshino would like to invite Norihiro Akahoshi as a temporary coach at some point in the future. Seems Hoshino feels Akahoshi might be able to help give some of their speedier runners pointers on how to steal bases.