Kazuhito Futagami tossed 50 pitches to a standing catcher in the bullpen at Naruohama yesterday, his first session since his right elbow injury. Futagami concentrated on throwing the last 30 pitches down low using about 70-80% of his strength. Said Futagami, "I did feel any discomfort while throwing. I'll be able to pitch to a squatting catcher some time this month. ... I'll also plan on pitching in December. And I'd like to get my [new] year started before anyone else."
As of yesterday, Minoru Iwata was scheduled to pitch in a simulated game today (with a pitch count of about 100 pitches). Iwata spent his day playing catch and running during practice on Saturday (he didn't pitch in the bullpen).
UPDATE: Iwata tossed 5 shutout innings while giving up 4 hits and striking out 2 on 59 pitches. He also mixed in his off-speed pitches, like his slider and curve, and topped out at 141km/h.
Robert Zarate got his eyes checked out on Saturday in order to get a prescription for a new pair of glasses. Upon returning from his examination, he spent some time flagging down flyballs in the outfield during BP without any glasses on.
Tomoaki Kanemoto spent about 3 hours at the player dorms (like getting treatment on his right shoulder and working with weights) in Naruohama on Saturday.
The Tigers worked on stealing second (with leads) during practice on Saturday. Seems the fastest was Hiroki Uemoto at 3.29 seconds. And according to training coach Atsunori Ito, that's not too far off from Norihiro Akahoshi's mark of 3.26 seconds (an average).
For runs between first and third, Yamato came out on top with a 6.99 second mark.
The Tigers were in the middle of the pack in stolen bases this past season (71) and are looking towards Uemoto, Yamato, Shunsuke Fujikawa, Kenichi Tagami, and Kohei Shibata to step up with their speed.
Akinobu Mayumi told reporters on Saturday that thing he's looking for in a catcher right now (to step in for Kenji Jojima) is one that has strong defensive skills.
Incidentally, it seems Jojima placed a call to Takumi Akiyama (he's apparently keeping tabs on the youngster) and also asked chief trainer Tatsuzo Tsunekawa not to give the media too much information about his surgery. The club may also give Jojima the green light to do whatever he feels is necessary in order to get back to the playing field as soon as possible, including heading overseas (like Los Angeles, Arizona, and Hawaii) for his rehab and training. They may even excuse him from upcoming events like Fan Appreciation Day and the end of the year team gathering. It's all about providing Jojima with whatever he needs.
As part of his tryout, Yokhama Bay Stars' senryokugai Kosuke Kato tossed 53 pitches (including his curve, slider, and shuto) to a squatting catcher, with Mayumi watching, earlier today. Kato is scheduled to stay with the team until the last day of fall camp (17th).