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Nippon Ham Fighters News and Notes: April 17, 2013

by on Apr.17, 2013 @ 5:11 pm, under NPB
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Through Tuesday, only two starters have managed to pitch more than six innings this season: Hiroshi Kisanuki went seven innings against Lotte on April 4 and Mitsuo Yoshikawa went seven innings against Rakuten on April 10.


1st round draft Shohei Otani (right ankle inversion sprain) felt good while walking around on Tuesday morning and started playing catch later that day -- he threw the ball about eighty times at a distance of about thirty meters.  He made sure not to put too much energy into his throws (about twenty percent).

Source: Sponichi 4/17/2013Nikkan Sports 4/17/2013

He threw some curves and sliders during his game of catch on Tuesday.  He threw the last ten balls at about 120km/h.

Source: Sanspo 4/17/2013


Masaru Takeda threw forty-nine pitches in the bullpen at Kamagaya on Tuesday.  He is scheduled to pitch about five innings in relief in a Ni-gun game against the Futures on the 20th.  Bobby Keppel will make his first rehab start in the same game and pitch one inning.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/17/2013


Yuki Saito threw the ball off the bullpen mound about fifty times at around sixty percent on Tuesday -- Ni-gun pitching coach Takeharu Kato stood on home plate to catch the balls.  Saito first started throwing off a mound to a standing catcher on the 9th.  He is also playing catch at distances of about sixty meters.

Source: Sanspo 4/16/2013Nikkan Sports 4/17/2013


Atsunori Inaba will continue to donate money to Hokkaido emergency children's services based on the number of hits he accumulates over the course of the season.  The money he raises this year will go towards equipping the 400 or so Hokkaido ambulances with non-contact thermometers.

Inaba has been donating money to Hokkaido emergency children's services since 2009.  He finished providing emergency response units at seventy locations in Hokkaido with medical equipment designed for children last year.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/16/2013Sponichi 4/16/2013

Inaba hit a home run on Tuesday night and has now recorded at least one home run in each season of his nineteen-year career.

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Nippon Ham Fighters: Masaru Takeda to miss three weeks with calf strain

by on Mar.30, 2013 @ 9:40 pm, under NPB
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Masaru Takeda got an MRI at a Tokyo hospital today and was diagnosed with a strain in his left calf.  He will need about three weeks for a full recovery.

Takeda suffered the injury in the 4th inning of Friday's opening day game against Seibu.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/30/2013

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Nippon Ham Fighters: Masaru Takeda to get opening day start

by on Feb.25, 2013 @ 11:08 pm, under NPB
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The Fighters and Hideki Kuriyama announced today that Masaru Takeda will get the opening day start this year.

The also posted list this list of their last nine opening day starters:

Date Pitcher Opponent Score Venue
2004/3/27 Kanemura, Satoru Osaka Kintetsu ●2-6 Osaka Dome
2005/3/26 Mirabal, Carlos Fukuoka Softbank ●1-3 Yahoo Dome
2006/3/25 Kanemura, Satoru Rakuten ○3-1 Sapporo Dome
2007/3/24 Darvish, Yu Chiba Lotte △4-4 Chiba Marine
2008/3/20 Darvish, Yu Chiba Lotte ○1-0 Sapporo Dome
2009/4/3 Darvish, Yu Rakuten ●1-3 Sapporo Dome
2010/3/20 Darvish, Yu Fukuoka Softbank ●3-5 Sapporo Dome
2011/4/12 Darvish, Yu Saitama Seibu ●3-12 Sapporo Dome
2012/3/30 Saito, Yuki Saitama Seibu ○9-1 Sapporo Dome

Source: official announcement

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Nippon Ham Fighters News and Notes: February 22, 2013

by on Feb.22, 2013 @ 11:45 pm, under NPB
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Bullpen Sessions / Batting Practice


  • 3rd round draft pick Yohei Kagiya: bullpen, forty-nine pitches
  • Masaru Takeda: bullpen, forty-seven pitches

Source: Sponichi 2/22/2013, Sanspo 2/22/2013


  • 1st round draft pick Shohei Otani: bullpen, twenty-six pitches

Source: Sanspo 2/22/2013


The Fighters closed out Ni-gun camp in Kunigami today.

Takumi Oshima was in charge of the ceremonial closing clap.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/22/2013


Masaru Takeda is scheduled to start Saturday's exhibition game against Hanshin.

Source: Sanspo 2/22/2013


Part of the reason why 1st round draft pick Shohei Otani reported to Ichi-gun camp was because Hideki Kuriyama wanted to let the youngster work out in the warmer weather.

"[Otani] was not really promoted.  I just thought it might be better for him to work out in the warm weather," said Kuriyama.  "We will see how he does.  If he is good, then we might let him play and see if we can spot things he needs to work on."

Otani's schedule, after spring camp ends: high school graduation on March 2; NPB rookie seminar on March 4; team rally on March 5; rookie intro ceremony before exhibition game against Yomiuri on March 6.

Source: Sponichi 2/22/2013

Otani suffered a little cut on his right ring finger while tossing batting practice on Thursday (the fingernail on his right thumb caused the cut).  Something similar also apparently happened to Yu Darvish.

Source: Sponichi 2/22/2013, Nikkan Sports 2/22/2013

Kuriyama told the reporters on Thursday he wanted them to take a step back and give Otani some breathing room.

"Otani will be coming up to Ichi-gun tomorrow.  He has been doing two things so his fatigue building up.  Forceful interviews will not allowed.  We will set something up so you can speak to him.  Please do not put place any strain on him.  If you can not follow the rules, I will ban interviews.  That might seem extreme, but please understand," said Kuriyama.

Source: Sports Hochi 2/22/2013Nikkan Sports 2/22/2013

Otani was assigned the hotel room Sho Nakata used before he left for the WBC.

Source: Sports Hochi 2/22/2013

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Nippon Ham Fighters News and Notes: February 16, 2013

by on Feb.17, 2013 @ 1:23 am, under NPB
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Batting Practice Bullpen Sessions / Batting Practice


  • 1st round draft pick Shohei Otani: indoor batting practice, forty-six swings, sixteen could-be hits

Source: Daily Sports 2/16/2013


  • Masaru Takeda: bullpen, seventy-two pitches

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/16/2013


Masaru Takeda is scheduled to pitch in an exhibition game against Hanshin on the 23rd.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/16/2013


1st round draft pick Shohei Otani is slated to play in Sunday's intra-squad game (as a DH).

Source: Sports Hochi 2/16/2013

Ni-gun battery coach Yoichi Fukuzawa caught the first ten pitches of Otani's bullpen session on Friday before letting Takumi Oshima take over.  He told reporters the rookies' fastball felt heavy and was better than what a young Hideki Irabu threw.

Source: Sponichi 2/16/2013

Otani will likely toss some batting practice sometime during the last block of spring camp (beginning on the 19th).

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/16/2013

Otani threw twenty-six off-speed pitches and twenty-four fastballs during his bullpen session on Friday.  Of the twenty-six off-speed pitches he tossed, six were sliders.  Pitching coach Takeharu Kato would like Otani to throw fewer sliders and work on throwing off-speed pitches with vertical movement.

Source: Sanspo 2/16/2013

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Nippon Ham Fighters: March 17, 2012

by on Mar.17, 2012 @ 11:47 pm, under NPB
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The Fighters worked out indoors for about two hours due to the rain out.


Masaru Takeda will pitch in Sunday's game against the Yakult Swallows since his start against the Chiba Lotte Marines was rained out today.


Yuki Saito's next outing will likely be against the Softbank Hawks at Sapporo Dome on March 22.


Hideki Kuriyama is not sure what to do about the opening day starter.  Current candidates include Saito, M. Takeda, and Bobby Keppel.

Saito: 2 G, 11 IP, 16 H, 1 HR, 2 BB, 4 SO, 1 WP, 6 R, 5 ER, 4.09 ERA
M. Takeda: 3 G, 10 IP, 10 H, 1 HR, 2 BB, 4 SO, 0 WP, 4 R, 4 ER, 3.60 ERA
Keppel: 2 G, 9 IP, 11 H, 1 HR, 1 BB, 3 SO, 0 WP, 8 R, 6 ER, 6.00 ERA

Nippon Ham Fighters: March 5, 2012

by on Mar.05, 2012 @ 11:32 pm, under NPB
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4th round draft pick Kensuke Kondo and 5th round draft pick Toshiharu Moriuchi flew back to Hokkaido after attending the NPB Rookie Seminar today.


7th round draft pick Takumi Oshima spent time working on catching a pitching machine using a first baseman's mitt on Sunday.  He also caught some pitchers in the bullpen for the first time in eleven days.

Oshima will most likely get to play in some Kyoiku League games this week, but the team will hold off on using him as a catcher because they are still a little concerned about his lower back.


Masaru Takeda tossed three shutout innings on Sunday against the Yakult Swallows.  Nikkan Sports figures Hideki Kuriyama may hold off making a decision on his opening day starter a bit longer.

"I suppose teams normally go with their best pitcher on opening day," said Kuriyama.  "But I am thinking about what is best for this team.  I can not just think about opening day.  Making a decision based on content is easy."


Kuriyama presented the Nippon Ham Fighters Junior Team with their NPB 12 Team Junior Tournament ENEOS CUP trophy before Sunday's exhibition game against the Yakult Swallows.  The Junior Team also took part in the first pitch ceremonies.

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Nippon Ham Fighters: February 28, 2012

by on Feb.28, 2012 @ 11:47 pm, under NPB
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Bullpen Sessions / Batting Practice


  • Yuki Saito threw 154 pitches in the bullpen.  He threw eight of those pitches with pitching coach Hiroshi Shibakusa standing in the right-handed batter's box.  And of the eight pitches he threw to Shibakusa, four where change-ups.  In all, Saito threw eleven change-ups during the session. (Sanspo, Sports Hochi)


The Fighters closed out spring camp in Nago today.


Masaru Takeda will likely start an intra-squad game against the Yakult Swallows on March 4.  According to Nikkan Sports, Takeda and Yuki Saito are the top two candidates for opening day.

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Nippon Ham Fighters: February 13, 2012

by on Feb.13, 2012 @ 11:59 pm, under NPB
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Bullpen Sessions / Batting Practice


  • Masaru Takeda threw forty-four pitches during batting practice and allowed six could-be hits.  This was his first batting practice outing during spring camp. (Nikkan Sports)


Atsunori Inaba spent about an hour taking extra batting practice after general workouts today.  Inaba is expected to begin playing in games beginning on February 18 (vs Samsung).


Hideki Kuriyama told reporters on Sunday that he may call 7th round draft pick Takumi Oshima up again to Ichi-gun for their practice game against the LG Twins on February 14.


Talento Monta Mino visited Nago camp on Sunday and interviewed Yuki Saito for a segment on his morning TV program.

====== UPDATE 2/14 @ 1:19am

Head coach Junichi Fukura observed Ni-gun camp on Monday as part of a movement to help coaches get a better feel for the entire organization.


Haruki Nishikawa worked out at Ni-gun camp on Monday for the first time since he started playing in a string of Ichi-gun practice games that began February 8.  Nishikawa also stayed back after general workouts in order to get in extra fielding practice, BP, and weight training.

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