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[12/27/2013] Hanshin Tigers News and Notes

by on Dec.27, 2013 @ 11:55 pm, under NPB
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Minoru Iwata has plans to work out in Phoenix, Arizona next month.  He will also spend some time at World Wing in Tottori.

Source: Sports Hochi 12/27/2013

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Yamato weighed sixty-two kilograms before the start of the season this year.  He is hoping to start next season at about sixty-seven kilograms.  He currently weighs 69.1 kilograms.

Source: Nikkan Sports 12/27/2013

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The Tigers will most likely limit the amount of times Seung Hwan Oh faces Central League teams, especially the Yomiuri Giants, during the pre-season (exhibition, practice games).

Source: Daily Sports 12/27/2013Sponichi 12/27/2013Nikkan Sports 12/27/2013

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Naoto Tsuru (26) filed marriage papers on the 5th with a twenty-four-year-old woman he dated for three and a half years.  They started living together in Hyogo on the 1st.

Source: Sponichi 12/27/2013, Nikkan Sports 12/27/2013

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The Tigers originally did not give players drafted out of high school permission to own cars until after their second year.  They changed the rule to three years.  The organization modified the rules because they want players drafted out of high school to focus on baseball during their first three years.

Players out of college or the Industrial League are free to own cars after their first year.

Source: Daily Sports 12/27/2013, Sanspo 12/27/2013

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Teams are only allowed to have up to seven coaches in the dugout during games.  The Tigers already have seven: the head coach, two batting coaches, a battery coach, a pitching coach, and two infield/outfield base-running coaches.  Assistant Batting Coach Thomas O'Malley is the odd man out.  However, their plan to make him a scorer means he will be allowed to sit in the dugout during games.

Source: Sponichi 12/27/2013

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The Tigers will not have a decision on their compensation for losing Yasutomo Kubo to the Yokohama Bay Stars via free agency until next month.

Source: Daily Sports 12/27/2013

They could announce their decision as early as January 6.

Source: Sponichi 12/27/2013

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Hanshin Tigers News and Notes: February 22, 2013

by on Feb.22, 2013 @ 11:47 pm, under NPB
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Bullpen Sessions / Batting Practice

Today

  • 1st round draft pick Shintaro Fujinami: bullpen, personal camp high sixty-six pitches, Yutaka Wada stood in the batter's box partway through the session

Source: Daily Sports 2/22/2013

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The Tigers closed out Ginoza spring camp today.

For the second year in a row, Ryota Arai was named spring camp MVP by Yutaka Wada.

The team drew 67,400 fans during spring camp (an increase of 9,100 over last year).

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

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Naoto Tsuru could be used as both a starter and reliever this season.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/22/2013

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Ryo Watanabe canceled his bullpen session on Thursday because of tightness in his right shoulder.  He will be shut down for a couple days.

Source: Sanspo 2/22/2013

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Former Hanshin manager Akinobu Mayumi visited Ni-gun camp on Thursday and spent some time working with Takahiro Arai on his hitting.

Source: Daily Sports 2/22/2013

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1st round draft pick Shintaro Fujinami was told about Thursday's practice game against the Chiba Lotte Marines and wanted to watch, but did not because he was in the middle of weight training -- he apparently does not like cutting his workouts short.

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

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Hanshin Tigers: March 29, 2012

by on Mar.30, 2012 @ 5:31 am, under NPB
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Thursday's Ni-gun game against Orix (Buffaloes 4 - Tigers 2): Yasutomo Kubo started the game and gave up two runs on five hits over three innings of work. [Nikkan Sports, Sanspo]

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Ni-gun pitching coach Kiyooki Nakanishi told reporters on Thursday that Yasutomo Kubo could end up getting another Ni-gun start because the team would like to see him toss at least five innings before sending him back to the active roster.  They also want to see a little more power and speed behind his fastballs.

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Craig Brazell will get the start at first over Kenji Jojima on opening day.  Jojima could enter partway through the game as a replacement at first.

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Naoto Tsuru made the opening day roster because he can not only pitch out of the bullpen, but also start.

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1st round draft pick Hayata Ito will likely have until Matt Murton returns to show he belongs on the active roster.

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While the Tigers have three players at catcher on their Opening Day roster, only one may be capable of playing: Akihito Fujii.  The other two: Jojima is still not ready to get behind the plate and Shinji Komiyama has not been feeling well.

Ryo Asai could catch if necessary.

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Yoshinoya, Sanspo, and Craig Brazell will be working together again this season to bring Sanspo readers free gyudon meals for every homer Brazell hits this season (two winners, twenty vouchers each).

Last year, Brazell helped give away 360 vouchers with his nine homers; Matt Murton helped give away 1,700 tickets with thirty-one multi-hit games.

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Hanshin Tigers: February 10, 2012

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

Friday

  • Matt Murton took forty-five swings against a machine that throws curves. (Sports Hochi)

Thursday

  • Craig Brazell took seventy-seven swings and hit twenty-three over the fence, including six in a row. (Sanspo)
  • Takahiro Arai took seventy-four swings and hit seven over the fence. (Sanspo)
  • Masahiro Nakatani went 1-for-3 during situational BP: single to left, strikeout looking, fly out to right. (Sanspo)  He also took fifty-seven swings during regular BP and hit one over the fence. (Nikkan Sports)
  • Takashi Shimizu went 1-for-3 during situational BP.  His lone hit: a double to left. (Sanspo)
  • Shinji Komiyama went collected three hits: single to right off Masanori Fujihara; single to center off Naoto Tsuru; and a triple to center of Fujihara. (Sanspo)
  • 1st round draft pick Hayata Ito took 113 swings during extra BP and hit three over the fence. (Sports Hochi Osaka)

Thursday

  • Takumi Akiyama threw ninety pitches in the bullpen.  He also set imaginary counts and situations during his session. (Sanspo)
  • Kyuji Fujikawa threw eighty-six pitches in the bullpen. (Sanspo)  Or eighty-eight pitches. (Daily Sports)
  • Naoto Tsuru faced eleven batters during situational batting practice and allowed three hits on twenty-eight pitches. (Sanspo)
  • Tomoyuki Kubota threw thirty-three pitches during situational batting practice. (Sanspo)

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The team had the day off today.

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Matt Murton worked out on his day off today.  His workouts included running, stretching, and batting practice.

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1st round draft pick Hayata Ito spent some time hitting in the cages against machines during his day off today.

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Takumi Akiyama told reporters he plans to test his cutter when he gets his chance to toss situational batting practice.

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Craig Brazell spent about thirty minutes working on his fielding at first base with INF/base-running coach Teruyoshi Kuji on Thursday.

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Kenji Jojima spent about thirty minutes chasing down baseballs hit to the outfield during lunchtime BP on Thursday.

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Kyuji Fujikawa spent some time giving a number of players, like Tomoyuki Kubota, Kazuhito Futagami, and Hirokazu Shiranita advice on pitching on Thursday.  This apparently came after team president Nobuo Minami approached Fujikawa and asked him to think about what he can do, as captain of the pitching staff, to help pitchers that have struggled.

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During situational BP on Thursday, Masahiro Nakatani made a strong throw to home from right: with Kenichi Tagami on second, Yamato hit a single through the right side; Nakatani fielded the ball and quickly threw a one-hop bullet to home plate to get Tagami out at home.

Nakatani could bat forth and start in left during a practice game on February 12 (Nippon Ham).

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Takahiro Arai, and a number of other players, worked on their fielding/throwing after general practices on Thursday.  Special instructor Tatsuro Hirooka provided his input.

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Naoto Tsuru has a shot at either becoming a back of the rotation starter or a reliever this season.  He could also pitch in a practice game against Nippon Ham on February 12.

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Tomoaki Kanemoto was planning to participate in situational fielding practice during the second block of spring camp, but he ended up putting it off until the third block because of some shoulder tightness.

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Hanshin Tigers News and Notes: December 20, 2010

by on Dec.20, 2010 @ 10:29 am, under NPB
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Naoto Tsuru is using the off-season to improve his conditioning and stamina so that he can hit his 2011 goal of tossing 100+ innings at Ichi-gun for the first time in his career (he also has his eyes on double-digit wins and the starting rotation).  Ni-gun pitching coach Kiyooki Nakanishi would also like to see Tsuru throw anywhere from 100 to 150 innings next season.

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In addition to Takumi Akiyama and Masashi Nohara, Shunsuke Fujikawa will be joining Team Jojima for training in January.

Fujikawa worked out (playing catch and running) at his Alma mater (Kinki University) on Sunday.  He'll continue his training at Kinki University until the 22nd and then make visits to Fukuoka (home town) and Hiroshima (Koryo High School).  He'll also pay his respects to Hiroyuki Oze by visiting his grave.

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Akiyama plans on hitting a number of hot springs when he returns home to Saijo this winter (for about 2 weeks).

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Keiichi Yabu will be getting Akinobu Okada's old number 80.

Seems the club gave Yabu the option to pick from the numbers 77, 78, 79, and 80.  Before selecting the number 80, Yabu also placed a call to Okada for permission.

FWIW: 77 was Senichi Hoshino's old number and 78 was former Ni-gun manager's Katsuo Hirata number.

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Owner Shinya Sakai still hasn't written his New Year's Cards to the team, but does intend on sending them out again this year.

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Yasutomo Kubo was a guest on Mainichi Broadcasting Systems' radio program MBS Toragumi Tigers Live on Sunday.  Kubo told listeners that he wanted to improve his hitting and planned on sneaking in some BP during lunch hour at spring camp.

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Hanshin Tigers News and Notes: December 3, 2010

by on Dec.03, 2010 @ 2:41 pm, under NPB
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Naoto Tsuru worked out (running) at Naruohama on Thursday.  Tsuru is hoping to work out with Tomoyuki Kubota during the winter.

Said Tsuru, "I'd like to tag along if it's alright with him.  I need to work on strengthening my body.  I need to do some lifting and running.  I just need to increase all my workouts across the board."

Tsuru worked out with Kubota in January this year for about 3 weeks and recalled running about 4 hours a day.

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Takashi Toritani told reporters that even though he managed to collect 104 RBI this past season, it wasn't necessarily a big deal if the runs weren't important.

Said Toritani, "Just because you bat well with runners in scoring position doesn't mean you're good.  There's a difference between driving in the 10th run of a game and driving in the game-winning run.  It doesn't make sense to look at the final total because what matters is if the runs helped the team win.  Batting .250 is fine if you help your team win.  Of course, there's nothing wrong with hitting well. ... It would be different if I was the type of batter to hit 30-40 homers, but I got my 100 RBIs this year because of [Keiichi] Hirano and [Matt] Murton. ... It's all about whether or not you can drive in the big runs.  That's what I'd like to focus on over the course of the year next season.

Incidentally, Toritani batted .360 and drove in 11 RBI with runners in scoring position this past season.

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Shinjiro Hiyama is looking to mix things up next season and give the younger players a run for their money.

Said Hiyama, "I want to try doing things I haven't done up until now.  I'd like to wake up a part of me that might have been sleeping [all these years]. ... I think I'm pretty good at sport, but doing things I don't normally do might help me improve.  [That's why] I think it's important to talk to different kinds of sports athletes."

One of the things he's thinking about doing is working on throwing with his left hand to improve his balance.

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Kozo Kawato, the new chairperson of the Tigers' Old Timers committee, met with team owner Shinya Sakai yesterday.

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Hanshin Tigers News and Notes: November 17, 2010

by on Nov.17, 2010 @ 12:46 pm, under NPB
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Kazuhito Futagami tossed 30 pitches (just fastballs) to a squatting catcher on Tuesday.  It was the first time Futagami threw to a squatting catcher since hurting his right elbow.

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Yusuke Kawasaki faced lefties during a simulated game on Tuesday (18 in all) and gave up 5 hits and struck out 1.

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Robert Zarate apparently caught a cold and spent the day getting checked out a hospital on Tuesday.  Seems he doesn't have a fever but does have a sore throat.

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Since being discharged from the hospital on the 12th (after surgery on the 9th), Kenji Jojima has been rehabbing his left knee in a "secret" location -- seems the club even asked Jojima to keep his rehab work outs and training location a secret.  But according to an unnamed source, Jojima is apparently working out in Kyushu.

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Now that Kentaro Sekimoto has a 3-year deal, Akinobu Mayumi issued a challenge to Sekimoto to win the starting second base job (or any starting position).

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The Tigers held a 5,000m run during practice on Tuesday.  Naoto Tsuru finished in first with a time of 19m 3s, 19 seconds faster than the second place finisher, Takumi Akiyama.

Incidentally, it seems Akiyama is a candidate for opening day starter.  If Akiyama does end up the opening day starter, that would make him the 5th pitcher under 20 in club history to get the opening day start and the first pitcher under 20 to get the job since Kazunori Nishimura in 1955.  Seems Daisuke Matsuzaka was the last pitcher under 20 in the NPB to get an opening day start (2000).

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As expected, Yuya Ando will not be exercising his FA option.

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Shimoyanagi taken off active roster, Tsuru to return to starting

by on Sep.03, 2010 @ 11:58 am, under NPB
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The Hanshin Tigers took Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi off the active roster yesterday.  The move, it seems, is part of a larger plan to juggle the starting rotation and could also involve moving Naoto Tsuru back into the rotation for the Chunichi Dragons series, a team Shimoyanagi has struggled with a bit this year (1-2 with a 4.66 ERA in 5 starts against Chunichi).

The Tigers might go with the following 6 pitchers for their next two series:

vs Hiroshima

Yasutomo Kubo

Naoto Tsuru

Takumi Akiyama

vs Chunichi

Jason Standridge

Randy Messenger

Atsushi Nomi

Shimoyanagi's next start could come on the 14th against the Yokohama Bay Stars.

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Starting rotation updates for the Hanshin Tigers

by on Aug.23, 2010 @ 4:11 pm, under NPB
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Jason Standridge (back pains) played some catch (distance of about 45 meters) yesterday at the Naruohama training facilities.  Team trainer Yasunori Konda told reporters that Standridge was throwing fairly hard and had a much better session of catch on Sunday than he did on Saturday and felt confident that Standridge would gain even better mobility moving forward.  It appears Standridge is hoping to make it back to the active roster on the 29th.

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It seems the Tigers have a better idea of Atsushi Nomi's rehab schedule moving forward.  Daily Sports Online is reporting Nomi is currently scheduled to toss an inning or two in a Ni-gun game on the 24th (vs Hiroshima) and then start a Ni-gun game on 9/3 (vs Orix).  Depending on how he's feeling after that start, he could be ready to rejoin the active roster in time for the team's three game series against the Chunichi Dragons that begins on 9/7.

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And Nikkan Sports mentions that Naoto Tsuru (last three appearances out of the bullpen: 4.1 IP, 18 BF, 2 SO, 4 BB, 1 HBP, 0 R, 0 ER) could battle it out with Hirotaka Egusa for a spot in the starting rotation.

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