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[1/21/2015] Softbank Hawks, Orix Buffaloes, Nippon Ham Fighters, Chiba Lotte Marines, Seibu Lions, Rakuten Eagles

by on Jan.22, 2015 @ 1:31 am, under NPB
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Softbank Hawks

  • Daisuke Matsuzaka has kept a low profile during the off-season so far. He turned down national media requests and only agreed to work with local television companies -- one interview per company and with the understanding the footage would be limited to the Fukuoka area. Matsuzaka does not want to be bothered by the media, but was only willing to speak to local media out of respect and appreciation for the fans. Source: ZakZak 1/21/2015
  • The Hawks will be using the Sports Coaching Cam to help break down player movements. The camera is capable of recording at speeds up to 600 frames per second. Source: Daily Sports 1/21/2015

Orix Buffaloes

  • The 2014 draft class had a chance to meet Ichiro Suzuki on Wednesday. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/21/2015
  • The Buffaloes are planning to give Francisco Caraballo (31) another look during spring camp. Caraballo first joined Orix partway through the season in 2010 and was released in 2011. He played for the Gunma Diamond Pegasus the last two seasons and blasted fifty-seven home runs and drove in 150 RBI in 135 games. Source: Sponichi 1/21/2015

Nippon Ham Fighters

Chiba Lotte Marines

  • Seventh round draft pick Naoto Wakimoto recorded the best numbers for leg strength (290 newton meters) and velocity off bat (152km/h) during Tuesday's physical fitness tests. Source: Sponichi 1/21/2015
  • Takahiro Fujioka added more weights to his training routine in December last year. He also changed his diet by eating less fatty meats and more vegetables -- he ended last season at ninety-three kilograms and currently weighs eighty-eight. Source: Daily Sports 1/21/2015

Seibu Lions

Rakuten Eagles

  • The Eagles announced that Kazuo Matsui will be registered as an outfielder this year. They also announced that Yasuhito Uchida will be registered as an infielder. Source: Sponichi 1/21/2015
  • First round draft pick Tomohiro Anraku was assigned to Ichi-gun spring camp during a staff meeting on Wednesday. Source: Daily Sports 1/21/2015
  • Hiromoto Okubo wants to do more running on the base paths. "Players need to get on base to run, so that come first. If players can't do that, then they need to hit .300. And if that's not possible, twenty home runs. That's probably the way it will be," said Okubo. He would like to see players like Matsui, Ryo Hijirisawa, and Makoto Moriyama leading the charge. Source: Daily Sports 1/21/2015

[1/19/2015] Softbank Hawks, Orix Buffaloes, Nippon Ham Fighters, Chiba Lotte Marines, Seibu Lions, Rakuten Eagles

by on Jan.20, 2015 @ 1:49 am, under NPB
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Softbank Hawks

  • Taiga Kasahara threw forty-five pitches in the bullpen on Monday, twenty to a squatting catcher. It was his third session in as many days. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/19/2015
  • Fifth round draft pick Yosuke Shimabukuro threw twenty-one pitches to a standing catcher in the bullpen on his day off on Sunday. It was his second session this year, first since the 15th. He returned to Tokyo on Monday for college examinations and will rejoin the team on the 22nd. Source: Sponichi 1/19/2015
  • Ayatsugu Yamashita has managed to drop his weight to eighty-eight kilograms, about four less than what he weighed last year. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/19/2015

Orix Buffaloes

  • Fourth round draft pick Ban Takagi threw twenty-four pitches to a standing catcher in the bullpen on Monday. It was his first session of the year. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/19/2015
  • Takahiro Okada worked out with Ichiro Suzuki in Kobe on Monday. Okada has worked out with Ichiro in the past five other times (2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2014). Source: Sports Hochi 1/19/2015, Nikkan Sports 1/19/2015

Nippon Ham Fighters

Chiba Lotte Marines

  • First round draft pick Eisuke Tanaka threw twenty-five pitches to a standing catcher in the bullpen on Sunday. He threw twenty fastballs, followed by four curves, and finished with one last fastball. Tanaka graded his session a sixty percent. Source: Daily Sports 1/19/2015

Seibu Lions

  • The Lions held a staff meeting at a hotel in Tokyo on Monday to discuss spring camp assignments. The 2014 draft class will begin the season at Ni-gun spring camp. Source: Nikkkan Sports 1/19/2015
  • Second round draft pick Yasuo Sano threw thirty pitches, all fastballs, to a standing catcher in the bullpen on Monday. It was his first session since November last year. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/19/2015
  • Tatsuyuki Uemoto took a batted ball off his face while throwing baseballs to Kyohei Nagae during soft-toss batting practice on the 13th. He suffered a chipped tooth and required seven stitches to close a cut. He resumed practices on the 15th. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/19/2015

Rakuten Eagles

  • The 2014 draft class visited the Nikka Whisky distillery in Sendai on Monday. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/19/2015
  • Takahito Otsuka threw thirty pitches to standing catcher in the bullpen on Monday. Source: Sports Hochi 1/19/2015
  • Senior Adviser Senichi Hoshino visited kobo Stadium on Monday and met members of the 2014 draft class. Team staff celebrated his sixty-eighth birthday a few days early by presenting Hoshino with flowers and three bottles of Dom Perignon. Source: Sports Hochi 1/19/2015
  • First round draft pick Tomohiro Anraku will be leaving the team for six days beginning on the 25th to take his high school final examinations. He will rejoin the team in Kumejima on the 31st. Source: Daily Sports 1/19/2015 ... Anraku has reserved places to practices, like Botchan Stadium, while he is away from the team. The Eagles are concerned about the downtime and are hoping it does not delay his training timetable. Source: Sports Hochi 1/19/2015

[1/16/2015] Softbank Hawks, Orix Buffaloes, Nippon Ham Fighters, Chiba Lotte Marines, Seibu Lions, Rakuten Eagles

by on Jan.17, 2015 @ 5:00 am, under NPB
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Softbank Hawks

  • Seiichi Uchikawa ordered two new types of bats that are the same basic shape and weight as the one he used last year, but one has a handle that is one millimeter thinner and the other is one millimeter thinner all around and an additional millimeter thinner in the handle. Uchikawa wants to feel more weight in the barrel. Source: Sports Hochi 1/16/2015

Orix Buffaloes

  • First round draft pick Sachiya Yamasaki was slated to throw thirty pitches in the bullpen on Thursday but kept throwing until he hit forty because he was checking his fastball. Yamasaki could be assigned to Ichi-gun spring camp. Source: Daily Sports 1/16/2015

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • Fifth round draft pick Hayao Segawa threw forty pitches, mostly fastballs, in the bullpen on Friday. It was his second session of the year, first since the 14th. Source: Daily Sports 1/16/2015
  • Akihiro Hakumura threw about thirty pitches in the bullpen on Thursday. It was his second session in as many days (he threw fifty pitches on Wednesday). Source: Sports Hochi 1/16/2015

Chiba Lotte Marines

  • Sixth round draft pick Atsushi Miyazaki threw forty pitches, all fastballs, to a standing catcher in the bullpen on Thursday. Fourth round draft pick Kandai Terashima caught the session. Source: Daily Sports 1/16/2015
  • The Marines announced three uniform number updates on Friday: Alfredo Despaigne's number will change from forty-nine to fifty-four. Dae-Eun Rhee's number will be thirty-eight, Kuan-Yu Chen's number will be forty-nine. Source: official announcement

Seibu Lions

  • First round draft pick Kona Takahashi threw forty-one pitches, all fastballs, in the bullpen on Friday. It was his second session of the year, first since the 14th. Source: Sports Hochi 1/16/2015

Rakuten Eagles

  • Takaaki Yokoyama, Ginji, Shintaro Masuda, Motohiro Shima, Shinichiro Koyama, Tetsuro Nishida, Taishi Nakagawa, Yusuke Nishimiya, and Yuri Furukawa worked out in Okinawa on Friday. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/16/2015
  • First round draft pick Tomohiro Anraku's lime green baseball glove has caught the attention of the media in Japan. Source: Daily Sports 1/16/2015 ... Anraku asked Zett to include the color green. He also had the phrase "Kimi Life, Minna-no Tame-ni" stitched inside the glove. "Kimi Life" is the name of a Naoto Inti Raymi song. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/16/2015

[1/15/2015] Orix Buffaloes, Nippon Ham Fighters, Chiba Lotte Marines, Seibu Lions, Rakuten Eagles

by on Jan.16, 2015 @ 2:25 am, under NPB
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Orix Buffaloes

  • Tatsuya Sato threw forty pitches to a standing catcher in the bullpen on Thursday. It was his first session of the year. Source: Daily Sports 1/15/2015

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • Shohei Otani threw forty pitches to a standing catcher in the bullpen on Thursday. Ryo Ishikawa caught the session and jokingly told reporters the last pitch Otani threw was 166km/h. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/15/2015
  • Naoyuki Uwasawa threw fifty pitches to a standing catcher in the bullpen on Wednesday. It was his third session of the year. Uwasawa told reporters the sinker he has been working on is close to being game-ready. Source: Sports Hochi 1/15/2015
  • Takumi Oshima could be assigned to Ichi-gun spring camp because there are not enough catchers. Shota Ono is still having problems with his right elbow, Tomoya Ichikawa is coming off back surgery and will most likely start at Ni-gun spring camp, and Kensuke Kondo will probably see time at third base. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/15/2015
  • Yuki Saito has so far tossed three bullpen sessions this year, each thirty pitches or less. He is trying to pace himself more than last year. Source: Daily Sports 1/15/2015
  • The Ishikawa Million Stars (BC League) announced that they signed former Fighter Hitoshi Tadano (34) to a player/pitching coach contract. Source: official announcement

Chiba Lotte Marines

  • Kota Futaki threw forty pitches to a standing catcher in the bullpen on Thursday. It was his second session in as many days and second session of the year. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/15/0215
  • Second round draft pick Eisuke Tanaka is planning to toss a bullpen some time before the end of the month. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/15/2015
  • Toshiaki Imae added Pilates to his training routine last fall (two or three times a week, ninety to 120 minutes per lesson). He is hoping it will help with his back problems by strengthening his core muscles. He has also replaced sweets and junk food with dried fruits. Source: Daily Sports 1/15/2015, Nikkan Sports 1/15/2015, Sanspo 1/15/2015

Seibu Lions

  • Chun-Lin Kuo tossed thirty-one pitches (all fastballs) to a standing catcher in the bullpen on Thursday. He threw from the set position at about sixty percent. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/15/2015
  • Senior Director Hisanobu Watanabe does not think first round draft pick Kona Takahashi needs to throw anything other than the fastballs during his bullpen sessions right now. Source: Sports Hochi 1/15/2015, Sponichi 1/15/2015

Rakuten Eagles

[1/14/2015] Softbank Hawks, Nippon Ham Fighters, Seibu Lions, Rakuten Eagles

by on Jan.15, 2015 @ 3:10 am, under NPB
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Softbank Hawks

  • Ikusei eighth round draft pick Keigo Nakamura tossed a bullpen session with a squatting catcher on Wednesday. He also tossed a session on Tuesday. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/14/2015

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • Yuki Saito threw thirty pitches to a standing catcher in the bullpen on Wednesday. It was his third session of the year. Source: Daily Sports 1/14/2015, Sports Hochi 1/14/2015
  • First round draft pick Kohei Arihara played catch at a distance of about forty meters on Wednesday. He is still taking things slow because of the discomfort he felt in his right elbow. Source: Daily Sports 1/14/2015

Seibu Lions

  • First round draft pick Kona Takahashi threw thirty-three pitches, all fastballs, two a standing catch on Wednesday. It was his first session of the year (first since mid-December 2014). Source: Sports Hochi 1/14/2015
  • According to Sanspo, Takashi Toritani may have been interested in signing with the Lions when Hiroyuki Nakajima decided to head to the Majors. Toritani is from the Kanto area and went to high school in Saitama and college in Tokyo. He may have been open to the idea of playing closer to home, but Seibu never really checked. Source: Sanspo 1/14/2015

Rakuten Eagles

  • First round draft pick Tomohiro Anraku could toss a bullpen session sometime after the 21st. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/14/2015

[1/13/2015] Orix Buffaloes, Nippon Ham Fighters, Chiba Lotte Marines, Rakuten Eagles

by on Jan.14, 2015 @ 2:14 am, under NPB
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Orix Buffaloes

  • Daiki Tomei threw about thirty pitches to a squatting catcher in the bullpen on Tuesday. This was his second session of the year (he tossed his first on the 10th). Source: Sponichi 1/13/2015

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • Shohei Otani told reporters on Monday he would not turn any members of the 2014 draft class away if they wanted to visit him in his room. Source: Daily Sports 1/13/2015, Nikkan Sports 1/13/2015, Sponichi 1/13/2015 ... Otani tossed 128 pitches during indoor batting practice to Ryo Watanabe on Tuesday. He told reporters it was like playing catch. Source: Daily Sports 1/13/2015, Sports Hochi 1/13/2015
  • Some are taking exception to Sho Nakata's hair styles and the way he sometimes chews gum during games. Acting owner Hiroji Okoso spoke up during a fan event in Sapporo on Monday and said he was okay with players expressing their individuality through their hair styles. He also said opinions can change based on the things players say and do and their public persona. Source: Sports Hochi 1/13/2015, Nikkan Sports 1/13/2015
  • First round draft pick Kohei Arihara currently weighs ninety-seven kilograms. He would like to get that down to between ninety-three and ninety-four. Arihara (right elbow) played catch at a distance of about thirty meters on Monday. Source: Sponichi 1/13/2015

Chiba Lotte Marines

  • The Marines announced on Tuesday that they signed Chad Huffman (29) to a new contract for the 2015 season. The deal is worth an estimated twenty-six million yen. Source: official announcement, Daily Sports 1/13/2015
  • Second round draft pick Eisuke Tanaka is trying to get about nine hours of sleep a night. He usually averages about seven, but increased it to nine because of the higher levels of stress and fatigue. Source: Daily Sports 1/13/2015

Rakuten Eagles

  • The media learned on Monday that fourth round draft pick Fernando Luciano had surgery on his left hand in December last year. Source: Daily Sports 1/13/2015
  • First round draft pick Tomohiro Anraku completed 104 shuttle-runs on Monday (sixth out of nine). Source: Daily Sports 1/13/2015 ... Luciano completed eighty-eight (ninth out of nine, only player that failed to reach 100). Ikusei first round draft pick Takumaru Yaoita completed 126 (first out of nine). Source: Sports Hochi 1/13/2015, Sports Hochi 1/13/2015 ... Ikusei second round draft pick Hiroki Osakaya completed 114 (third out of nine). Source: Nikkan Sports 1/13/2015
  • Anraku on his shoulder and elbow: "My shoulder and elbow are a consumable commodity so I'd like to discuss how to proceed with the trainers. When I was in high school, a part of me threw a lot on purpose. I want to play for twenty more years, so I don't want to overdo it." Source: Nikkan Sports 1/13/2015 ... Otani does not like throwing bullpen sessions because there are no batters to face. His velocity tends to remain below 140km/h. His fastball also tend to stay below 150km/h during practice games. Source: Sponichi 1/13/2015

[1/12/2015] Softbank Hawks, Orix Buffaloes, Nippon Ham Fighters, Rakuten Eagles

by on Jan.13, 2015 @ 2:22 am, under NPB
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Softbank Hawks

  • Shingo Tatsumi (28) filed marriage papers with a twenty-nine-year-old woman from Wakayama on the 10th. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/12/2015
  • Shota Takeda, Ryo Hidaka, and Yujo Kitagata biked about forty kilometers on Sunday (twenty kilometers one way and roughly eight kilometers of hills). Takeda currently weighs ninety-four kilograms, four more than last season. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/12/2015 ... Takeda threw thirty pitches to a squatting catcher on the Saturday. Source: Sports Hochi 1/12/2015

Orix Buffaloes

  • 3rd round draft pick Kodai Sano loves animals and kept a large number of them (an axolotl a parrot, a rabbit, and fish) when he was in high school. He hopes to "buld a zoo" once he is allowed to find his own place to live. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/12/2015 ... Sano is good at making balloon animals. Players drafted out of high school are usually required to live in the team dormitory for five years, unless they do well at Ichi-gun. Source: Sponichi 1/12/2015

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • Naoyuki Uwasawa threw seventy pitches to a squatting catcher in the bullpen at Kamagaya on Sunday. It was his second session this year and his first with a squatting catcher. Source: Sports Hochi 1/12/2015
  • Shohei Otani believes there is some value in trying to reach 170km/h. Source: Sanspo 1/12/2015

Rakuten Eagles

  • Training camp for the 2014 draft class started at kobo Stadium on Monday. Source: Sponichi 1/12/2015
  • Hiromoto Okubo is thinking about using Ginji as a back-up emergency catcher. Ginji was drafted as a catcher, but never caught any games at the Ichi-gun level. Source: Sports Hochi 1/12/2015

[1/10/2015] Orix Buffaloes, Nippon Ham Fighters, Seibu Lions, Rakuten Eagles

by on Jan.11, 2015 @ 2:17 am, under NPB
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Orix Buffaloes

  • The 2014 draft class finished moving into the team dormitory in Kobe on Saturday. Source: Sanspo 1/10/2015

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • Training camp for the 2014 draft class started at Kamagaya on Saturday. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/10/2015
  • Atsunori Inaba appeared on TBS's Job Tune Special on Saturday and said that he often took the first pitch during each of his at bats because he did not want to disappoint fants performing the Inaba Jump with a quick first-pitch out. Source: Daily Sports 1/10/2015

Chiba Lotte Marines

  • Second round draft pick Eisuke Tanaka signed autographs for about sixty fans after practices on Saturday. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/10/2015

Seibu Lions

  • First round draft pick Kona Takahashi, second round draft pick Yasuo Sano, and fourth round draft pick Yusuke Tamamura signed autographs for about 100 fans after practices on Saturday. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/10/2015

Rakuten Eagles

  • The 2014 draft class moved into the team dormitory in Sendai on Saturday. Source: official announcement

[1/9/2015] Softbank Hawks, Nippon Ham Fighters, Chiba Lotte Marines, Seibu Lions, Rakuten Eagles

by on Jan.10, 2015 @ 12:17 am, under NPB
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Softbank Hawks

  • Training camp for the 2014 draft class started on Friday at the Saitazaki facilities. Thirteen players, including eight Ikusei players, participated in the two-hours workouts. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/9/2015
  • The groundbreaking ceremony for the new Ni-gun facilities in Chikugo, Fukuoka took place on Friday. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/9/2015

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • Second round draft pick Yushi Shimizu moved into the team dormitory in Kamagaya on Friday. Source: Sports Hochi 1/9/2015
  • Yuki Saito threw about twenty pitches, all fastballs, to a standing catcher in the bullpen on Friday. It was his first session of the year. Source: Daily Sports 1/9/2015
  • Mitsuo Yoshikawa threw fifty-five pitches, including curves and sliders, in the bullpen on Friday. It was his third session since the start of the new year. Source: Sports Hochi 1/9/2015 ... Yoshikawa, Kensuke Tanaka, and Takuya Nakashima worked out in Miyakojima, Okinawa on Friday. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/9/2015
  • Shohei Otani tossed an unscheduled bullpen session on Thursday. He threw thirty-eight pitches, including fastballs, sliders, and curves, to a standing catcher. It was his first session since early-December last year. Ryo Watanabe caught the session and was impressed with Otani's velocity. Source: Chunichi Shimbun 1/9/2015 ... Otani threw all the pitches from the wind-up. It was the first time he used the wind-up since high school. Source: Sanspo 1/9/2015 ... Otani will most likely toss a number of bullpen sessions at Kamagaya until he heads to Okinawa on the 23rd. Daily Sports 1/9/2015 ... Otani hit about thirty softballs during soft-toss batting practice on Thursday. Source: Sponichi 1/9/2015
  • The Fighters announced that Kenso Takeda will become an adviser on February 1. He will then take over as the new team president when Toshikazu Tsuda steps down and becomes an adviser on March 16. Source: official announcement

Chiba Lotte Marines

  • Training camp for the 2014 draft class began on Friday at QVC Marine. Workouts started at 11:00am and ran for about two hours and forty minutes, no breaks. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/9/2015, Nikkan Sports 1/9/2015
  • Senryokugai Shota Koike retired and accepted a job in the organization as Ni-gun equipment handler. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/9/2015
  • Former Lotte Shunsuke Watanabe returned to Japan on Friday. He was playing winter ball in Venezuela and won MVP of the week during the final week of the season. He pitched in six games, all starts, and went 1-1 with a 2.91 ERA over 34.0 innings of work. Watanabe would like to play in the Majors this year. Source: Daily Sports 1/9/2015, MLB.com Player Card

Seibu Lions

  • Atsushi Okamoto and Ryoma Nogami worked out in Yamaga, Kumamoto on Friday. Workouts started at 9:00am, lasted about six hours, and included running, running hills, trunk strengthening exercises, playing catch, and weight training. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/9/2015
  • Training camp for the 2014 draft class started at Seibu 2 Stadium on Friday. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/9/2015
  • First round draft pick Kona Takahashi and second round draft pick Yasuo Sano were scheduled to run a six kilometer course around Seibu Dome on Thursday, but they ended up running fifteen after they got lost. Source: Daily Sports 1/9/2015

Rakuten Eagles

  • Hiromoto Okubo is thinking about canceling morning walks and exercises during spring camp to make sure players have a chance to sleep and eat breakfast. He is also thinking about giving players an hour for lunch, instead of the thirty they had been getting. Source: Sponichi 1/9/2015
  • Sho Miyagawa had surgery on his right elbow in October last year and is hoping to pitch in his first rehab scrimmage/game in June. Source: Sports Hochi 1/9/2015

[1/8/2015] Softbank Hawks, Orix Buffaloes, Nippon Ham Fighters, Chiba Lotte Marines, Seibu Lions, Rakuten Eagles

by on Jan.09, 2015 @ 1:34 am, under NPB
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Softbank Hawks

  • The 2014 draft class moved into the team dormitory in Fukuoka on Thursday. Source: Sanspo 1/8/2015
  • Nobuhiko Matsunaka and Nobuhiro Matsuda left Japan out of Fukuoka Airport on Thursday. They will be training in Guam. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/8/2015
  • Tadashi Settsu could not meet with the Hawks in December for salary negotiations because he was on his honeymoon with his wife (they were married in 2013). Source: Sports Hochi 1/8/2015 ... Settsu is slated to earn his domestic FA option some time this season. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/8/2015

Orix Buffaloes

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • First round draft pick Kohei Arihara, third round draft pick Daiki Asama, and seventh round draft pick Yuto Takahama moved into the team dormitory in Kamagaya on Thursday. Source: Daily Sports 1/8/2015, Daily Sports 1/8/2015

Chiba Lotte Marines

  • Ayumu Ishikawa developed a fever after he had four wisdom teeth removed in December. He was out for a few days and dropped about three kilograms. He managed to regain what he lost, plus a little more, and is currently between eighty-three and eighty-four kilograms. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/8/2015
  • Former Lotte Hiroyuki Kobayashi will be a pitching coach for the Musashi Heat Bears (BC League) this year. Source: official announcement

Seibu Lions

  • Fourth round draft pick Yusuke Tamamura moved into the team dormitory on Thursday. He was originally planning to move in two days earlier, but was out with a fever. Source: Sports Hochi 1/8/2015
  • Kazuki Miyata filed marriage papers with a woman on Thursday. Source: Sponichi 1/8/2015

Rakuten Eagles

  • Yasunori Kikuchi, Takahiro Shiomi, Kenji Tomura, and Kodai Hamaya left Japan on Thursday. The four will be spending some time training with Hisashi Iwakuma in Los Angeles. They are scheduled to return later this month. Source: Sponichi 1/8/2015
  • The Eagles are slated to play a practice game against the Hanshin Tigers on February 17. Senior Adviser Senichi Hoshino is expected to watch the game. Rakuten is also scheduled to play practice games against KBO teams on the 15th and 16th. Source: Sponichi 1/8/2015