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[10/23/2013] Rumors: Yomiuri Giants, Hiroshima Carp, Hanshin Tigers

by on Oct.24, 2013 @ 1:57 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

The Giants released Yasunari Takagi and Takahiko Nomaguchi on Wednesday but plan to re-sign both to Ikusei contracts.  The two players had surgeries during the season, Takagi his left shoulder and Nomaguchi his right elbow, and are in the process of rehabbing for 2014.

Source: ZakZak 10/23/2013

Hiroshima Carp

Miguel Socolovich will be returning to Venezuela on the 25th.  The team is not expected to bring him back next season.

Source: Sponichi 10/23/2013


Kila Ka'aihue is open to returning to Hiroshima next year, "if the opportunity presents itself."

Source: Sponichi 10/23/2013

Hanshin Tigers

The front office could use "starting pitcher" as a bargaining chip to keep Yasutomo Kubo in a Hanshin uniform.  The Tigers attempted to convert Kubo to a closer this season, but their plan did not work out well as they had hoped.

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/23/2013


There is a clause in Matt Murton's contract that bars him from signing with other teams in Japan in 2014 -- he can either sign an extension with Hanshin or any team outside of Japan.

Source: Sports Hochi 10/23/2013

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[9/13/2013] Injury Updates: Nomaguchi (YOM), Morgan, Blanco (YOK), Nakata (HAM), Shimauchi (RAK)

by on Sep.13, 2013 @ 11:57 pm, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

The Giants announced today that Takahiko Nomaguchi will require reconstructive surgery on his right elbow (medial collateral ligament).  Pain as sidelined Nomaguchi since a Ni-gun game against Seibu on May 29.  Surgery was his best option because his condition was not improving.

Nomaguchi will undergo the procedure on the 21st.  He will remain in the hospital for about a week.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/13/2013

Yokohama Bay Stars

Nyjer Morgan (fouled a ball off his right knee) and Tony Blanco (hurt right hamstring while running to first) are considered day-to-day.

Source: Sponichi 9/13/2013

Nippon Ham Fighters

Sho Nakata (left pinky fracture) returned to Kamagaya from Sapporo today.  He will resume workouts at the Ni-gun facilities on Saturday.  He could begin taking batting practice in four to five days.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/13/2013

Rakuten Eagles

Hiroaki Shimauchi hurt his left shoulder while trying to make a catch a ball hit by Orix Buffalo Aarom Baldiris in the 9th inning.  The Eagles will wait to see how he is feeling over the next couple of days before deciding what steps to take next.  He is currently not scheduled to go to the hospital.

Source: Sponichi 9/13/2013

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Yomiuri Giants: January 25, 2012

by on Jan.25, 2012 @ 11:59 pm, under NPB
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Today was the last day of training camp for the 2011 draft class.


Takahiko Nomaguchi showed up for practice at Giants Stadium around 8am today.  His workouts included weights, running, and playing catch.


Ryosuke Miyaguni threw 31 pitches (mostly fastballs) in the bullpen today.  This was his first bullpen session since he suffered a left ankle sprain earlier this month.


Masako Ishikawa (Head of Nippon TV Gakuin) gave the 2011 draft class a lecture on how to handle the media (abdominal breathing instructions, interview tips).


Yi-Hao Lin arrived in Japan today.  Lin returned to Taiwan in December last year and fulfilled his 12-day military requirement -- ordinarily, people are required to spend about a year and a half in the military but Lin received an exception after he made the national team.

The Giants are looking at Lin as one of their closer candidates.


Shuichi Murata does not want to focus too much of his time on practicing because that could lead to injuries.  Instead, he plans to spending time communicating with other players.


Shinnosuke Abe is thinking about holding mini-meetings where players can exchange ideas/suggestions/opinions during spring camp (especially with all the new faces joining the team).


The Giants will be playing one night game, on July 25 vs Yokohama (at Tokyo Dome), that begins at 7pm this season.  With this one game, they plan to see how much interest people have in attending games after work.

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Yomiuri Giants Spring Camp News and Notes: February 16, 2011

by on Feb.16, 2011 @ 2:24 pm, under NPB
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This post will be updated throughout the day.


Yesterday's intra-squad game:

Kentaro Nishimura threw 2 shutout innings for the red team.

Hirokazu Sawamura (1st round) threw a total 17 pitches during his 2 inning outing.

Tetsuya Utsumi pitched 2 shutout innings for the red team and gave up 2 hits.

===== 2/16 @ 10:41pm

Takahiko Nomaguchi threw 216 pitches in the bullpen today.  Pitching coach Masaki Saito also stood in the batter's box to check on Nomaguchi's off-speed pitches.

===== 2/16 @ 2:24pm

Shun Tono threw 300 pitches in the bullpen today.  This coming on the heals of tossing two inning during an intra-squad game outing yesterday.


The Giants announced yesterday that Shigeo Nagashima's scheduled visit on the 18th was canceled because he had a cold.


The Giants drew about 7,700 fans yesterday.


Sanspo is carrying the following interview with Hirokazu Sawamura (1st round):

What are your thoughts after your first outing?

It kind of felt a little short, but a little long...  But I had fun throwing in front of all the fans.

Were you able to take anything away from the outing?

I was get ahead in the count and I was able to get strikes even when I fell behind 2-0.  I do need to work on continuing improving the high fastball.

You got a strike with a slider after falling behind 2-0 [to Shigeyuki Furuki]...

I threw two fastballs that ended up balls.  I wasn't feeling very balanced throwing the fastball and sometimes I like to turn to off-speed pitches to help me regain my balance.  I was also good that I was able to get a second strike with a fastball after that.

Did this help you with your confidence?

This was an intra-squad game.  I can't really say until I start pitching in exhibition games.  It would also be wrong of me to think of how great I am.  I need to stay ambitious as I continue to move forward.

Incidentally, Shinnosuke Abe told reporters the he and Sawamura got their signals crossed on the pitch that got Furuki to strikeout -- Abe called for a fastball, but Sawamura thought he was calling for a fork and threw that instead.

Sawamura's next outing could come on the 20th against the Rakuten Eagles.


A plaque of Takuya Kimura was revealed during a ceremony at Miyazaki Minami High School yesterday.  Kimura's family was also present.

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Yomiuri Giants Spring Camp News and Notes: February 2, 2011

by on Feb.02, 2011 @ 12:17 pm, under NPB
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This post will be updated throughout the day.

=== 9:14pm

Yoshiyuki Kamei took grounders at third during situational fielding practice today.  He also got extra fielding work in after general practice.


Sawamura threw 38 pitches (including a curve he didn't throw yesterday) in his second consecutive bullpen session today.  His fastball apparently didn't have much life and his off-speed pitches weren't very consistent.


Takahiko Nomaguchi tossed 78 pitches in the bullpen today after getting some advice from pitching coach Masaki Saito yesterday.


Tetsuya Utsumi threw 70 pitches in the bullpen today.  Including his session during pre-spring-camp joint mini camp, that's three consecutive bullpen sessions in as many days.  General pitching coach Kazuhisa Kawaguchi was impressed with Utsumi's new fork.

Said Utsumi, "My balance was good today.  I'd like to do some more throwing tomorrow if my shoulder if feeling alright."

=== 2:26pm

Tatsunori Hara started his day with a 40 minute walk today (the distance between the team hotel and the practice grounds).

=== 12:17pm

Comments on Hirokazu Sawamura's (1st round) first bullpen session yesterday:

Shinnosuke Abe - "It was a good [session].  Top class material.  He reminds me of [Koji] Uehara during his best year's, except [Sawamura's] pitches feel heavier."

Tatsunori Hara - "Just like the rumors.  He needs to find his own rhythm.  He should also steal away [as much information as he can from other players] to help him mature."

Tigers' advance scout - "To see a rookie pitcher [toss a bullpen session] on the first day of camp, and to see him throw like that from his first pitch...  The pitches that made the stands stir.  Amazing."

Chunichi's advance scout - "He was probably throwing around 145, 146km/h.  He was probably the fastest of all the guys that threw today.  He's a horse that the Giants lacked.  He's similar to Ma-kun (Masahiro Tanaka)."

When told that scouts were already talking about him, Sawamura replied:

"Scouts are already here?  That's scary.  That just means I need to become a pitcher that can do well even if they have a book on me."


Shota Kimura threw 50 pitches in the bullpen yesterday.


Brian Bannister tossed 27 pitches in the bullpen while Carlos Torres tossed 72 pitches in the bullpen yesterday.


All players (including veterans and foreign players) were required to attend the evening practice session on bunting yesterday.


Hayato Sakamoto stayed back after regular practice to get in some extra work yesterday - running and throwing exercises with INF / base-running coach Hironori Suguro.


Yoshinobu Takahashi wrote 奮励努力 (extra effort) on his ema during the team's visit to Aoshima Shrine yesterday.

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Yomiuri Giants News and Notes: January 19, 2011

by on Jan.19, 2011 @ 11:54 pm, under NPB
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Yoshiyuki Kamei worked out at Giants Stadium today, along with Hidetoshi Tsuburaya.  His workouts included playing catch, infield practice, and BP.  And he told reporters that he was ready for spring camp.


Hayato Sakamoto has apparently been pushing his training in Guam pretty hard.  He's been holding 5+ hour practice sessions on consecutive days.  He's also doing a lot of running, like uphill dashes and jogging between the foul poles.  And during fielding practice, he's placing more emphasis on his back leg by firmly planting it (for about a second) before making his throw.


Takahiko Nomaguchi threw 60 pitches to a squatting catcher during his practice session in Hitachiota, Ibaraki on Tuesday.  He also showed off his new pitch: a rising shuto.  He's also continuing to work on his new sidearm delivery.


Takahiro Suzuki saw about 600 pitches during BP at Giants Stadium on Tuesday.  He made it a point to foul off pitches out of the zone and was extra careful about keeping his body closed.


Norihito Kaneto tossed 60 pitches in a bullpen session on Tuesday.  He's also using a slightly longer stride (by about 15cm).  Seems he got the idea after watching Hisanori Takahashi pitching.


Kyohei Tsuchimoto wants to appear in as many games as his uniform number this season (46).


The Giants may end up holding a training camp that includes all 90 of their players before the start of spring camp.  The Ichi-gun roster will begin basic training in Miyazaki on 1/27 (something the Giants' players' union started doing last year).  And the plan right now would be mixing in the Ni-gun players on the 31st, when all the coaches are scheduled to drop (Ni-gun players didn't get into Miyazaki until the 31st last year, but will be in Miyazaki on the 30th this year).

Said team captain Shinnosuke Abe, "I think we'll all practice together on the 31st.  I think the foreigners will come too.  I think it could be a first that so many players are working out together."

Yomiuri Giants News and Notes: December 24, 2010

by on Dec.24, 2010 @ 1:16 pm, under NPB
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The Giants' winter camp that began on the 2nd, ended earlier today.

Ikusei chief coach Kosuke Yoshihara's comment: "The players found their own things to work on.  I'd like to see them to continuing to find things to work on in January."

Ni-gun manager Masahiro Kawai's comment: "I don't know if we'll do this next year, but I think the players that attended this camp will be ready for the New Year."


According to Nikkan Sports, the Giants are hoping Rusty Ryal will become their regular third baseman.  Team rep Hidetoshi Kiyotake told reporters that he hopes the acquisition will push the younger players like Taishi Ota, Daisuke Fujimura, and Daisuke Nakai harder.


Head coach Kaoru Okazaki told reporters on Thursday that he doesn't plan to give any players, including veterans, special treatment during spring camp next year, particularly with the Ichi-gun group.

Said Okazaki, "The Ichi-gun group will practice like crazy.  Players will not be allowed to participate under a 'separate training menu' or work at their own pace."

That means players that aren't ready to go hard from the start will probably need to start spring camp at Ni-gun.

Okazaki added that it was also his job to check on the progress for every play, both Ichi-gun and Ni-gun, beginning from spring camp.

Oakzaki also spoke about his thoughts on the morning walks before practice during camp (as a means of warming players up) and how he thought it was something each player should decide, not the coaches.

"Normally, I think only players that feel the need to go [on walks] should go," said Okazaki.  "I don't think it's something we should decide."


Takahiko Nomaguchi is continuing to work on the new side throw delivery he picked up during fall practice.

"I've got about 3 different arm angles I'm thinking about," said Nomaguchi.  "I'd like to decide on which arm angle after I've had a chance to throw more and will continue to work on them during my own training."


The Giants are going to try and add 50 games to the Ni-gun schedule by sending players to various winter leagues (like the Puerto Rico Winter League) and by playing more games against Industrial League teams.

The Giants are expected to have around 90 players under contract in 2011.

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Yomiuri Giants to hold a winter camp?

by on Nov.25, 2010 @ 5:05 pm, under NPB
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It seems the Yomiuri Giants decided to hold a winter camp for Ikusei players in early December (about a 3 week period).

Under current NPB rules, teams are now allowed to coach players on the 70-man roster between 12/1 and 1/31.  But since Ikusei players fall outside of this rule, and the Giants also happen to have 23 Ikusei players, holding a 3-week winter camp actually makes sense.  It also means the Giants' Ikusei players will have a better chance of staying in playing condition during the winter, a time when it seems many Ikusei players can't always afford the proper training opportunities.

The winter camp will not be a requirement for Giants' Ikusei players.  Ni-gun coaches will also provide instruction the camp on a rotation.

In other team related news:

Takahiko Nomaguchi's uniform number will be changing from 33 to 45.

Hidetoshi Tsuburaya, an infielder by trade, is apparently willing to play anywhere the team wants him to, that includes catching and the outfield.  Tsuburaya is also working on adding some bulk and has already tacked on 4kg (75 to 79).  Tsuburaya is ultimately hoping to hit 82kg.

Hisayoshi Chono was selected to receive the Hochi Pro Sports Fresh Award.

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Yomiuri Giants News and Notes: November 17, 2010

by on Nov.17, 2010 @ 3:55 pm, under NPB
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The third block of fall camp started on Tuesday.  Takayuki Terauchi has been working out as a catcher over the last few days and suited up and caught a bullpen session for the first time.  On the mound was Hideki Asai, who threw over 100 pitches.  Terauchi told reporters he had a difficult time getting used to the live arm (he was catching a pitching machine up until now) and added he still needed more practice.  Asai didn't seem to have any problems and said that he was able to throw like he normally does.


Yuya Kubo is hoping to make it back into the starting rotation next season.  Of the 301 games he has appeared in, 42 have been as a starter.  And his last start came on 9/26/2009 vs Hiroshima.


Jumpei Ono tossed 225 (!) pitches in the bullpen on Tuesday while pitching coach Kazuhisa Kawaguchi looked on.  Seems Takahiko Nomaguchi also threw over 200 pitches as well.


The Giants appear to be leaning towards making Tetsuya Yamaguchi their next closerDaisuke Ochi is also another possibility, but the club apparently feels that Yamaguchi can provide more stability than Ochi.  Kubo is also a candidate.  It's also possible that the club will go with a bullpen by committee, but pitching coach Kazuhisa Kawaguchi is hoping to narrow it down to one closer.


Hayato Sakamoto and a number of other infielders worked on their cutoff throws to home plate on Tuesday.  But instead of doing relay throws in regularly, they were instructed to close their eyes while making their throws to home.  Seems the exercise is supposed to help infielders plant their feet better and put more focus on their throws.


Kyohei Tsuchimoto and Ono will be joining Tetsuya Utsumi, Shun Tono, and Yamaguchi in Guam for training in January.

Shinnosuke Abe, Sakamoto, Hisayoshi Chono and two other position players will also be working out in Guam.


Utsumi and the Giants announced on Tuesday that they'll will be holding a Christmas Dinner Show for the ladies on 12/7.  A number of other players will also be joining Utsumi at the show.  Tickets to the event will cost 25,000 yen per person and 100 pairs of women (I guess they want women to attend in pairs.

Check out the official Yomiuri Giants website for more information on the event.

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