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Hanshin Tigers News and Notes: April 8, 2013

by on Apr.08, 2013 @ 11:58 pm, under NPB
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The Tigers 0-3 in day games.  In those three games, they have managed to score just one run -- a home run by Takeshi Hidaka in the 8th inning of the third game.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/8/2013


All the coaches were involved in the decision to bat Matt Murton clean-up on Sunday.  Their decisions were based on current performance.

Source: Daily Sports 4/8/2013


1st round draft pick Shintaro Fujinami will likely toss three bullpen sessions before his next scheduled start on the 14th (vs Yokohama at Koshien) because he was limited to just forty-two pitches on Sunday (first official pro relief appearance).

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/8/2013


Ryota Arai started his rehab workouts at Naruohama on Sunday -- he worked on his upper body in the morning and used the pool in the afternoon.  Arai is hoping to make it back to the active roster in the minimum ten days.

Source: Sponichi 4/8/2013


Ryo Asai will be promoted.

Source: Sanspo 4/8/2013


Ni-gun game against Chunichi on Sunday:

Tatsuya Kojima started the game and tossed seven shutout innings while allowing one hit (a double to right to Takehiro Donoue in the 2nd inning).  He recorded eleven ground ball outs, struck out eight, and topped out at 141km/h.  Source: Daily Sports 4/8/2013 ... Ryo Watanabe entered the game in the 8th and tossed a shutout inning in relief.  He faced five hitters, gave up two hits, threw eighteen pitches, and topped out at 138km/h.  He is scheduled to pitch in the upcoming Ni-gun Softbank series (April 9-11) and could be added to the active roster in time for the Yokohama series (at Koshien, April 12-14).  Source: Sanspo 4/8/2013


The Tigers will continue their ECO PET bottle cap collection drives this season.  Last year, they collected 282,616 caps.

Source: official announcement

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The pitch that hit Yoshiyuki Kamei in the face and broke his nose

by on Apr.09, 2012 @ 12:50 pm, under NPB
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Sunday game (April 8), Yomiuri Giants vs Hanshin Tigers at Koshien Stadium.

Giants up 4-0 in the top of the 5th.

Runners on second and third, two out.

Yoshiyuki Kamei up to bat for the Yomiuri Giants.  Tatsuya Kojima on the mound for Hanshin.


Kojima became the first pitcher this season to get ejected from a game for throwing a dangerous pitch.  He also later said to reporters, "You can not throw those kind of pitches.  I feel really awful."

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Hanshin Tigers: March 28, 2012

by on Mar.29, 2012 @ 6:23 am, under NPB
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Wednesday's Ni-gun game against Orix at Kobe 2 Stadium: Yuya Ando started the game and did not allow a run over seven innings of work.  He did give up six hits.  Ando is slated to make his first regular season start on April 4 (Yakult at Jingu). [Sanspo]

Tuesday's Ni-gun game against Orix at Kobe 2 Stadium (Orix 5 - Hanshin 0): Tatsuya Kojima started the game and allowed two runs on four hits over six innings of work. [Sanspo] ... Kazuya Tsutsui entered the game in the 7th inning and did not allow a run over an inning of work.  He also struck out two. [Sanspo]


The Tigers held a kick-off party at a hotel in Hyogo after workouts at Kyocera Dome on Wednesday.


Yasutomo Kubo will be starting a Ni-gun game against Orix on Thursday.  If he does not have any problems during/after the start, he might be able to make first regular season start as planned on April 5 (Yakult Swallows).


Shinji Komiyama was excused from practices at Kyocera Dome on Wednesday because he was not feeling well.  He is considered day-to-day.


Matt Murton is currently scheduled to play in an Ikusei game against Seino Unyu (Industrial League) on March 31 at Naruohama.  But before that, he will have to show that he is capable of making strong throws after fielding balls hit to either side; and capable of running the base paths.

On Tuesday, Murton took fifty-one swings during outdoor batting practice and hit three over the fence.  He also started running and took fielding practice in the outfield with his cleats on.

"Batting, no problem.  Fielding, I am fine.  Running, no problem.  No problems at all," said Murton.

On Wednesday, he started running the base paths and took fielding practice in the outfield.

Assuming no setbacks, Murton might be able to rejoin the Ichi-gun team as early as April 6 (vs Yomiuri at Koshien).


The Tigers decided to send Tomoyuki Kubota down to Ni-gun on Tuesday -- seems they will not have any space for him on the opening day roster.


Robert Zarate cut his workouts short on Tuesday after complaining of dizziness.  An examination at a hospital revealed no specific conditions.


The Amagasaki Chuo Shop District put up their Hanshin Tigers 2012 Magic Number display board today (now at 144 games).  The Shop District refrained from displaying the board last year because of the Tohoku Earthquake.


Yoshinoya, Sanspo, and Murton will be working together again this season to bring Sanspo readers free gyudon meals whenever Murton has a multi-hit game (five winners, ten vouchers each).

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Hanshin Tigers: February 26, 2012

by on Feb.27, 2012 @ 1:39 am, under NPB
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Bullpen Sessions / Batting Practice


  • Yasutomo Kubo threw about sixty-five pitches in the bullpen.  He threw the session at about 70%. (Sanspo)


The Tigers have decided to play an intra-squad game at Ginoza on Monday.  Players that were supposed to play in Sunday's rained out game will primarily be used during he intra-squad game.


The Tigers spent about forty minutes behind closed doors on Sunday, working on plays involving signs.


Yasutomo Kubo likely will not pitch in any games (or game-like situations) until early March.


Yutaka Wada told reporters on Saturday that Craig Brazell's primary position is still first base and that being able to play the outfield will give him another option when thinking about how to spread playing time around with other players like Tomoaki Kanemoto and Kenji Jojima.


Pitching coach Keiichi Yabu sees Tatsuya Kojima as a long reliever and not necessarily as a starter.


Shinjiro Hiyama's workouts at Naruohama on Saturday included: running outdoors, playing catch indoors, and five sets of fifteen swings during batting practice (hitting off a tee, switching back and forth between batting right-handed and batting left-handed).

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Hanshin Tigers: 4th round draft pick Kazuo Ito tosses bullpen sessions on consecutive days

by on Jan.17, 2012 @ 11:10 pm, under NPB
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The Tigers held a moment of silence for victims of the Great Hanshin Earthquake at 10:00am before practices at Naruohama today.

Today marks the 17th anniversary of the Great Hanshin Earthquake.


Tatsuya Kojima threw about 80 pitches in the bullpen today -- about 20 to a standing catcher and 60 (all fastballs) to a squatting catcher.


Yuya Ando, Tomoyuki Kubota, and Taichi Okazaki worked out in Ginoza, Okinawa today.  Both Ando and Kubota tossed BP to Okazaki.


Kyuji Fujikawa is currently working out with Kazuya Tsutsui, Ken Nishimura, and Naoto Tsuru at Ginoza Stadium in Okinawa.

Fujikawa feels Tsuru might make a step forward in his development this year.


Shinjiro Hiyama started working out in Guam again on Monday.  Due to poor weather, Hiyama spent about three hours working out indoors -- treadmill, inner muscle exercises.  He plans to begin one-handed BP once the weather clears up.


1st round draft pick Hayata Ito started taking BP on Monday -- about a 100 swings in around 30 minutes, with a focus on hitting the ball the opposite direction.

The Tigers decided to hold off on allowing 2nd round draft pick Hiroaki Saiuchi to join the rest of the 2011 draft class for workouts on Monday because they do not want to rush him and because they want to give him a little more time to catch up.  Saiuchi is working his way back from a right ankle sprain.

About 20 members of the media watched 4th round draft pick Kazuo Ito toss a bullpen session on Monday.  ... Ito held another bullpen session today and threw 40 pitches (all fastballs) to a standing catcher.


Minoru Iwata has posted three new possible designs for the cheer bracelets he will be selling this year.


The Hokokai (後援会), a support group for Yutaka Wada, was launched on MondayAbout 50 people attended the group's first gathering.


The Tenchikai (天地会), a group made up of coaches, players, and staff that were involved in the Hanshin team that won a championship in 1985 and finished in last in 1987, attended a New Year's gathering today.  Amongst some of the members: Yoshio Yoshida, Yutaka Wada, Akinobu Okada, and Akinobu Mayumi.

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Hanshin Tigers Spring Camp News and Notes: February 13, 2011

by on Feb.13, 2011 @ 6:29 am, under NPB
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This post will be updated throughout the day.


Today's practice game against the Yakult Swallows (Ichi-gun):

The Swallows beat the Tigers, 5-0.

Tatsuya Kojima started the game and did not allow a run over 2 innings of work.  He also gave up 1 hit and struck out 3.

Daiki Enokida (1st round) tossed a shutout inning in relief (first pitcher out of the bullpen).  He faced three batters, walked one, and didn't record any strikeouts.

Today's practice game against the SK Wyverns (Ni-gun):

Ryuji Wakatake tossed 3.1 innings in relief (first pitcher out of the bullpen) and faced 10 batters -- he did not allow any hits or walks.

===== 2/13 @ 8:47pm

Hiroyuki Kobayashi faced Keiichi Hirano and Takashi Toritani during BP today and threw 36 pitches while giving up 12 could-be hits.

Kobayashi - "I wanted to throw strikes, so this outing was good for me.  It was also good to face quality batters so soon.  I'd like to try and toss one more BP before we move to Aki, Kochi."


Tadahiro Nomura (Judo) visited Shinjiro Hiyama at Ginoza, Okinawa today.  The two apparently worked out together this past January in Guam.

===== 2/13 @ 3:50pm

The Tigers drew around 2,400 fans yesterday.


Naoto Tsuru faced 9 batters during situational BP yesterday and gave up 2 hits and struck out 3 (two of which came off Wei-Chu Lin and Takashi Toritani).


Akinobu Mayumi worked with Ryota Arai on his hitting yesterday.  He also hit a double off Tsuru during situational BP.


Yuya Ando (working his way back from pain in his right shoulder) threw on flat ground at a distance of about 20 meters yesterday.  He also had his catcher bent over a little.

Trainer Yasunori Gonda - "He threw harder today than before.  We don't have a time line for when he'll toss a bullpen, but we'll make sure he's ready to start throwing bullpens at any point after it gets a little warmer."


Kanemoto also told reporters yesterday that he wanted to play in at least 5 games before the start of the season, even if it was as a DH.

===== 2/13 @ 6:29am

Tatsuya Kojima is slated to start today's practice game against the Yakult Swallows.  Daiki Enokida (1st round) is also scheduled to make a 1-inning relief appearance.


Takumi Akiyama is scheduled to pitch 1 inning in a practice game against Ni-gun Seibu on the 16th.


Hiroyuki Kobayashi threw 47 pitches in the bullpen yesterday (while mixing in his slider and change).  Kobayashi is also scheduled to toss BP today.

Team owner Shinya Sakai was on hand to watch the bullpen session.


Kosuke Kato faced 8 batters during situational BP yesterday and gave up just 1 hit (Shunsuke Fujikawa).


According to Sanspo, Kenji Jojima took a total 51 swings against chief development coach Mitsuo Tateishi during BP yesterday -- 16 from the left and 35 from the right.  Jojima also told reporters that he was the type of hitter that needed to take a balanced approach to hitting.  That is, he can't just aim for a high batting average or a lot of homers or a lot of RBI.  To that end, Jojima's goal for the 2011 season is to bat .300, hit 30 homers, and drive in 100 RBI.


Sanspo is carrying comments taken from Tomoaki Kanemoto after practice yesterday:

How is your right shoulder feeling?

Better than I expected.  Rushing things or forcing things is the worst thing I can do.  I think it'll be best for me to take it easy with the throwing.

Did you feel any discomfort while taking BP?

Surprisingly no.  I was a little worried, but there was no pain.

What did it feel like to hit the new baseball?

It did feel a little heavy.  It's hard for me to gauge distance because of the wind today, but the ball did feel heavy.

Do you have any counter-measures [for the new baseball]?

Not really.  But it'll be difficult to hit homers into the right-field stands if you don't hit the ball square with good extension.

How will you spend the rest of your time during spring camp?

I need to keep improving how my shoulder feels.  I have to increase the distance at which I play catch.  If I can't throw, I can't play in games.  As long as I can do that, I think the rest will follow.

What are you goals for this season?

I could play in a lot of games last season, and it's not really making up for lost time, but I'd like to play in all 144 games while putting up good numbers.  That's all I'm thinking about right now.

Your consecutive game streak is still intact as well.

They allowed me to keep the streak going last year by using me as a pinch-hitter.  But if they need to do that, the streak may as well come to an end.  It's because you're in the starting line-up everyday that it becomes worthwhile to keep the streak going.

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Hanshin Tigers Spring Camp News and Notes: February 11, 2011

by on Feb.11, 2011 @ 2:43 pm, under NPB
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This post will be updated throughout the day.

===== 2/11 @ 11:49pm

Kyuji Fujikawa threw 76 pitches in the bullpen today (to a squatting Akihito Fujii), 46 more than he threw yesterday.  He also threw his curve and fork.


Murton took 62 swings during extra BP today and hit 15 over the fence.  And according to batting coach Yutaka Wada, Murton tweaked his stance a little: he changed the way he lifts his left leg and changed the way he brings the bat back before swinging.

Murton - "There's still peaks and valleys.  I'm having a hard time swing the bat the same way all the time.  I want my body to move on its own."


Tomoaki Kanemoto took indoor BP against live pitchers today (first time during spring camp this year).


Kenji Jojima decided not to ride his bicycle to camp today due to the rain.

===== 2/11 @ 2:43pm

Yuhei Kai felt discomfort in his right shoulder yesterday and worked out under a separate training menu.  In the afternoon, he put his shoulder on ice and headed out to a hospital for an examination.


The opening day start could go to Yasutomo Kubo.  And the second start of the year could end up going to Daiki Enokida (1st round), with the third start going to Jason Standridge.  After that, it could go Atsushi Nomi, Takumi Akiyama, and Minoru Iwata.


Sanspo mentions that Kyuji Fujikawa threw 30 pitches during his bullpen session yesterday; that they were all fastballs; and that Akihito Fujii caught Fujikawa for the first time since joining the Tigers.


Enokida struck out Kohei Shibata and Yamato during situational BP yesterday.  He also topped out at 143km/h.

Shibata on Enokida - "It's hard to narrow down pitches against him [because he throws so many] and because he know how to pitch.  He also throws the ball in at an angle so there are times when you think the ball is coming inside, only to find that it hits the outside spots."

Enokida on his session - "I was able to make my pitches.  Did make a couple of mistake pitches that the hit, but it was good that I was able to shut them down.  I also learned that if my control is good, I can strike batters out.  It isn't as if I was aiming to strike batters out, I was throwing my pitches down because I was trying to get hit the ball on the grounder. ... I learned if my control is good, I can hold them off.  I want to keep working on my accuracy.  People around me are people around me, I just want to focus on what I need to do."

Enokida is now expected to make a 1-inning relief appearance during a practice game against the Yakult Swallows on the 13th.


Tatsuya Kojima made an appearance during situational BP yesterday and faced 10 batters: he gave up 3 hits, 2 walks, and struck out 1.

After the appearance, Kojima told reporters he needed to do more throwing and went off into the bullpen.


Kai-Wen Cheng has apparently dropped his arm angle a little.


Sanspo notes that Kubo threw 48 pitches, all fastballs, during BP yesterday and gave up 7 could-be hits while throwing 12 pitches for balls.


14 of the 37 pitches Standridge threw during BP against Matt Murton and Takahiro Arai yesterday were balls.  But that was mostly because he was aiming to keep his curve down low.


Takashi Toritani faced Kojima and Cheng during situational BP yesterday and did not collect any hits, but did walk twice.  After that, he spent about 30 minutes taking extra fielding practice with Keiichi Hirano and Hiroki Uemoto.


Takahiro Arai took a 114 swings during BP yesterday and hit 20 over the fence.  He also hit 6 straight over the wall at one point, beginning with his 99 swing -- out to left, right-center, right, left, left-center, left-center.  Arai also stayed back after general practice for about an hour of extra BP (slow pitches).


Craig Brazell took extra fielding practice (at the secondary field, for about 20 minutes after morning warm-ups) yesterday with the help of fielding / base-running coach Teruyoshi Kuji.  Brazell worked on fielding grounders at first.  He also worked on his throws to second and home.  Seems he doesn't want to make any more throwing errors like he did on 9/22/2010 vs the Dragons.


Kenji Jojima caught 34 pitches in the bullpen yesterday (standing with Shunsuke Ishikawa on the mound, and for about 12 minutes).  He then went off to the side and squatted while watching Hirotaka Egusa toss a session.  As of yesterday, Jojima was also scheduled to meet with his doctor to see how his knee is doing.

Jojima also played some catch (including the bullpen, he caught a total 34 baseballs) and took 34 swings in the batting cages.

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Hanshin Tigers News and Notes: November 18, 2010

by on Nov.18, 2010 @ 1:24 pm, under NPB
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Akinobu Mayumi named Tatsuya Kojima as the "pitching MVP" and Masashi Nohara as the "position player MVP" during fall camp.  He also was pleased with Minoru Iwata's progress (slowly coming back from left elbow surgery back in March).  Issei Morita also impressed Mayumi (offensive potential).

On Kojima: He's throwing with good velocity after changing his arm slot and there's good movement as well.  I think he's a strong candidate for the rotation.

On Nohara: He's hitting the ball further now.  He's becoming more of a steady player.  He'll continue to improve if he keeps working on his strengthening exercises.

On Iwata: He's looking about as good as before his surgery.  I don't think there's anything to worry about next year.  He should be good enough for the rotation.  I think that wouldn't be pushing it.


Takumi Akiyama tossed 62 pitches on the last day of fall camp on Wednesday.


Kazuya Tsutsui, the oldest player at fall camp, closed things out yesterday with a short speech.


Robert Zarate returned to Venezuela on Wednesday.  He told reporters that he plans on resting for about week before starting with a weight-training program.