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[10/3/2014] Hanshin Tigers: Tomoyuki Kubota, Takeshi Hidaka announce retirement

by on Oct.03, 2014 @ 11:46 pm, under NPB
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Takeshi Hidaka (37) and Tomoyuki Kubota (33) held press conferences at the team offices in Nishinomiya earlier today to announce their retirements.

Hidaka told reporters during his press conference that he felt it was time to quit because he felt he was no longer capable of being a productive Ichi-gun player.

If you're going to be a professional player, then you should be good enough to play at the Ichi-gun level. I only made it to Ichi-gun [once this year] and I thought maybe I wasn't good enough anymore, that my time had come.

Hidaka also said he had not regrets over his nineteen-year career and considered himself lucky.

Kubota felt it was time for him to step away from the game because he was no longer consistent. He also mentioned his elbow giving him problems.

I haven't done very well the last few years and I've been back and forth between Ichi-gun and Ni-gun. I had surgery in early spring and was working on coming back from that. But my elbow hasn't been feeling well. I decided it would difficult for me to continue play in my current condition.

In looking back over his career, he fondly remembered his time as part of the JFK trio.

Jeff [Williams], Kyuji [Fujikawa], and I were known as JFK and everyone learned about us. I was happy. Thank you for all the warm support over the last twelve years.

Source: official announcement (Hidaka), Nikkan Sports 10/3/2014, Daily Sports 10/3/2014, Sponichi 10/3/2014, official announcement (Kubota), Nikkan Sports 10/3/2014, Daily Sports 10/3/2014, Sponichi 10/3/2014

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[5/31/2014] Injury Report: Masahiro Araki, Kazuki Yoshimi (Chunichi)

by on Jun.01, 2014 @ 2:56 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Leslie Anderson (right thigh) is expected to be ready to play in some rehab games at Ni-gun beginning on June 7.  He told reporters on Friday he was at about eighty percent.  He has already resumed batting practice, but has not done any running or hitting with cleats. Source: Sanspo 5/31/2014

Hanshin Tigers

  • Shinobu Fukuhara (right adductor) could join the team as early as June 2.  Tomoyuki Kubota (right elbow) is scheduled to pitch in another Ni-gun game next week. Source: Sanspo 5/31/2014
  • Kazunari Tsuruoka (right side) played some catch at a distance of about fifty meters at Naruohama on Friday for the first time since he was taken off the active roster on the 27th.  He told reporters on Thursday he had more problems swinging the bat than throwing the ball. Source: Sanspo 5/31/2014

Hiroshima Carp

  • Kam Mickolio (left adductor) is scheduled to pitch in another Ni-gun game on June 1 against Orix.  If he experiences no problems after the outing, he could return to the active roster on June 3. Source: Daily Sports 5/31/2014

Chunichi Dragons

  • Junki Ito (right elbow) started a Ni-gun rehab game against Softbank at Nagoya Stadium on Saturday.  With two outs in the 7th inning, catcher Iori Katsura tried to throw out a base-stealer at second.  The throw was low and hit Ito in the head.  He was bleeding and in pain.  He was removed from the game and taken to the hospital.  Brain tests did not reveal any problems.  He required stitches to close a cut on his right ear. Source: Nikkan Sports 5/31/2014
  • Kenshin Kawakami (lower back) started a Ni-gun game against Softbank on Friday.  He gave up three runs on six hits over three innings of work.  He faced fourteen hitters, struck out one, hit one, and topped out at 142km/h.  It was his first game in about a month. Source: Nikkan Sports 5/31/2014
  • Masahiro Araki was hit by a pitch in a game against Orix at Nagoya Dome on the 29th and diagnosed with a fracture in his right index finger.  It could take a month and a half to two months for a full recovery.  However, Araki is hoping to make it back when the regular season resumes on June 27. Source: Sports Hochi 5/31/2014
  • Kazuki Yoshimi (lower back) could pitch in a Ni-gun rehab game against Hanshin on June 11.  He resumed pitching practices on the 29th.  He would like to pitch in at least three Ni-gun rehab games.  That could put his first Ichi-gun start on July 4 against Yomiuri at Tokyo Dome. Source: Sports Hochi 5/31/2014
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[5/28/2014] Injury Report: Orlando Roman (Yakult), Hirokazu Sawamura (Yomiuri)

by on May.29, 2014 @ 4:50 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Hirokazu Sawamura (right shoulder) pitched in a Ni-gun game against Yakult on Wednesday.  He entered the game in the 6th and tossed three shutout innings while giving up four hits.  It was his second Ni-gun outing of the season. Source: Nikkan Sports 5/28/2014

Hanshin Tigers

  • Shinobu Fukuhara (right adductor) pitched in a Ni-gun rehab game against Softbank on Tuesday.  He entered the game in the 6th and did not allow any runs.  He gave up a hit and struck out one. Source: Sanspo 5/28/2014
  • Tomoyuki Kubota (right elbow) pitched in a Ni-gun game against Softbank on Tuesday.  He entered the game in the 8th and got three hitters out on nine pitches.  He topped out at 145km/h.  It was his first game of the season. Source: Sponichi 5/28/2014
  • Tsuyoshi Nishioka took outdoor batting practice at Naruohama on Tuesday.  He took thirty-six swings from the left side.  He also took grounders outdoors at second for about fifteen minutes.  It was the first time Nishioka took batting and fielding practice outdoors at Naruohama since he suffered multiple injuries on a collision play while playing defense in a game against the Yomiuri Giants on March 30. Source: Sanspo 5/28/2014

Hiroshima Carp

  • Kam Mickolio (left adductor) joined Ichi-gun workouts on Wednesday.  The Carp will decide when to call him up after they see him pitch at Ni-gun on May 30 and June 1. Source: Sanspo 5/28/2014, Daily Sports 5/28/2014

Chunichi Dragons

  • Motonobu Tanishige tweaked his left thigh while running the bases during Monday's game against Softbank.  He was at Nagoya Stadium on Tuesday checking on player workouts.  He had a slight limp.  He is considered day-to-day. Source: Daily Sports 5/28/2014
  • Takuya Asao (right elbow) is scheduled to pitch in another Ni-gun rehab game on the 29th against Hiroshima. Source: Nikkan Sports 5/28/2014
  • Kenshin Kawakami (back) is scheduled to pitch in a Ni-gun rehab game against Softbank on the 30th.  He is expected to go three innings. Source: Nikkan Sports 5/28/2014

Yakult Swallows

  • Yuhei Nakamura was hit by a pitch in the 8th inning of Wednesday's game against Nipppon Ham and replaced by a pinch-hitter in the 9th.  He was taken to a hospital and diagnosed with a bruise on his right wrist.  He is considered day-to-day. Source: Sponichi 5/28/2014
  • Orlando Roman was examined at a hospital in Tatebayashi, Gunma on Wednesday and was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in his right elbow (変形性肘関節症).  This was a preexisting condition that got worse.  The Swallows do not know how long Roman will be out.  They will see how he responds after getting shots to deal with the inflammation. Source: Sanspo 5/28/2014, Daily Sports 5/28/2014
  • Yasuhiro Ogawa resumed playing catch on Tuesday for the first time since he suffered a fracture in his right hand on April 18.  He played catch at a distance of about thirty meters for roughly twenty minutes.  He hopes to play in a rehab game some time in July. Source: Sanspo 5/28/2014, Nikkan Sports 5/28/2014
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[5/22/2014] Injury Report: Hirokazu Sawamura (Yomiuri), Orlando Roman (Yakult)

by on May.22, 2014 @ 11:53 pm, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Hirokazu Sawamura (right shoulder) pitched in a Ni-gun rehab game against Nippon Ham at Kamagaya on Thursday.  He entered the game in the 6th and retired the side in order (Fo7, Ks, F7).  He threw ten pitches and topped out at 151km/h.  It was his first game since November 3, 2013. Source: Sponichi 5/22/2014, Nikkan Sports 5/22/2014
  • Leslie Anderson (right thigh) did some light running, played catch at a distance of about fifty meters, and took some batting practice during workouts at Giants Stadium on Thursday. Source: Nikkan Sports 5/22/2014

Hanshin Tigers

  • Tomoyuki Kubota (right elbow) pitched in a Ni-gun intra-squad game on Thursday.  He tossed two shutout innings (an inning more than scheduled).  He did not allow any hits, struck out two, topped out at 145km/h, and threw thirty-four pitches.  It was his first game of the year. Source: Nikkan Sports 5/22/2014

Yakult Swallows

  • Orlando Roman was not been able to pitch in the team's last two games because of tightness in his right elbow.  He participated in practice at Jingu on Thursday.  Roman told reporters he was in good condition and felt no tightness. He was not taken off the active roster because he should be okay to pitch on Friday. Source: Nikkan Sports 5/22/2014

Chiba Lotte Marines

  • Saburo did not play in Wednesday's game against the Yakult Swallows because of discomfort in the back of his left thigh.  Whether he plays on Friday will depend on how he is feeling before the game. Source: Sanspo 5/22/2014
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[5/10/2014] Injury Report: Kam Mickolio (Hiroshima), Tony Blanco (Yokohama)

by on May.11, 2014 @ 3:14 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Hirokazu Sawamura (right shoulder) threw fifty pitches to Yoshiyuki Kamei (right index finger) during batting practice at Giants Stadium on Saturday.  Kamei swung the bat thirty times and recorded ten could-be hits and hit two over the wall in right. Source: Nikkan Sport 5/10/2014

Hanshin Tigers

  • Tomoyuki Kubota pitched in a batting practice scrimmage at Naruohama on Saturday for the first time since he had surgery on his right elbow in February.  He faced Fumiya Araki, Hisashi Takayama, and Fumihito Haraguchi (twice each).  He gave up two hits and struck out one. Source: Nikkan Sports 5/10/2014

Hiroshima Carp

  • Kam Mickolio was taken off the active roster on Saturday with pain in his left adductor muscle.  He is scheduled for an examination. Source: Sports Hochi 5/10/2014

Chunichi Dragons

  • Kazuhiro Wada started feeling something in his back during his first at bat in Saturday's game against the Hiroshima Carp.  He was later replaced on defense in the 3rd inning as a precaution.  His status on Sunday will depend on how he is feeling. Source: Sports Hochi 5/10/2014

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • The Bay Stars are hoping to have Tony Blanco (left hamstring) back for the start of Inter-league play on the 20th.  He is scheduled to play in a rehab game on the 13th. Source: Daily Sports 5/10/2014

Yakult Swallows

  • Shingo Kawabata was left out of the starting line-up on Saturday with tightness in his lower back. Source: Daily Sports 5/10/2014
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[5/6/2014] Injury Report: Kevin Youkilis (Rakuten), Wladimir Balentien (Yakult)

by on May.07, 2014 @ 12:03 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Hirokazu Sawamura (right shoulder) threw thirty-four pitches to a squatting catcher at Giants Stadium on Tuesday. Source: Nikkan Sports 5/6/2014

Hanshin Tigers

  • Tomoyuki Kubota (right elbow) tossed fifty pitches, mostly fastballs, during batting practice at Naruohama on Tuesday.  He faced Hisashi Takayama and Haruki Kurose. Source: Nikkan Sports 5/6/2014

Yakult Swallows

  • Wladimir Balentien (adductor muscle in right leg) was again left out of the starting line-up again on Tuesday (second game in a row).  He was able to take pre-game batting practice and was available as a pinch-hitter if needed. Source: Sponichi 5/6/2014

Rakuten Eagles

  • Kevin Youkilis will be returning to the United States for a second opinion on his left heel.  When he returns to Japan will depend on the results of his tests. Source: Sports Hochi 5/6/2014, Nikkan Sports 5/6/2014

[2/7/2014] Hanshin Tigers: Tomoyuki Kubota has right elbow surgery

by on Feb.07, 2014 @ 11:01 pm, under NPB
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Tomoyuki Kubota was sent back to Osaka because he was having problems with his right elbow.  The Hanshin Tigers announced today that he had surgery at a hospital in Osaka on Thursday and was discharged today.  He will be re-evaluated after he spends a few days at home resting.  The organization should have a better idea of when he will be able to return after his re-evaluation.

Source: Sponichi 2/7/2014

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[2/5/2014] Hanshin Tigers New and Notes

by on Feb.06, 2014 @ 2:44 am, under NPB
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Name Date Swings Notes
Tsuyoshi Nishioka 2/5 74 Thirteen over the fence.  Sponichi 2/5/2014
Matt Murton 2/4 84 Eleven over the fence.  Sponichi 2/5/2014
Masahiro Nakatani 2/4 24 Six over the fence.  Sanspo 2/5/2014
Takahiro Arai 2/4 67 Two over the fence.  Sanspo 2/5/2014
Tsuyoshi Nishioka 2/3 48 Four over the fence.  Sponichi 2/5/2014
Name Type Date NP Notes
Shintaro Fujinami Bullpen 2/5 49 Squatting catcher; including breaking balls; third session since the start of camp.  Nikkan Sports 2/5/2014
Randy Messenger Bullpen 2/4 60 Sanspo 2/5/2014
Kazuhito Futagami Bullpen 2/4 101 Sanspo 2/5/2014

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Wednesday was the end of the first block of camp.

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Takashi Toritani and Akihito Fujii missed workouts on Wednesday with fevers.  Toritani did participate in early morning training, but ended up going to the hospital for an examination because he felt sick.  Both players apparently tested positive for influenza A.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/5/2014, Sponichi 2/5/2014

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Tomoyuki Kubota returned to Osaka on Tuesday because of pain in his right elbow.  He will be examined by the team doctor.  No word on when he might be able to rejoin the team.

Kubota was having problems with his elbow since the start of camp and had not tossed a bullpen session.  He was also unable to increase distances when playing catch.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/5/2014

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Matt Murton gave the crowd something to cheer about when he ran from first to third and slid headfirst into bag during base-running practices on Tuesday.

Source: Sponichi 2/5/2014

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Takahiro Arai took extra fielding practice on Tuesday with help from INF/Base-running Coach Nobuhiro Takashiro.  He fielded about 200 baseballs.

Source: Sanspo 2/5/2014

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The Tigers understand why Mauro Gomez wants to be with his family right now, but are also unsure how things should proceed.  Workouts and practices will move up to the next level during the second block of camp.  If he misses parts or all of the second block, he will have a lot to catch-up on and rushing him through the process might cause problems down the road.  The Tigers are not trying to think too far ahead and will wait to make a final decision on what to do until they have had a chance to see where Gomez is in his training.

Source: Sponichi 2/5/2014

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Randy Messenger's nickname for Seung Hwan Oh is Machine.  Reason: because he can run a lot, trains hard, and is durable.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/5/2014, Sponichi 2/5/2014, Tokyo Sports 2/5/2014

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Development Coach Masayuki Kakefu told reporters on Wednesday that he was able to watch footage of Ichi-gun batting practice on Tuesday night.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/5/2014

Kakefu had players do rapid fire-swings and deep squat swings during soft-toss batting practice on Tuesday.

Rapid-Fire Swings - swing the bat twenty times at baseballs tossed at a pace of three balls every two seconds

Deep-Squat Swings - twenty swings at soft-toss baseballs with feet firmly planted and knees bent deep

Each player did five sets of each for a total 200 swings.

Source: Sports Hochi 2/6/2014

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Assistant Batting Coach Thomas O'Malley likes to keep things fresh and sometimes sets up mini games with hitters during batting practice -- if the hitter drives in three runs on could-be hits, the hitter wins; if the pitcher records three outs, the pitcher wins.

Source: ZakZak 2/5/2014

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Samurai Japan Manager Hiroki Kokubo visited Ginoza camp on Tuesday.

Source: Sponichi 2/5/2014

NPB Commissioner Katsuhiko Kumazaki visited Ginoza camp on Wednesday.

Source: Daily Sports 2/5/2014

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[4/24/2013] Hanshin Tigers News and Notes

by on Apr.24, 2013 @ 5:49 pm, under NPB
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Atsushi Nomi started Tuesday night's game against Chunichi even though he was still having problems with a broken nail.  He was taken off the active roster today to give him time to recover.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/24/2013Nikkan Sports 4/24/2013

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The Tigers lost to the Chunichi Dragons 15-3 on Tuesday night.  Tomoyuki Kubota gave up eight runs in the 5th inning.  The last Hanshin pitcher to give up eight or more runs in a game was Kei Igawa: eight runs in the 5th against Chunichi on August 9, 2005.  The last Hanshin reliever was Makoto Yoshino: eight runs in the 8th against Yokohama on April 7, 2004.

The fifty-six pitches Kubota required to pitch the 5th was tied for fifth most in CL history.

The last time Hanshin pitchers gave up eight or more runs in one inning: eight runs in the 5th inning against Yomiuri on September 21, 2008.  The last time Hanshin pitchers gave up fifteen or more runs in one game: sixteen runs against Softbank on May 20, 2005.  Against Chunichi: fifteen runs on July 26, 2003.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/24/2013

Kubota was taken off the active roster today.

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Tuesday's Ni-gun game against Hiroshima:

Brooks Conrad started at third and batted third.  He went 0-for-3 with a walk.  He also committed a fielding error.  Source: Nikkan Sports 4/23/2013 ... 2nd round draft pick Fumiya Hojo started at short and batted ninth.  He went 2-for-3: with the bases loaded and two out in the 2nd, he hit a two-run single to left; single to left in the 4th.  He also committed two errors.  Source: Nikkan Sports 4/23/2013

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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]

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

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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).

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

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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).

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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.

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

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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.

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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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