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[11/12/2013] Hanshin Tigers: Yasutomo Kubo will exercise FA option

by on Nov.12, 2013 @ 10:24 pm, under NPB
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The Hanshin Tigers announced today that thirty-three-year-old pitcher Yasutomo Kubo will exercise his FA option.

"He said that he wanted to test the market and submitted his FA paperwork," team director Eiichi Takano said.

Additionally, Shinobu Fukuhara (36) and Yuya Ando (35) have decided not to exercise their options.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/12/2013

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[5/29/2013] Hanshin Tigers Ryo Asai, Yuya Ando earn international FA options

by on May.29, 2013 @ 8:08 pm, under NPB
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Ryo Asai earned his international FA option today with nine years of service time on the active roster.  Yuya Ando learned today that he had already earned his international FA option.

Source: Sports Hochi 5/29/2013, Sponichi 5/29/2013

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Free Agent News and Notes: November 5, 2012

by on Nov.05, 2012 @ 11:24 pm, under NPB
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Takeshi Hidaka and Hayato Terahara submitted paperwork to the Orix Buffaloes to exercise their options.  Source: Sports Hochi 11/5/2012

The Tigers could offer Hidaka a two-year deal.  Source: Sanspo 11/5/2012

The Hawks are interested in Terahara.  Source: Sponichi 11/5/2012

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Toshiaki Imae (LOT) has not yet decided what he wants to do with his domestic FA option.  He is expected to make a decision soon.  Source: Sanspo 11/5/2012

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Kenta Asakura (CHU) has not yet decided.  Source: Sports Hochi Osaka 11/5/2012

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There may be a gap in between what the Keiichi Hirano wants and what the Hanshin Tigers are willing to give.  Source: Sanspo 11/5/2012

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Kyuji Fujikawa (HAN) is in Los Angeles.  His rep in Japan is expected to submit the necessary international FA option paperwork.  The Angels, Rangers, Dodgers, and Diamondbacks are among teams that are said to be interested in Fujikawa.  Source: Sanspo 11/5/2012, Sponichi 11/5/2012

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Shinjiro Hiyama (international), Yuya Ando (domestic), and Ryo Asai (domestic) will not be exercising their FA options and will remain with the Hanshin Tigers.  Source: Sponichi 11/5/2012

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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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Hanshin Tigers: March 14, 2012

by on Mar.14, 2012 @ 11:59 pm, under NPB
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Batting Practice

Wednesday

  • Situational batting practice: Akihito Fujii collected one hit and a walk in five trips to the plate: single to center off Kosuke Kato. (Daily Sports)
  • Situational batting practice: Shinjiro Hiyama collected two hits and a walk in four trips to the plate: singles to center off Yusuke Kawasaki and Shingo Matsuzaki. (Daily Sports)

Tuesday

  • Shinjiro Hiyama took seventy swings during batting practice and collected twenty-one could-be hits. (Sanspo)

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The Tigers have played ten exhibition games and lost three of them by the score of 1-0.

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The Tigers will likely begin to play their veterans more often, beginning with their road trip to the Kanto area on Thursday.  That means younger players will have fewer opportunities to prove they belong on the opening day roster.

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Tomoaki Kanemoto did not play left on Tuesday because of the cold weather but did manage to play some left during today's exhibition game against the Yakult Swallows and committed a fielding error in the third inning.  He also picked up his first exhibition game RBI of the year.

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Yuya Ando's first regular season start could come on either April 1 (vs Yokohama at Kyocera Dome) or during the second series of the season (vs Yakult at Jingu, April 3-5).

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In addition to taking situational batting practice today, Akihito Fujii also got behind the plate and worked on his throws to second base.

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Shinjiro Hiyama worked out in center during fielding practices today.

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With Yuya Ando pitching well, the Tigers are now thinking about moving Hiroyuki Kobayashi back to the bullpen.  Kobayashi pitched against the Yakult Swallows today and gave up a run on one hit over two innings of work.

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The Hanshin Tigers will likely continue to give 1st round draft pick Hayata Ito a few more looks during their four-game Kanto road trip: March 15 vs Yokohama, March 16 vs Lotte, March 17 vs Yakult, and March 18 vs Seibu.

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Hiroki Uemoto was excused from practices today due to a possible injury he suffered during yesterday's exhibition game against the Yakult Swallows: while playing second base in the 6th inning, he collided with a runner trying to steal second and may have injured his left elbow; he was taken out of the game in the 7th.

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The Yakult Swallows stole four bases after the 5th inning of yesterday's exhibition game.  Battery coach Yasuo Yoshida advised Taichi Okazaki (three runners stole bases while he was catcher) to mix in waste pitches and pick-offs to keep the runners honest and to remind pitchers they should keep an eye on the runners on base.

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Kenji Jojima has been used as a pinch-hitter thirty times during his NPB career (6-for-26 with six RBI).

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Hanshin Tigers: February 23, 2012

by on Feb.23, 2012 @ 11:58 pm, under NPB
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The Tigers have the day off on Friday.

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Kohei Shibata spent about fifteen minutes taking batting practice against pitching machines at Ni-gun camp today.  Shibata has been rehabbing at Kochi camp because of inflammation in his left acromioclavicular joint (shoulder).

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Craig Brazell worked out in left during pre-game fielding practice on Wednesday.  Brazell was seen making strong throws to second, third, and home.

"I played some right and left four or five years ago, so this is not new to me," said Brazell.  "I checked on a few things while remembering what I did.  If I am going to do this, I do not just want to stand around, I want to do it right.  I think I did ok throwing the ball today.  I threw them a little high.  Still need more work with my feet.  I will it will get better if I do some throwing for a week or two."

He then added, "I will be catcher during tomorrow's game.  Just kidding.  I will probably play left."

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Yuya Ando has dropped his arm angle a little (three-quarters).  On his outing on Wednesday: "I was able to throw good pitches down low in the zone.  Today was about throwing, not so much at an angle, but from an arm slot I felt comfortable with.  I think I can throw better when I am throwing at around three-quarters instead of over the top."

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Issei Morita spent about an hour taking fielding practice at Ginoza Dome after Wednesday's game -- he committed a fielding error in the game.

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Tomoaki Kanemoto did not play in Wednesday's practice game due to poor field conditions (it rained the night before).

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Yasutomo Kubo continued to focus on training exercises due to tightness in his right shoulder.  Regarding when he might start throwing again, Kubo replied, "I will begin throwing when I feel I can.  I will not force it."

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The rehab group, which includes Shinjiro Hiyama and Shibata, will be returning to Naruohama after practices today.

4th round draft pick Kazuo Ito will also be heading to Naruohama after being diagnosed with periarthritis in his right shoulder.  Ito started feeling discomfort in his shoulder while throwing the ball on Wednesday.

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Some hitting results, through Wednesday:

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Hanshin Tigers: February 13, 2012

by on Feb.13, 2012 @ 11:59 pm, under NPB
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Batting Practice Bullpen Sessions / Batting Practice

Monday

  • Takahiro Arai took 106 swings during lunchtime BP and hit twelve over the fence. (Daily Sports)  Or 110 swings and hit fifteen over the fence during lunchtime BP. (Nikkan Sports)

Monday

  • Shinobu Fukuhara faced Craig Brazell and Matt Murton during batting practice and allowed ten could-be hits on thirty-nine pitches.  Yuya Ando faced Kenji Jojima and Shunsuke and allowed nine could-be hits on forty-eight pitches.  Shunsuke hit one over the fence. (Daily Sports)
  • Kyuji Fujikawa threw forty-two pitches and allowed three could-be hits during batting practice.  He faced batters like Keiichi Hirano, Kentaro Sekimoto, Takahiro Arai, and Takashi Toritani. (Daily Sports)
  • Hiroyuki Kobayashi faced Takashi Toritani, Keiichi Hirano, Kentaro Sekimoto, and Takahiro Arai and threw forty pitches, all fastballs.  This was his first batting practice since the start of spring camp. (Daily Sports)

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The team worked on a tag up play today where runners on first and third with one out tagged up on fly balls hit to foul territory.

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Tokyo Kokusai University baseball team manager Takeshi Koba visited Ginoza camp on Sunday.

Team owner Shinya Sakai also observed practices today (second straight day).

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The Tigers drew 12,000 fan on Sunday.

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Hanshin Tigers: February 12, 2012

by on Feb.12, 2012 @ 11:59 pm, under NPB
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Batting Practice Bullpen Sessions / Batting Practice

Saturday

  • Matt Murton took seventy-five swings during lunchtime BP and hit eighteen over the fence. (Sponichi)
  • Tomoaki Kanemoto took ninety-seven swings during lunchtime BP and hit thirty-three over the fence. (Sponichi)
  • 1st round draft pick Hayata Ito took sixty-six swings during BP and did not hit any over the fence. (Sanspo)
  • Masahiro Nakatani took eighty swings during BP and hit six over the fence. (Sanspo)
  • Craig Brazell took seventy-one swings during lunchtime BP and his twenty-one over the fence. (Nikkan Sports)

Saturday

  • Yuya Ando threw fifty-two pitches in the bullpen. (Sanspo)
  • Kyuji Fujikawa threw thirty-four pitches, including off-speed pitches, in the bullpen. (Sanspo)

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NPB Commissioner Ryozo Kato visited Ginoza camp today.  This was the sixth team Kato visited so far during spring camp.

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Yuya Ando is scheduled to toss his first batting practice session during spring camp on Monday.

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Tomoaki Kanemoto wore a t-shirt on Saturday that poked fun of Takahiro Arai's Triple Crown: Error King, GIDP King, RBI King.

After extra BP on Saturday, Kanemoto ran a number of dashes: five sets each of 50m, 40m, 30m, 20m, and 10m.

Today, Kanemoto made five plays out in left during situational fielding practice: he made two throws to second, one throw to third, and one throw to home plate.

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Matt Murton hit the pitching machine again during indoor batting practice on Saturday.

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Pitching coach Takashi Yamaguchi worked with Takumi Akiyama for about thirty minutes during extra fielding practice on Saturday.

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Shinjiro Hiyama swung the bat with one hand 147 times during soft-toss batting practice on Saturday.  He also swung the bat ten times with both hands at about 50-60%.  And while he has yet to take outdoor fielding practice, he is currently able to throw the ball at a max distance of about thirty meters after catching/fielding it indoors.

====== UPDATE 2/13 @ 1:39am

The Tigers drew about 6,000 fans on Saturday.

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Craig Brazell worked with bodybuilder Terry Beedie (sp?) during the off-season.

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Team owner Shinya Sakai observed Ginoza camp today.

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Hanshin Tigers: February 7, 2012

by on Feb.07, 2012 @ 11:59 pm, under NPB
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Batting Practice Bullpen Sessions

Tuesday

  • 1st round draft pick Hayata Ito took ninety-nine swings during extra BP and hit three over the fence. (Nikkan Sports)

Tuesday

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Matt Murton arrived in Japan today and is scheduled to join the team for spring camp tomorrow.

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4th round draft pick Kazuo Ito faced three batters during batting practice today and allowed fourteen could-be hits on seventy-nine pitches.

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Special instructor Tatsuro Hirooka worked with Takahiro Arai on his throwing today -- he had Arai throw 404 baseballs into a net over about a two hour period.

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Kyuji Fujikawa has been eating four meals a day since he first started working out this year.

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No players that worked out at Ginoza Stadium on their day off Monday.

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Six athletes that worked out with Shinjiro Hiyama in Guam this winter will be visiting spring camp some time around February 20 in order to show their support for the forty-two year old.

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Sanspo's Tigers Promise with Yutaka Wada:  If the team wins a championship, Sanspo will give away an onsen trip and Wada will hold a baseball clinic for six youth baseball teams (elementary and junior high).  If the teams does not win a championship, Wada will autograph and give away six personal items.

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Actor Ken Watanabe apparently likes the following line-up:

1: Toritani, 2: Hirano, 3: T. Arai, 4: Kanemoto, 5: Murton, 6: Brazell, 7: catcher, 8: pitcher, 9: Shibata, Shunsuke, or Nakatani.

====== UPDATE 2/8 @ 2:32am

According to Sponichi, Norihiro Akahoshi will be working with the Tigers as a special instructor.  He is expected to begin sometime during the second block of spring camp (which began on Tuesday).

Hanshin Tigers: Feburary 4, 2012

by on Feb.04, 2012 @ 11:59 pm, under NPB
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Batting Practice Bullpen Sessions

Saturday

  • 1st round draft pick Hayata Ito faced Ryuji Wakatake and saw twenty-eight pitches: he swung at sixteen and collected eight could-be hits (seven went toward center).  Ito did not swing at twelve of the twenty-eight pitches. (Daily Sports)
  • Tomoaki Kanemoto took fifty swings and hit ten over the fence.  This was his first day of outdoor BP since the start of spring camp. (Daily Sports)

Friday

  • Masahiro Nakatani swung the bat ninety times during regular BP and hit eleven over the fence.  He swung the bat eighty-two times during extra BP and hit eleven over the fence.  He also swung the bat 112 times against a machine and hit four over the fence.  Total 286 swings, twenty-six over the fence. (Sanspo)
  • Kyuji Fujikawa took sixty-two swings and hit three over the fence. (Daily Sports)  Or two over the fence. (Sanspo)
  • Randy Messenger hit one over the fence. (Sanspo)

Saturday

  • Yuya Ando threw fifty pitches. (Sanspo)
  • Daiki Enokida threw ninety-one pitches.  It was his forth session in as many days. (Sanspo)

Friday

  • Daiki Enokida threw 108 pitches.  He also threw ninety on Wednesday and eighty-nine on Thursday. (Sanspo)
  • Takashi Toritani hit 134km/h on the radar gun, Yamato 131km/h and 1st round draft pick Hayata Ito 128km/h. (Nikkan Sports)  1st round draft pick Ito threw fourteen pitches. (Sanspo)

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Team owner Shinya Sakai observed practices at Ni-gun camp in Aki, Kochi today.

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Yuya Ando joined the rest of the players for practice today -- he was working out under a different training program since the start of spring camp because he was not feeling well.

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Masahiro Nakatani and Kenichi Tagami participated in early fielding practice (about 40 minutes) at Kin Stadium today.

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The Hanshin Tigers held a baseball clinic at Ginoza Stadium after practices today.  116 elementary school kids attended the clinic.

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Pitchers and position players swapped workouts during the morning session on Friday (about three hours).  During infield drills: Kyuji Fujikawa 1B and C, Ken Nishimura 2B, 4th round draft pick Kazuo Ito and Ryo Watanabe SS, Tomoyuki Kubota and Minoru Iwata 3B, Daiki Enokida C, and Takashi Toritani and Keiichi Hirano pitchers.  Randy Messenger got some time as SS while Jason Standridge worked out as 1B.

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Sanspo reports that it no longer seems like Kenji Jojima will have a shot at starting the regular season as a catcher.  A team rep told reporters on Friday that they were most likely going to go with Akihito Fujii for the start of the season.  And depending on how things go after the first few weeks of the seasons, the team will re-evaluate the situation.  Sanspo also notes that as of January, Jojima could not squat for even one minute.

Nikkan Sports adds that Jojima will not do any workouts as a catcher during spring camp (through to February 29) -- that means no catching in the bullpens.

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1st round draft Hayata Ito took fielding practice at Kin Stadium on Friday -- he spent about forty minutes fielding sixty-one baseballs launched from a machine that cost the team about 700,000 yen.  Partway through the session, he also switched glove hands.

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Shinta Hifumi would like to play the outfield, although he did order three type of gloves just in case: outfield, infield, and first base mitt.

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Tomoaki Kanemoto swung a training bat 115 times against a machine on Friday.

And Kanemoto on his shoulder after taking outdoor batting practice today: "My shoulder is around 60-70%.  All things considered, I think I swung the bat well.  I did not really pay attention to the batted balls since I was concerned about how well I was swinging the bat."

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Actor Ken Watanabe visited the team in Ginoza, Okinawa on Friday.