"I did say that [Brazell] was eject for provoking Hiroshima, but I was specifically referring to him starting the second bench-clearing incident. Things settled down after the first time and then they started back up again. [I am not sure about Hiroshima heckling Brazell,] Hanshin did mention something, but I was trying to get the game moving. I was looking at the pitcher so I can not confirm. If you were to say I was not looking, that would be the case, but there was really nothing I could do."
Brazell is also quoted as saying, "I know [Fukui] was not throwing at me. But he glared at me a little."
Another Sports Hochi Osaka report includes this quote from Hiroshima GM Kiyoaki Suzuki: "I would like to hear [what the ump was thinking]. Perhaps he thought it was not such a big deal that [Brazell] went toward the mound. But then it becomes a question of whether he thinks it is ok that young pitchers can be intimidated. The ump needs to make the right call."
Wednesday's Ni-gun game against Chunichi (Dragons 10 - Carp 3): Yuya Fukui started the game and allowed right runs on ten hits and three wild pitches over a five innings of work. He also gave up a three-run homer to Kei Nomoto in the 3rd inning. [Sponichi, Sports Hochi Osaka]
Tuesday's Ni-gun game against Chunichi (Carp 2 - Dragons 1): Kan Otake started the game and allowed one run on six hits over six innings of work. He also threw seventy-four pitches and topped out at 144km/h. [Nikkan Sports]
According to Daily Sports, assuming no injuries during spring camp, the first five spots in the starting rotation could go Kenta Maeda, Bryan Bullington, Yuya Fukui, Kan Otake, and 1st round draft pick Yusuke Nomura.
Jumpei Shinoda, Yuki Saito, Kyohei Nakamura, Keisuke Imai, and Shota Nakazaki could all end up competing for the last spot in the rotation.
Shinoda is trying to shorten his delivery because he tends to think too much when he includes short pauses. He is also planning to throw more curveballs this year.
1st round draft pick Yusuke Nomura threw twenty-eight pitches in the bullpen, all fastballs. He also had the catcher squat for the first time since the start of spring camp. (Nikkan Sports) Or, twenty-five pitches to a standing catcher and thirty to a squatting catcher. He tossed the session at 50-60%. (Daily Sports)
Katsuhiro Nagakawa faced Yuta Shirahama and 2nd round draft pick Ryosuke Kikuchi during batting practice and allowed two could-be hits on forty-one pitches. (Daily Sports) He also tried a new curve he is working on. (Sports Hochi)
Yuya Fukui faced Yuichiro Mukae and Ryuhei Matsuyama during batting practice and allowed thirteen hits on fifty-three pitches. (Nikkan Sports)
Today was the last day of the second block of spring camp. The team has the day off tomorrow.
Yuya Fukui's workouts this month have started at 10am and ended at 4pm. He has also already tossed BP (while mixing in off-speed pitches) to Yasuyuki Kataoka (SEI). Fukui will continue his practices at the Tokyo Gas training facilities until 1/21 before heading to Okinawa on 1/24.
Kenji Jojimadid some throwing during practice today, including long distance throws (at about 80 meters) and throwing the ball between third and first while sitting. Jojima told reporters he felt confident about being ready and catch an exhibition game as earlya s the 16th (vs Lotte).
Sanspo notes that Atsushi Nomi has never suffered a broken nail and hates using the rosin bag.
Matt Murton went 0-for-4 with 3 strikeouts yesterday. After the game, he stayed back for about 2 hours (game ended at 3:47pm and he left the stadium at 5:43pm) and apparently spent some time talking to batting coaches Yutaka Wada and Atsushi Kataoka. Seems Murton was trying to see if the coaches noticed anything wrong -- he wanted to make sure he was doing what he wanted and not falling into any bad habits.
FYI: Murton went 0-for-3 today (strikeout, fly out to center, GIDP).
Craig Brazell was 5-for-12 in 5 exhibition games, heading into today. He also picked up another hit today (he went 1-for-2) and has now hit safely in 5 straight games.
Yuya Fukui (1st round) started an Ikusei League game today (his first "pro" start) against Softbank and gave up 2 runs on 6 hits over 3 innings of work. He also topped out at 139km/h and was charged with a balk.
Kenta Maeda's got his new insoles (2 pairs for his cleats and 2 pairs for his training sneakers) yesterday. Maeda started using the insoles last summer and found them to be beneficial in relieving the strain from his legs.
Maeda was first introduced Matsumoto Gishi Seisakusho (the company that makes the insoles) in late May 2010. When he visited them for a fitting, they took a mold of his feet and also videotaped him (hi-speed camera) while walking and running.
According to Nikkan Sports, Sawamura told reporters that he wants to continue working on his fastball and forgo working on any new pitches, like the cutter. Sanspo mentions that Sawamura also wants to polish his curve after seeing how Masahiro Tanaka used it so well during his outing against the Seibu Lions on the 6th.
Fukui's next appearance will be a start on the 10th during an Ikusei League game against Softbank (3 innings). How he pitches during this game will likely go a long way towards determining whether or not he'll make the starting rotation.
On Monday, Fukui threw over 60 pitches in the bullpen.
Comments Off on Big Four: Saito, Oishi, Sawamura, Fukui (March 8, 2011)
I'm making an outs, so I'm not too happy about the results, but I think things are improving. Right now, it's not only about getting ready for the start of the season, but also about trying new things out. The next 2 weeks are going to be very important. I felt pretty good during my last two at bats (referring to yesterday's game) so if I can keep that up...
Hirokazu Sawamura (1st round) is working on pitching out of the wind, after spending most of his time pitching out of the set position. Seems pitching coach Kazuhisa Kawaguchi would like to see Sawamura use more of his body when pitching.