It’s Almost Here!
This weekend, Spring Camps open for all NPB teams. Needless to say I have been waiting very impatiently for this time since October. We’ve got a lot of baseball ahead of us – camp in February, open-sen in March, the start of the Pacific League Season, Interleague play, the rest of the PL season, and inevitably a return to the Climax Series (and the Nippon Series) for Our Marines. It’s almost 10 months of baseball, and on 1 February 2014 it all kicks off.
Our foreign players have already returned to Japan and are getting ready for the season. Seth Greisinger, Carlos Rosa, and Craig Brazell are all back, and we’ve added a pair of new guys: Chad Huffman (from my neck of the woods in Texas) – signed after a very impressive fall camp tryout as an outfielder and Luis Cruz (from Mexico) – most recently with the Dodgers and Yankees in 2013 and signed as an infield defensive specialist. We’ll have more on our new guys as the preseason goes on.
In addition to the players we’ve signed via the 2013 NPB Draft (I have a summary ready to go shortly) we’ve also made a big splash in free agency, signing former Seibu ace (and Matsudo, Chiba native) Hideaki Wakui to a 2-year deal. There’s a lot of attention being paid to this signing as Wakui is only 27 and is a Sawamura Award winner but in recent years has fallen out of favor in Tokorozawa. Much, much more to come on him in the future.
Camp Schedule and Attendees
For the first time in a long time, both ichi-gun and ni-gun camps are in Ishigaki. It’s honestly going to be a Lotte fan paradise as we’ll get to see all of our favorite players up close and personal as they prepare for the season. There are two main facilities next door to each other in Ishigaki so it will be easy to go back and forth between the two camps.
Ishigaki Chuo Sports Park Baseball Field
1 – 19 February 2014
Off days: 5th, 10th, 15th.
Open-sen game: 16 February
Pitchers – Ohmine Yuta, Ishikawa, Nakaushiro, Ohtani, Ueno, Wakui, Naruse, Fujioka, Karakawa, Hattori, Furuya, Matsunaga, Minami, Kimura, Kawamitsu, Yoshihara, Katsuki, Masuda, Abe, Carlos Rosa
Catchers – Satozaki, Yoshida, Kanazawa, Tamura, Emura
Infielders – Nemoto, Iguchi, Suzuki, Imae, Fukuura, Ohmatsu, Brazell, Miki, Inoue, Cruz, Ohmine Shota, Hosoya
Outfielders – Kiyota, Saburo, T OGINO, Ishimine, Huffman, Kakunaka, Katoh, Okada
First Part: Ishigaki Chuo Sports Park Baseball Field
1-4 February 2014
Off Days: 5th, 10th
Second Part: Satsumasendai City Sogo Sports Park, Kagoshima
16-28 February 2014
Off Days: 19th, 24th
Pitchers – Ogino Tadahiro, Uchi, Nishino, Itoh, Kobayashi, Kurosawa, Greisinger, Uematsu, Fujiya, Futagi, Kanamori, Kishi
Catchers – Kawamoto, Koike, Hijii
Infielders – Takahama, Heiuchi, Aomatsu, Hayasaka, Sumi
Outfielders – GG Sato, Kohbe