Monday, January 23, 2017

Four rookies to join Seibu Lions ichi-gun camp in Miyazaki

Tatsuya Imai is one of four Lions rookies to participate in the ichi-gun camp.
The Saitama Seibu Lions announced who would be attending their ichi-gun and ni-gun camps for 2017. Among the notable additions will be four rookies from the 2016 draft class that will be in Miyazaki at the ichi-gun camp.

For those who don't know, the ichi-gun for the Lions will be in Nango, Miyazaki while the ni-gun camp is in Kochi prefecture. This doesn't mean that all players at ichi-gun camp will receive more playing time on the first time in 2017. New manager Hatsuhiko Tsuji is open to a new era and wants a first hand look at some players in Miyazaki rather than having the ni-gun staff evaluate a few.

Here is the ichi-gun camp list:

Ichi-gun camp (Miyazaki)

Pitchers (21):

Tatsuya Imai*, Tatsushi Masuda, Tatsuya Oishi, Yusei Kikuchi, Kona Takahashi, Shinsaburo Tawata, Ryoma Nogami, Ken Togame, Shogo Noda, Katsunori Hirai*, Hirotaka Koishi, Yasuo Sano, Kazuhisa Makita, Ichiro Tamura*, Keisuke Honda, Brian Schlitter#, Shota Takekuma, Brian Wolfe, Tsubasa Kokuba, Frank Garces#, Alexis Candelario#

Catchers (4):

Ginjiro Sumitani, Masatoshi Okada, Shota Nakata, Tatsuyuki Uemoto

Infielders (8): 

Hideto Asamura, Sosuke Genda*, Kyohei Nagae, Hotaka Yamakawa, Nien Ting Wu, Shuta Tonosaki, Takeya "Okawari-kun" Nakamura, Ernesto Mejia

Outfielders (6): 

Takumi Kuriyama, Yuji Kaneko, Fumikazu Kimura, Shogo Akiyama, Masato Kumashiro, Shotaro Tashiro

* - Denotes Rookie
# - Denotes new foreign player

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By revealing who will be at the ichi-gun camp, we can draw the conclusion to who will be at ni-gun camp. Some players will be seen on the ichi-gun more than others (like Naoto Watanabe), but it's possible that Tsuji brought some in Miyazaki for a closer look.

Ni-gun camp (Kochi)

Pitchers (14): 

Shunta Nakatsuka*, Makoto Aiuchi, Ryohei Fujiwara, Kentaro Fukukura, Koki Fujita (i), Toshihiro Iwao, Seiji Kawagoe, Naoaki Matsumoto, Tadasuke Minamikawa, Yosuke Okamoto, Isamu Sato, Tomomi Takahashi (i), Yusuke Tamamura, Takuya Toyoda

Catchers (3): 

Komei Fujisawa, Hitoto Komazuki, Tomoya Mori

Infielders (6): 

Kazuki Kaneko, Daichi Mizuguchi, Yuji Onizaki, Naoto Watanabe, Haruka Yamada, Shogo Kimura (i)

Outfielders (6): 

Yutaro Osaki, Aito Otaki, Shogo Saito, Ryo Sakata, Daisuke Togawa, Shohei Suzuki*

(i) - Represents coming off an injury

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Some other notes on these lists that we can infer:

-Four players from the 2015 draft class (Tawata, Kokuba, Honda and Noda) will be at the ichi-gun camp.  That also includes two (Honda and Noda) from the last Australia trip with the Aces.

-Chun-Lin Kuo will not be in spring camp as he practices with the Chinese Taipei team for the 2017 WBC.

-Veterans Onizaki, Watanabe and Uemoto are in ni-gun camp and all three of them had significant playing time with the ichi-gun in 2016.

-T. Takahashi is coming of Tommy John surgery and most likely won't be seen until August at the earliest. Shogo Kimura is under an ikusei contract and is rehabbing from a torn ACL. Koki Fujita is also recovering from an injury.

-Tomoya Mori has tightness in his right shoulder and will be in ni-gun camp. Uemoto will take his place in ichi-gun camp.

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