Tag Archive > Hisanobu Watanabe

Kikuchi to Debut as Reliever?

» 29 November 2009 » In npb » 2 Comments

Seibu Lion’s manager Hisanobu Watanabe has suggested that his plan for Yusei Kikuchi might be to have the highly-touted lefty start his pro career in middle relief. The Lions already has a starting rotation which consists of 2009 Sawamura Award winner Hideaki Wakui, a proven young starter in Takayuki Kishi, and also former major leaguer Kazuhisa Ishii. Unless Kikuchi shows his ability to be part of the rotation during spring training, the plan, barring injuries, may be that he will start his professional career from the bullpen.

Manager Watanabe also reminded Kikuchi through the media of three points in challenging for a spot in the rotation.

1. Don’t practice too much

This comes from the concern that Kikuchi could overwork himself if he pushed to hard to start the season in the rotation. What the manager and the baseball world really want to see at the start of the spring training is a healthy Yusei Kikuchi.

2. Don’t neglect the fundamentals

Watanabe already gave Kikuchi a practice menu written by the training coach and he believes that building the basis of his body will lead to successful pitching.

3. No special treatment

Ichi-gun on opening day? I have no answer for that. I am not going to put him on the roster because he can just pitch. He needs to¬†show¬†results during spring training.”

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