Results tagged ‘ Takashi Saito ’

Gallardo gets his work in

Reds Minor Leaguers got a heavy dose of the Brewers’ Major League pitching staff on Monday, when a lousy weather forecast prompted the Brewers to juggle their pitching plans. 
Yovani Gallardo threw 92 pitches in seven innings of a Triple-A game against Cincinnati to stay on schedule for his Opening Day assignment. In the Double-A game on an adjacent field, relievers LaTroy Hawkins, Takashi Saito, Brandon Kintzler and Sean Green all got in some work ahead of the rain. 
“It’s definitely a little different,” said Gallardo, who pitched on a side field at Maryvale Baseball Park in front of a few dozen fans. “But you still have the same things you want to work on. Getting to the pitch count is the important thing, too.”
Gallardo was particularly working on his change-up against Cincinnati’s Triple-A club, a pitch he’s tried to hone in recent seasons. He allowed four earned runs and six hits in seven innings, with two walks and seven strikeouts. 
He also executed a perfect sacrifice bunt, nearly hit a home run to left field and singled and scored from second base on a hit. As Triple-A manager Don Money waved Gallardo home, the half-dozen Brewers officials behind the screen stiffened. 
“I was not going to slide, I’ll be honest,” Gallardo said. “It was kind of surprising he sent me from second there.”
Gallardo scored on the play, then went immediately back to the mound because the Reds pitcher had hit his pitch limits. A Reds two-run rally began with a soft ground-ball single up the middle and included a bloop hit that went over shortstop Zelous Wheeler’s head. 
Still, Gallardo deemed the outing a success.
“Coming into spring I said I was going to throw more change-ups, and we tried to work on that,” he said. “I threw a lot here today. I feel a lot more comfortable with it now. I’m trusting it more. It’s going good.”
Gallardo has one more spring start before his March 31 season-opener in Cincinnati. 
“The last start of the spring, you treat it almost as if it were the regular season,” he said. 
Hawkins was very sharp in his Double-A “start,” allowing one hit and no runs in a 16-pitch inning. Saito followed and allowed two runs on three hits including a two-run double that bounced over third base. He struck out one batter and threw 18 pitches.
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Saito honors missing friend

Brewers reliever Takashi Saito surrendered two runs against the Royals on Sunday in his first inning of work since disaster struck his homeland. But baseball was still a distant second to Saito’s concern for family and friends in the area of Japan most devastated by last week’s earthquake and tsunami. 
Before he pitched the first inning, Saito requested that fans at Maryvale Baseball Park observe a moment of silence to honor a former high school teammate who remains unaccounted for in Sendai, a city on Japan’s northeast coast devastated by the 8.9 magnitude quake and the wall of water that followed. 
“It’s just not one or two people,” Saito said. “It’s a lot of people.” 
Saito’s wife and three daughters are safe, and are tentatively scheduled to join him in Phoenix on Saturday. His parents and two older brothers are all accounted for, but some relatives on his father’s side were still missing as of Sunday afternoon. 
 
“I still haven’t given up hope,” Saito said. 
On Saturday, he played catch but his mind was elsewhere. The Brewers gave Saito the option to pitch Sunday or stay home and seek information from Japan. Saito, urged by his older brothers back home to stay and pitch, decided to pitch. 
“I had received more information since yesterday,” he said. “Mentally, I was in a better place. … All of my teammates and Brewers staff have been very supportive of me, which made it a lot easier. From now on, I want to get into my regular routine of not pitching the first inning and going home early.” 
As for how he pitched, Saito said, “The quality of my pitches was good. It was hard to get into a good rhythm. I still need to establish more communication with my teammates to determine how to pitch my next time out.” 
Saito served as the Brewers’ starter and retired Lorenzo Cain to start the game, but Mike Aviles followed with an infield single to third baseman Casey McGehee, who took too long throwing to first. Billy Butler followed with an RBI double, and three batters after that Melky Cabrera delivered another double that made it 2-0. Saito allowed four hits in all. 
After Saito retired Salvador Perez to end the top of the first, he walked along the right field line toward the Brewers clubhouse. He passed the bullpen along the way, where fellow relievers stood and, one-by-one, offered fist-bumps. 
“We wish his family and friends and his country the best,” Brewers closer John Axford said. “It’s tough for all of us because he’s such an uplifting guy, always happy, always in the clubhouse talking with guys. To see him this way, it hurts for us, too.” 
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Moment of silence at Maryvale

Takashi Saito and the Brewers requested a moment of silence from the fans at Maryvale Baseball Park a few minutes before Saito threw the first pitch of what must be a very difficult outing. He has been occupied over the past three days by concern for family and friends in Japan, where and earthquake and tsunami struck Saito’s hometown on Friday. 

Saito is scheduled to throw one inning today. We’re hoping to speak with him afterward, and I will pass along his comments.
Here is my story from Saturday about Saito and his difficult situation. 
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Saito will start

The Brewers just announced via Twitter that Takashi Saito will start today’s game against the Royals, bumping Wily Peralta to relief. Saito has spent most of the past three days at his spring residence, trying to get information about family members in an area of northeast Japan particularly devastated by the earthquake and tsunami there. 

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Saito could pitch Sunday

If he feels comfortable about the status of family members in Japan, Brewers reliever Takashi Saito will start Sunday’s game against the Royals, manager Ron Roenicke said.

Saito played catch and did his running at Maryvale Baseball Park on Saturday morning, then returned to his Spring Training home to continue working the phones. He’s had a very difficult time getting information about his parents, brothers and other extended family members in Sendai, a city ravaged by Friday’s earthquake and the tsunami that followed. Saito is focused on getting his family out of Sendai and to safety. 
His wife and three daughters avoided the worst of the disaster because they are south of Tokyo in Yokohama.
“He wants to get his parents and his brothers in a safe area, and once he does that, mentally, he’s going to feel better about coming back to the baseball part of it,” Roenicke said. “If everything goes right today, that he hears everybody is OK, he’s planning to pitch an inning [on Sunday].
“If there are still things he’s uncomfortable with and he’s not sure what’s going on, he probably won’t pitch. He’ll come in and work out again.”
Roenicke and Brewers GM Doug Melvin told Saito he’s free to leave the team and travel to Japan if necessary. If he opts to pitch Sunday, the Brewers told him to arrive at noon local time, pitch at 1 p.m. and then head back home to work the phone.
“He doesn’t need to be at the ballpark right now,” Roenicke said. “He needs to take care of his family, make sure he’s OK upstairs. He’s getting 2-3 hours a sleep a night, and that’s not good. We want to take care of him first, and his family. We’ll make sure he stays in shape enough, but he needs to take care of his family.”
If Saito does not pitch Sunday, right-hander Wily Peralta will start against the Royals. 
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Saito unsure of next step

You did not have to speak Japanese to understand Takashi Saito’s fear, his frustration and his downright fatigue. After two long days and nights trying to account for the safety of his extended family amid earthquake and tsunami devastation in Japan, you could see it on his face. 
“I feel powerless and not able to do anything,” Saito said. “Being away from my family, it’s very tough.” 
General manager Doug Melvin and manager Ron Roenicke have told Saito he is free to leave the team to return home to Japan if necessary. His wife and three daughters are safe in Yokohama, south of the area devastated by the largest earthquake ever recorded in Japan, but his parents, brothers and other extended family members are in Sendai, the city north of Tokyo hardest hit. By midday Friday, Saito was sure that everybody was alive, but little else. 
Saito wants to evacuate his family from Sendai, but communication is next to impossible. If he does travel home to Japan, he might not be able to get to his family. 
“I’m not sure what my next best decision is,” he said through translator Kosuke Inaji, whose own extended family is safe on Japan’s western coast. 
Information has been painfully hard to come by. Saito learned about the earthquake late Thursday night in Phoenix. He was able to reach his wife, Yukiko, and their three daughters, 16, 13 and 15 months, in Yokohama, where Saito lives in the offseason. His wife and girls have been experiencing some of the aftershocks that have rattled Japan in the days since the big hit. 
“I heard that they are safe, but I don’t really know what they need or what they are missing,” Saito said. “I don’t know anything about that.” 
He does know one thing. 
“I could tell they are really scared,” Saito said, his eyes down. 
It’s his extended family that has Saito really worried. His parents, two older brothers and a number of aunts, uncles and cousins live on low ground in Sendai, the city north of Tokyo hit hardest by the 8.9 magnitude earthquake and the tsunami that followed.
Most of Saito’s family is together, at one of his brother’s house. But there is no electricity, and when he finally received a call from his oldest brother at 6 a.m. MST, the conversation lasted for only five minutes of battery life. 
“All I know is they are alive,” Saito said. 
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Great news for Saito

Just got word from Brewers spokesperson Mike Vassallo that reliever Takashi Saito had reached an uncle in Japan, who reported that all of the right-hander’s extended family was safe and accounted for. 

The Brewers expect to hear later today from Saito about his plan for re-joining camp. As of midday Friday, he was not sure whether he’d need to return home to Japan for any reason.
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If necessary, Saito free to return home

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said he had already discussed with general manager Doug Melvin the possibility that Takashi Saito would have to return home to Japan, where a huge earthquake struck near his hometown Friday. The baseball implications of Friday’s disaster were low on the list of priorities of club officials concerned for Saito’s extended family. 
“I don’t really want to think about that right now,” Roenicke said.
Roenicke spoke to Saito early Friday morning before the reliever left to wait for word from loved ones. He had already reached his wife, who was safe with their three children on higher ground. But Roenicke said Saito was unable to reach his parents and other family members who live on low ground near Sendai, a Pacific coast city hit especially hard by high waves.
“He’s obviously concerned, pretty upset about what happened,” Roenicke said. “He went back to his place here [in Phoenix] … to try to sit by his phone and see if he got any more information.” 
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Fielder to Saito: Take your time

Here’s what Prince Fielder had to say about Takashi Saito, who left camp this morning to gather information about family in earthquake-ravaged Japan:
“We love that guy, and we obviously wish him the best,” Fielder said. “He was able to contact his wife and kids, which is awesome. That’s a little bit of pressure off your chest. I wish him the best, and I hope he just takes his time and does whatever he needs to do to make sure the rest of his family alright. This [baseball] is secondary right now. We’re going to be fine. He needs to make sure everything is all right.”
Fielder knows the area hit by Friday’s earthquake well because he visited Japan during the offseason as part of a Major League Baseball goodwill tour. 
Saito is a favorite of Fielder’s oldest son, Jadyn, who is a regular at Maryvale Baseball Park. One recent morning, Saito provided sound effects while Jadyn played with action figures. 
By the way, I’m told that Saito’s translator, Kosuke Inaji, also has extended family in Japan but that they live on the country’s west coast, away from the worst of the damage.
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Saito leaves camp

The massive earthquake that struck Japan on Friday devastated areas of Miyagi Prefecture, an area north of Tokyo and the home of Brewers reliever Takashi Saito. 

Saito has already been able to reach his wife, Yukiko, and three daughters, according to the Brewers, but has been unable to reach his parents. Early Friday morning, he asked permission to leave Brewers camp to work on contacting loved ones back home. 

Saito was not scheduled to pitch today, according to the club. He last appeared in a game on March 8, and has been following a slightly different schedule than other relievers because he finished last year with a shoulder injury.
Obviously, Saito’s thoughts will be with his family, friends and countrymen today and ours are, too.
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