SURPRISE, Ariz. -- So far, the best part of spring training with the Rangers for reliever Yoshinori Tateyama is watching batting practice.
"It was amazing," Tateyama said through a translator. "Nelson Cruz, Josh Hamilton, Adrian Beltre. It was lots of power."
Tateyama said he's making the transition to the United States just fine. He spent the offseason throwing with a MLB baseball to get used to its size. Tateyama said the Japanese ball is slightly smaller and the seams are thinner and thicker. So it just feels different.
The pitcher throws a slider, changeup and cutter and said the slider is his out pitch.
"I wanted to pitch in the best league in the world," Tateyama said.
Tateyama impressed pitching coach Mike Maddux early in camp with his command and deceptive delivery. The 35-year-old said he's enjoyed meeting his new teammates, including Tommy Hunter, whose locker is right beside Tateyama's.