It’s official. The rumors that we reported earlier this month were the real deal. The Swallows now have a little extra competition brewing in the starting rotation.
Meet Orlando Roman.
The 33-year-old RHP has significant minor league experience in North America with the New York Mets, Baltimore, and Toronto. He has also spent time in Mexico and, for the past two years, Taiwan.
It’s an incentive-laden one-year deal starting at a reported 25 million yen (roughly US$325,000).
So what does the competition for the starting rotation look like at this point?
Ishikawa, Muranaka, Akagawa, and Masubuchi appear to be healthy right now. Tateyama is coming back from surgery, and there’s still a big question mark hanging over Yoshinori’s delicate cabeza. Hopefully we’ll hear some noise from a resurgent Nakazawa, Shichijo, and the cast aside Mikinori Katoh.
Roman enters the fray with a shot at the fifth or sixth starter’s slot. He’ll need to be steady early on and learn to communicate his preferences with Aikawa before May roles around.
We hope he does well. It would be nice to give the kids an extra kick in the pants and finally discover a modicum of reliable depth after the team’s third starter.
He’ll be wearing number 53, Josh Whitesell and Ryota Igarashi’s old number.