Some of you may remember a regular column we ran called the Monday Review in which we filled the weekly NPB off day with in depth analysis of the week that was, and preview the week that was to be. Then real life hit us and it became difficult to spend the necessary time to have a good work-life balance while still managing to go to as many Jingu games as possible and the column ended after the 2011 season.
However, recognizing that not every news piece can be covered in a game report, and learning from the Twitter generation we present to you, Monday Bullets! Here’s we’ll do away with restrictive character limits while not committing to a level of depth and analysis required of a full fledged column. As the week goes on we’ll fill this article with bits of news, half-baked conspiracy theories, funny photos, and anything else that caught our fancy and press publish on Monday night. Hopefully we can foster some discussion and spread some more Swallows info. So without further ado, I present this week’s bullets.
- In shocking news the teams announced that Shohei Tateyama underwent Tommy John surgery for the THIRD time in his career on Thursday and will be out another year. I’m afraid that Tateyama will become the next Hirotoshi Ishii spending the rest of his career in rehab without getting the chance to throw a meaningful ichi gun pitch.
- Just as we were getting over the shock of losing Tateyama, Morioka came out of Friday’s game after getting three hits. Morioka apparently strained his right oblique and will be out for about a month. Despite spitting starts at shortstop with rookie Nishiura, Morioka was clearly flashing the better bat hitting .520 before his injury. The teams’ trade for Imanami is looking prescient as the former Fighter stepped into the starting role on Saturday. Look for Imanami to split time with Nishiura.
- Meanwhile, with Tony Barnette out for two months with a torn PCL. The team’s pitching has not looked good. The team filled Tony’s import slot with Chris Narveson who had a not so great debut on Tuesday. As a team the Swallows gave up five runs or more in five of their six games last week. In desperate need for more pitchers the teams activated Orlando Roman for the under performing Lastings Milledge.
- In this week’s JBW podcast John Gibson speculated that something behind the scenes must’ve happened to prompt Lastings’ demotion. Absent any other news I’m willing to believe nothing particularly spectacular happened and this move was yet another short sighted panic move made by the team. With Lastings underperforming (.231 / .319 / .359) while his offensive teammates put up better numbers, it’s easy to see how the Swallows saw Milledge as drawing the short straw while the pitching ship was sinking. Unless the other import pitchers pitch spectacularly, I expect Milledge to be back on the top team soon as one of the import pitchers will be cycled out to Toda. (My money’s on Chris Carpenter.) Hopefully the time in ni-gun will give him a chance to work things out and come back with a vengeance. BTW you can follow the JBW link to hear a interview with Lastings Milledge conducted a few days before his demotion.
- The Swallows sit in fifth place in the CL with a 5-8 record, three of those wins come against Yokohama.
- The team has yet to play the Giants and will finally play their cross town rivals this week. The Giants have not dominated the league as predicted (yet), as the orange team got swept by the
JesusMurton-powered offense over the weekend.
- BTW Kengo Tagawa is also going to be out for three months with a herniated disc. Although his injury probably doesn’t affect anyone’s ichi-gun-days-lost-to-injury pool.
- After a cold start Coco is heating up with four consecutive games with a homerun. Coco will look to make it five in a row tomorrow. Coco shares a piece of the CL HR lead with Matt Murton.
- In other pitching news it seems the team has finally listened to us and will be starting Ryosuke Yagi in Wednesday’s game. Going to the bullpen will be rookie Ryo Akiyoshi where his sidearm action is probably better suited.
- Let’s end on a funny note! Coco still has a while before his head becomes big enough to fill Tsubakuro’s helmet.