Monday Bullets #3 (The Pre-GW Edition)

Monday Bullets is a feature in which Tsubamegun writers (mostly Kozo) gather random news, thoughts, images, movies, etc. during the week and publish them for off day consumption.

  • Those of you who only get their Swallows news from our site might not have heard about Wladimir Balentien’s arrest on domestic violence charges earlier in January. We made a choice not to cover the story as we had nothing substantive to add and the facts were not very clear. We mentioned the issue briefly in Podcast #18 and alluded to the fact that Balentien might have to return to the US during the season as part of his ongoing divorce proceedings. The team announced this week that Balentien will not need to return to the US in early May as originally thought, and that all court appearances have been postponed to after the season.
  • Reading back on Ogawa’s injury one question comes to mind. WTF did it take Ogawa 3 days to get checked out at a hospital? I’m not a doctor, and I can see trying rest and wait a night, but when the pain persisted I question why Ogawa wasn’t checked out by a doctor. It’s things like this that makes me question the Swallows’ quality of care. Ogawa’s injury could have happened to anyone, but what happened afterwards is in the club’s control.
  • Through 25 games, the Swallows have not been held to under 2 runs this season. Last year, the team was held to 1 run in their second game (1-0 win against the Tigers) and were shutout in their sixth game (1-0 loss to the Carp).
  • On the flip side, the Swallows have given up two or more runs in every game since holding the BayStars to a single run on opening day.
  • After praising him last week, Sanada got shelled in two appearances against the Carp and got demoted this week. Shichijo was called up in his place but has yet to pitch in a game.
  • The Nishiura experiment done for now. Nishiura and Iwamura were removed from the active roster on 26th. Araki and Noguchi were added in their place. I’m not quite sure where things fall defensively at shortstop. Araki has been playing short on the farm, but is generally seen as a subpar defensive shortstop. Imanami will probably continue to get starts unless Araki gets a fast start and dominates the position. Noguchi can also provide defensive help at short and other positions. The move was probably made to give Nishiura more regular playing time.
  • The Swallows still haven’t won three in a row this season. They’ve won back-to-back three times this season. The team will have a shot for three-in-a-row tomorrow against the Giants.
  • It’s Golden Week in Japan, where many people take vacation. The CL will play nine games in nine days after they take an off day on Friday. The Swallows’ five man rotation won’t have a Monday to steal an extra day of rest. I wouldn’t be surprised if some one is called upon to provide a spot start.
  • If you’re a Swallows Fan Club member, you can get free admission to the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum on the 30th if you show your fan club card. The museum is located at Tokyo Dome, so for those going to the game that night it might be a good way to kill time before the gates open.
  • Despite giving up a run in last night’s game, Orlando Roman still has a 0.00 ERA over 9 innings spread over 8 appearances.
  • Akiyoshi has also looked good since being moved to the bullpen. Akiyoshi has given up a lone run in 8 innings over 7 appearances.
  • Last time we wrote this feature, it seemed that Chris Carpenter was the closer of the week. After some unfortunate outings he was demoted to first pitcher out of the pen last week. In his place, Yamamoto has stepped in as closer. Hopefully the veteran to hold the spot for longer than a week.
  • The Swallows are apparently trying to find pitching help anywhere they can find it. Reports this week have indicated that Swallows executives have instructed their staff to look into the possibility of acquiring Shunsuke Watanabe and/or Yoshinori Tateyama. Both pitchers are currently throwing in the American minor leagues looking for a shot at pitching in the Bigs. I’m doubtful either will come back to Japan to pitch for the Swallows mid-season.
  • An interesting article about Masahiro Tanaka’s splitter, has some insights about Chris Leroux’s time with the Swallows.
  • Remember folks! The season is still a month old, and there’s still plenty of baseball to be played. At least that’s what I tell myself everyday to stay sane.
  • This week’s picture comes courtesy of Japanese baseball super-fan Deanna “Marinerds” Rubin who attended the Swallows-BayStars farm game in Yokohama. The game was a wild 9-8 win for the ni-gun Swallows. Lastings Milledge is alive and well on the farm, but he hasn’t been burning up the league either. With the pitching shortage keeping Chris Carpenter on the top team, don’t expect to see Milledge back for a while longer.

    Lastings Milledge dances on the basepaths.

    Lastings Milledge dances on the basepaths.

About Kozo Ota

Kozo Ota is a third-generation Swallows fan that grew up on Montreal Expos baseball. (You can read more about that here.) When he's not at Jingu, he works as a freelance translator/interpreter to make enough money to go to Jingu. You can find random posts by Kozo on Google+ and Twitter.

  • Ryo Uchida

    Noguchi!?!? Nooo! I can’t take it anymore!
    OK, but as always I really appreciate this site, even more so because I haven’t been able to follow the Birds as much as I like this season, due to work, family, yada yada, and the obvious reason that this team just Swallows… also, since he’s the first-base coach this year, it seems I have to deal with Shiroishi’s smug face on the TV, a lot more than last year….which is always stressful.

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