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.
This week we’ve moved the bullets over to Tuesday to deal with Interleague’s uneven schedule. Lot’s of injuries and roster moves this week.
- Orlando Roman was MIA during the Chiba series, and many were wondering why he didn’t pitch the ninth inning with a one run lead on Tuesday’s game. On Thursday the team announced that Roman was feeling tightness in his right elbow in Chiba and was held out but that series, but he was feeling better and that he was good to go against the Lions. Despite that announcement Roman did not pitch in Friday’s game and was taken off the active roster on Saturday for Akagawa citing discomfort in his elbow. No further details have emerged and we’re not sure when he’ll return. Akiyoshi will be given a shot at closing and he’s looked OK so far.
- We also found out that Lastings Milledge is out for season. Milledge was diagnosed by Dr. James Andrews with a right shoulder injury that will take 6 months to fully recover. Milledge still has years left on his contract we expect him to be back next year. You can follow Milledge’s exploits on his website, which we plugged last week.
- Yuichi was taken off the active roster yesterday with a strain in his right oblique. He’s expected to be out for 3-4 weeks. Yuichi was a very effective left-handed bat off the bench this season, with a .346 average in 30 PAs.
- 2013 sixth round draft pick Ryota Fujii was called up to replace Yuichi. Fujii has been hitting well in ni-gun and is capable of playing most defensive positions including catcher.
- In happier injury news, Yasuhiro Ogawa threw the ball this week! Papers are now reporting that he’s aiming for a late June return.
- Also, Keizo Kawashima came back last week. Although I’m not sure if he has a place on the team at the moment.
- Tetsuto Yamada has 32 RBIs so far this season, which is good for eighth in the CL. That’s crazy when you consider that Yamada has batted exclusively from the leadoff spot this season. It’s a testament to how well the bottom of our lineup has been hitting to have runners on when he comes up.
- The official shop opened along the road from Gaienmae station. Reports will be incoming.
- This week the Swallows will hit the other three teams in the PL starting with the Fighters tomorrow. The Fighters will start two-way wunderkid Shohei Otani in tomorrow’s game. So far the Fighters have split games with the Dragons and BayStars and were swept by the Giants. The Fighters have been a middle-of-the-road team with inconsistent-but-powerful batting and decent-but-not-great pitching.
- After the Fighters the Swallows will travel down to Kyushu to face the Hawks, the Giants of the Pacific League. The Hawks have not been afraid to spend money in the offseason, but I generally give them credit for making smarter moves than their PL counterpart. The Swallows will likely face former Dragon Kenichi Nakata who moved to the Hawks in the past offseason. The Hawks have looked strong but not invincible this season, and they currently trail the Buffaloes by two games.
- The final PL team the Swallows will face this cycle are the PL-leading Buffaloes. The Buffaloes have surprised many and finally have lived up to the dark horse label that many pundits put on the team every offseason. Their offense features Yoshio Itoi and Wily Mo Pena and has been scoring runs at a solid clip. But the Buffaloes’ rise up the rankings have been the one-two punch of Chihiro Kaneko and Yuki Nishi. Nishi has been stringing together a winning steak of eight games to start the season, and has not lost a game yet this season. Kaneko has also pitched well with a 1.41 ERA and a PL leading 91 strikeouts in 9 games. The Swallow will likely hit Nishi but not Kaneko when the visit the Buffaloes early next week.
- After the Swallows are done with the Buffaloes the Interleague schedule will repeat with home and away flipped.
- You never know what might happen when you go to a Swallows game. Last Sunday, this happened…