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.
Lots of injury related bullets this week.
- The game that got the most attention for the Swallows this week might have happened at Toda on Saturday. The Swallows farm team played an exhibition match against a group of young farm All Stars from the Eastern league. The Swallows demolished the team 18-1, but the headlines came because it was Yoshinori’s first game in 792 days. Yoshinori pitched a single inning got two strikeouts and allowed a walk. He topped out at 155 km/h (96 mph) and 11 of his 21 pitches were 150+ km/h. The Swallows have said they’ll only promote Yoshinori to the top team if he can pitch six 100+ pitch outings on six days rest.
- Tony Barnette also pitched the game and got two Ks in a perfect third inning.
- The team announced that Orlando Roman will be heading to the United States to be undergo surgery on his right elbow. Roman is headed to a hospital in Alabama which probably means he’ll be headed to James Andrews’ Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center. He’ll head back to Japan later on this month for rehab and he hopes to help the Swallows for a late-season push.
- After leaving us with many questions last week. The team finally announced that Hatakeyama will be out at least 4 weeks.
- Wladimir Balentien was taken off the active roster on Saturday citing discomfort in his left Achilles. No exact word on when he may be back, but Ogawa has commented that Balentien likely won’t be back in the minimum 10 days.
- Kiya was also taken off the active roster along with Balentien after a string of ineffective starts. Chris Carpenter and Nariaki Kawasaki were called up to replace them. Carpenter got the call up due to 9 straight scoreless innings through 9 ni-gun games.
- The Swallows are travelling to Kagoshima today to play the FUKUOKA SoftBank Hawks in a “home” game before traveling back to Tokyo on Wednesday to play the Hawks in Jingu. That’s Sapporo to Kagoshima to Tokyo in a span of five days. That’s as much travel you’ll get in such a short time frame in Japanese baseball. The Kagoshima home game will definitely be a Hawks crowd.
- The Swallows have split every series this month, which works out to a 4-4-1 record so far this month. The tie came on the first of the month against the Hawks, the first game of the series was played the night before. Not great but not bad either.
- The rain cancellations mean the Swallows have a couple of games in hand, and a strong finish could easily mean the Swallows can finish above the Tigers, Carp, and BayStars meaning the Birds will have gained ground on those teams. If Chunichi stumbles hard the Swallows still have a chance to finish above them as well.