Tokyo Roster Update — 9/24/09

Pitcher Kyohei Muranaka (no. 15).Pitchers Kyouhei Muranaka (no. 15) and Mikinori Katoh (no. 16), the allegedPitcher Mikinori Katoh (no. 16). future of the pitching staff, were brought up to the top team on the 18th of September.

Muranaka, a fourth year lefty from Kanagawa, has been one of 2009’s bigger letdowns as far as the rotation is concerned. He resurfaces on the parent club after a solid performance (or two?) on the farm team (September 1st versus Chiba is the only evidence I can come up with). Before being called back up, his record was 0-4 with an ERA of 8.25.

Katoh, also a lefty from Kanagawa, received his first call-up of the year after starting the season on the farm team. In eight Eastern League games, he compiled a 2-2 record with a 4.89 ERA. Why those numbers merit a spot on the top team is definitely up for debate. He was most likely added to the roster simply because he throws with his left hand.

Making room on the top team roster were relievers Kenichi Matsuoka (5-4, 4.89) and Hidehiro Okamoto (0.00 ERA in one appearance).

Katoh was, however, sent back down the very next day (September 19th) after giving up five earned runs in 0/3’s of an inning in a game against Yomiuri (note: I can’t provide an ERA because he didn’t record even a single out). Also dropped to the farm team was Keizo Kawashima who is nursing a sore right elbow. Keizo has appeared in 118 games, racked up 12 homers (43 rbi’s), and is hitting a modest .255/.314/.379.

The two guys appearing on the top squad that day were pitcher Satoshi Nishizaki (no. 30) and infielder Yuji Onizaki (no. 46).

Pitcher Satoshi Nishizaki (no. 30).Third year righty, Nishizaki, has a 3.09 ERA in 19 Eastern League appearances for the farm team. He reportedly suffered from some pain in his right shoulder in mid-August, but he was in and out of rehab in no time (read: his shoulder probably still hurts) and will hopefully do some good for the team during Tokyo’s late season playoff push.

Onizaki (throws right, bats left), a second year player for the Swallows, has Infielder Yuji Onizaki (no. 46).played in 101 farm team games and batted .241 with 37 rbi’s (3 homers). While those numbers don’t look particularly convincing, he had one hell of a game against Hiroshima yesterday afternoon.

Pitcher Yoshinori (no. 11).Then, on the 20th, Yoshinori (no. 11) brought his tender right hand back up to the top team to help with starting rotation instability. He wasn’t very helpful. After his dismal start versus Yomiuri, Yoshinori’s record worsened to 5-9 while his ERA bloomed from 3.25 to 3.44.

Ousted was third year catcher Atsushi Kinugawa who had only two at-bats for the top club and is indeed surplus to the team’s needs at the moment.

So headed into the final (and unbelievably crucial!) leg of the season, here are the current spokes in the wheel:

Pitchers: Ishikawa, Lim, Yoshinori, Tateyama, Yuki, Matsui, Lee, Igarashi, Takagi, Yoshikawa, Oshimoto, Muranaka, Nishizaki

Catchers: Kawamoto, Aikawa

Infielders: Miyamoto, D’Antona, Tanaka, Yoshimoto, Hatakeyama, Noguchi, Morioka, Onizaki

Outfielders: Fukuchi, Guiel, Takeuchi, Iihara, Aoki

About Christopher Pellegrini

Christopher is a budding sabermetrician and long-time supporter of Tokyo's more lovable team, the Swallows. He has publicly volunteered, several times, that he plans to buy the team at some point in the future. When he finally runs the joint, it is likely that he will fine any player who swings at the first pitch or sac bunts (unless it's a pitcher, of course). Follow him on Twitter: @chrispellegrini