Chikara Onodera Acquired from Saitama Seibu

Onodera could add some experience to a young group of Tokyo middle relievers.

It’s being reported that Tokyo are set to purchase Chikara Onodera, a right-handed reliever, from the Saitama Seibu Lions.

Onodera is 30 years old and hails from Saitama Prefecture and is in his ninth year of professional baseball. He’s listed 95 kg and 188 cm tall, and he had what was arguably his best year in 2006 when he recorded a 2.82 ERA and 29 saves in 59 appearances.

Last season he went 1-3 with a 3.67 ERA in 41 relief appearances.

Interestingly, or frighteningly depending on which way you look at it, Onodera hasn’t made an appearance yet for the Lions this season.

He will potentially provide some backup for a depleted Tokyo bullpen that looks fragile without the presence of Tony Barnette and Kenichi Matsuoka.

Tony Barnette was removed from the active roster when he returned to the United States to mourn the death of his brother. Matsuoka was removed from the active roster due to inconsistency.

It should be interesting to see what Daisuke Araki, who was the pitching coach at Saitama before moving to Tokyo, can get out of his former charge.

UPDATED (15:00): The trade has officially gone through. But it’s not a cash trade, instead it’s a one-for-one player swap with Yuji Onizaki going to the Lions. The move strengthens the Swallows’ bullpen while clearing the team’s logjam at shortstop.

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

  • Kozo

    Best of luck to Onizaki, I hope he gets some chances over in Saitama.