Tokyo Swallows Off-Season Updates: January 9, 2012

They're multiplying as you read this.

Happy Coming-of-Age Day to all of the 20-year-olds out there who are celebrating today. Be sure to post a photo of yourself in the comments all decked out in your old-enough-to-vote garb. And don’t drink too much tonight.

This website has been very preoccupied with Norichika Aoki news as of late, and Lastings Milledge has been getting plenty of attention as well. But there hasn’t been a whole lot Swallows news, even as we’ve tried to keep everyone updated on what’s happening Around the Central League.

Of course, that’s not always the easiest thing to do as there isn’t exactly a ton of Tokyo news coming out of the NPB paparazzi.

But here’s a few tidbits from the past week or so:

  • The team announced today that farm team outfielder Jun Matsui (24) filed marriage papers with a woman named Kayoko (25) on December 27, 2011.
  • Miyamoto doesn’t seem to think that the Swallows did enough during the off-season to improve the team. This Japanese-language report doesn’t contain anything more than a one line quote, and I mostly agree with him (I would love to see a bold multi-player trade to bring in a decent starting pitcher), but you have to wonder if Miyamoto has heard anything about new import Lastings Milledge other than the fact that he last played AAA ball for the White Sox. Milledge has spent even more time in the big leagues than Matt Murton had before he signed with Hanshin two years ago. And Murton was a legit big leaguer with the Cubs. I’m not saying that Milledge will deal with the culture shock he experiences as well as Murton did, but he’s definitely a solid all-around player and better than all of the players we platooned in left last year combined.
  • Speaking about Miyamoto, it sounds like he’s more than willing to step out of the way once he’s reached the 2,000 hit milestone. Seeing as how he only has 25 hits to go, it’s likely that he’ll reach his desired tally some time in May as long as he doesn’t slump as hard as he did during the playoffs last year. As I said in this post, I wouldn’t mind seeing some other folks getting time at third base, but if Miyamoto has another regular season like 2011, then I’d prefer that he keep his spot in the lineup. Even if he is 150 years old.
  • New recruit, Yuji Nakane, will miss the 2011 season after having ACL surgery on his right knee.
  • It’s not a great improvement, but the top team will add one more trainer/physio to its staff for the upcoming season, bringing the total to four. Hopefully another gets added for the 2013 season.
  • Sounds like the team might have signed another non-Japanese pitcher who could compete for a starting role. However, if reliever Tony Barnette has another good season, then look for Orlando Roman to spend the majority of 2012 up in Toda on the farm team.
  • The number of cheerleaders at Swallows home games is expected to double because Tokyo’s squad was the smallest in the league, and the young ladies will apparently be wearing ‘sexier’ outfits. Draw your own conclusions on that one.
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