Tokyo Swallows Off-Season Updates: February 22, 2012

Rookie Hiyane is helping to keep things interesting in the team's quest to reconfigure the outfield.

  • Tsubamegun got one hell of a shout out from fellow Japanese baseball watcher, NPB Tracker. Thanks, Patrick!
  • Tokyo batting coach, Takao Ise, has been selected as one of the six coaches representing the nation as part of this year’s Samurai Japan team. One coach was selected from each of the top three teams in the Central and Pacific Leagues with Fukuoka’ Koji Akiyama taking on the role as manager. Masanori Ishikawa is the only Tokyo player on the team.
  • Yoshinori, despite not being able to last an entire season (last season it was a shoulder injury), continues to be pushed hard in spring training. According to Nikkan Sports, he threw 66 pitches during batting practice. This was, of course, after he had already thrown a slightly larger number during his bullpen session. So, what do you think? 15 appearances this season? 16?
  • 24-year-old rookie outfielder, Wataru Hiyane, has managed to swipe more bases than games he’s played in so far (six bags in five games).
  • Tokyo has practice games in Okinawa against Hanshin on Friday and Tohoku on Saturday. Both games start at 1PM.

Former Tokyo Players

  • Norichika Aoki is now taking part in his first pro spring training wearing something other than a Tokyo uniform. He will be competing against Carlos Gomez, Corey Hart, Nyjer Morgan, and possibly Logan Schafer for time in the outfield. Oh, and 2011 National League MVP, Ryan Braun, once he gets done with his suspension for a banned substance. For shits and giggles, check out this video that Nyjer Morgan starred in.
  • Ryota Igarashi is hoping to earn a place on Pittsburgh’s roster. To his credit, he’s taking part in spring camp without the help of an interpreter because he says that he wants to communicate directly with his coaches and teammates.
  • Former Tokyo Swallow and major leaguer, Akinori Iwamura, who now plays for Tohoku, shaved 10 kilograms from his overweight ass during the off-season. He was apparently using the “okazairu” diet which involves eating a salad before dinner. You might recall that he has been asked  repeatedly to get himself into better shape.
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