Wladimir Balentien went deep against Shota Imanaga in the third inning of a game against the Yokohama Bay Stars at Jingu Stadium on August 26. The home run made Balentien the sixty-second player in NPB history (eighth foreign player in NPB history) to hit 250 home runs. He recorded the milestone home run in his 869th game, second fastest in NPB history, behind Alex Cabrera and Ralph Bryant’s 733 games.0 Comments
Wladimir Balentien hurt his right hand while making a catch up against the wall during the eighth inning of a game against the Orix Buffaloes at Jingu Stadium on June 8. He was replaced on defense in the ninth inning and is considered day-to-day.0 Comments
The Yakult Swallows officially announced today that they reached agreements with the following two foreign players for the 2018 season:
According to Sports Hochi, the Swallows signed Balentien to a one-year deal and Buchanan to a two-year deal. Buchanan’s second year will be worth 2,000,000 US dollars. Both contracts also have performance bonuses.
(Salaries are estimates)
[UPDATE 11/30 @ 2:43pm]
Balentien’s contract apparently includes a clause that allows the Swallows to fine him if he is fined or suspended by the NPB (for ejections).
According to report posted by Sports Hochi, Wladimir Balentien will most likely return to the Yakult Swallows in 2018 with a one-year deal in the three million US dollar range. The two sides are said to be in the in final stages of negotiations. An announcement could be made soon.
Source: Sports Hochi 11/21/2017
[UPDATE 11/22 @ 2:58pm]
The Swallows would like to make an announcement before the end of the month, ahead of the deadline for teams to file their list of reserved players.0 Comments
Wladimir Balentien was ejected from a game against the Chunichi Dragons at Jingu Stadium on September 30 for insulting an umpire (he kicked some dirt on home plate after a strike out looking). The ejection was Balentien’s third of the season.
The NPB announced today that they issued the slugger a 100,000yen fine and a one-game suspension.
Source: Nikkan Sports 10/1/20170 Comments
According to Sanspo, the Yakult Swallows are planning to sit down with Wladimir Balentien to talk about the 2018 season. Balentien is in the final year of a three-year contract that is worth an estimated three million US dollars this year. If the Swallows offer Balentien a new contract, it will most likely be a one-year deal.
The Swallows realize it is not easy to find a player on the foreign market that can hit thirty home runs a year. They are also short on players and losing him could create a big hole. However, nothing is set in stone with a new manager joining the fray and the Swallows continually checking the overseas market for new talent.
Source: Sanspo 9/20/2017
[UPDATE 9/23 @ 1:58am]
Balentien likes the Swallows and considered them his second home. He would like to return next year if possible. He is even open to finishing his career with the team.
Source: Sanspo 9/22/2017
[UPDATE 10/4 @ 4:10pm]
Balentien returned to the United States out of Narita Airport today. Before leaving, he told reporters he ideally wanted to find a way back to the Majors, but considering his age, felt his best option might be to continue playing in Japan. He is more than open to returning next year under the right circumstances.
The Yomiuri Giants are planning to keep an eye on Balentien’s movements.
[UPDATE 11/19 @ 3:08am]
The Swallows feel Balentien might stay.
Source: Sanspo 11/17/20170 Comments
Wladimir Balentien felt discomfort in both his calves when he grounded out to third in the sixth inning of a game against the Hanshin Tigers at Jingu Stadium on August 24. He was removed on defense in the seventh inning. The Yakult Swallows do not think Balentien’s condition is serious. He was already feeling better after the game.
Source: Sanspo 8/24/20170 Comments
Wladimir Balentien tied a Yakult Swallows’ franchise record by blasting a home run in his fifth straight game (July 25 – 29). Six other players in franchise history have hit home runs in five straight games:
The NPB record of seven was set by Sadaharu Oh in 1972 (September 11 – 20) and Randy Bass in 1985 (June 18 – 26).0 Comments
Wladimir Balentien became the 102nd player in NPB history to reach the 200 home run milestone when he blasted a 2-2 pitch from Kazuki Yoshimi over the fence in the left during the first inning of a game against the Chunichi Dragons at Jingu Stadium on July 25. He also became the sixth quickest to 200 by recording the home run in his 707th game.
Wladimir Balentien was left out of the starting line-up against the Softbank Hawks at YafuOku Dome on June 6 because of discomfort in his right leg. Balentien may have tweaked his leg while running out an infield hit during an at bat in the ninth inning of a game against the Seibu Lions on June 4.
The Yakult Swallows will monitor Balentien’s condition over the next two to three days. His leg is currently at sixty to seventy percent.
Source: Daily Sports 6/6/2017
[UPDATE 6/8 @ 4:32pm]
Balentien was taken off the active roster today.
Source: Sponichi 6/8/2017
[UPDATE 6/8 @ 6:18pm]
Balentien was examined by a team doctor after the game on June 4. No abnormalities were discovered. The Swallows decided to take him off the active roster today because he might need more than a few days for a full recovery and the team can not afford to keep him on the active roster if he is unable to play.
Balentien returned to Tokyo today and will be re-examined on June 9.
Source: Nikkan Sports 6/8/2017
[UPDATE 6/9 @ 10:08pm]
Balentien was re-examined at a hospital in Tokyo today. A CT scan revealed a mild strain in his right hamstring.
Source: Nikkan Sports 6/9/2017
[UPDATE 6/22 @ 9:29pm]
Balentien played in his first Ni-gun rehab game today. He got the start in left against Yokohama and batted clean-up. He went 2-for-3 with an RBI: 1B9, Ks, 1B9 one RBI. He was replaced on defense in the fifth inning.
Added additional performance information on 6/23 @ 5:56pm.
[UPDATE 6/24 @ 6:01pm]
Balentien started at designated hitter and batted fourth against Ni-gun Nippon Ham today. He went 4-for-5 with four RBI: fly out to right in the first, RBI single to left in the third, RBI single to center in the fourth, a two-run home run to left-center in the sixth, a walk in the eighth, and a single to left in the ninth.
Added additional performance information on 6/25 @ 12:47pm.
Source: Sports Hochi 6/24/2017
[UPDATE 6/25 @ 10:34pm]
Balentien got the start in left and batted fourth against Ni-gun Nippon Ham today. He went 1-for-3 with an RBI. He reached on an error in the first, hit a single to center in the third, grounded into a double play in the fifth, and recorded a sac fly to center in the seventh.
Source: Sanspo 6/25/2017
[UPDATE 6/26 @ 10:58am]
Even though Balentien has been hitting the ball well, the Swallows will wait to add him to the active roster because he is still unable to run at full speed.
Source: Sponichi 6/26/2017
[UPDATE 6/27 @ 8:37pm]
Balentien hit a solo home run against Ni-gun Rakuten today.
Source: Sponichi 6/27/20170 Comments