Tag Archive: Yakult Swallows


[7/26/2018] Norichika Aoki earns domestic FA option

Thirty-six-year-old Norichika Aoki earned his domestic free agent option today with eight years of service time on the active roster. Aoki signed a three-year contract before the season.

Source: Sanspo 7/26/2018, Nikkan Sports 7/26/2018


[7/25/2018] Nippon Ham Fighters, Yakult Swallows in search for alternate venues for 2020 season

The Nippon Ham Fighters and Yakult Swallows will have to find alternate venues for the 2020 season. Jingu Stadium and Sapporo Dome will be used for other purposes during the 2020 Olympics.

  • Jingu Stadium
    • storage and waiting areas for Olympic personnel
    • July 6 – September 13
  • Sapporo Dome
    • one of seven soccer venues
    • June 1 – September 11

Sapporo City was not expecting to lose access to Sapporo Dome for more than a month and will approach Olympic committee organizers about shortening the period. The Yakult Swallows have already started exploring their options and have put together a list of candidate venues.

Source: Sanspo 7/24/2018, Daily Sports 7/25/2018, Nikkan Sports 7/24/2018


Shingo Kawabata: Did You Know


Walk-off Hits

  • April 24, 2015 vs Yomiuri – single to center
  • July 21, 2018 vs Chunichi – two-run home run

Source: Sanspo 7/22/2018


July 21 vs Chunichi at Jingu – Kawabata blasted the first walk-off home run of his career — with the score tied at five, he hit a two-run home run to right off Hiroshi Suzuki.

Source: Sports Hochi 7/21/2018, Sponichi 7/21/2018


[7/9/2018] Tetsuto Yamada hits for the cycle

Tetsuto Yamada hit for the cycle during a game against the Yomiuri Giants at Shizuoka on July 9.

  • single to left in the first
  • walk in the third
  • two-run home run to left in the fifth
  • double off the fence in left in the seventh
  • RBI triple to right in the ninth

Yamada became the sixty-sixth player (accomplished seventy-one times) in NPB history, thirty-third player (accomplished thirty-six times) in the Central League, to hit for the cycle. He is the first player to hit for the cycle since Yuki Yanagita on April 31 and the first Yakult Swallow since Atsunori Inaba on July 1, 2003.

Source: Sports Hochi 7/9/2018, Daily Sports 7/9/2018, Sponichi 7/9/2018, Nikkan Sports 7/9/2018


[7/7/2018] About the Yakult-Chunichi cancellation on Friday

The Yakult-Chunichi game at Nagoya Dome on Friday was canceled because the Swallows’ equipment truck was delayed.

The Yakult Swallows were in Hiroshima for three games prior to their series against the Dragons in Aichi. Their game against the Carp on Thursday was rained out. The team still held workouts at Mazda Stadium until the evening. Equipment was then loaded onto a truck. Yakult players headed to Nagoya and safely made it to the team hotel. The equipment truck lagged behind due to delays caused by heavy rains.

On Friday, representatives from Yakult and Chunichi discussed their options. The Dragons wanted to wait until about 5:45pm to make a decision and were willing to delay the start of the game by an hour. But 3:45pm, Chunichi announced that the game was being canceled.

The Swallows’ equipment truck left Hiroshima at around 7:00pm on July 5 and was scheduled to arrive in Nagoya at around 2:00am on July 6, but it did not arrive until about 4:30am on July 7. Incidentally, the Carp also traveled on Thursday. Their truck left at 4:15pm on July 5 and arrived in Tokyo on Friday morning.

This was the second game to be canceled because of delayed equipment. The first time was Nankai vs Nippon Ham at Korakuen on July 13, 1979 (traffic delays caused by a five in a highway tunnel).

Nagoya Dome Cancellations

  • July 26, 1997 – Yomiuri vs Chunichi (concerns about typhoon-related transportation problems)
  • September 12, 2000 – Hiroshima vs Chunichi (flooding caused by heavy rains)
  • September 18-19, 2004 – Yomiuri vs Chunichi (player strike)
  • July 6, 2018 – Yakult vs Chunichi (equipment delay)

Source: Daily Sports 7/6/2018, Daily Sports 7/6/2018, Daily Sports 7/6/2018, Sports Hochi 7/6/2018, Nikkan Sports 7/6/2018, Nikkan Sports 7/6/2018, Nikkan Sports 7/7/2018, Sponichi 7/6/2018, Sponichi 7/6/2018, Sponichi 7/7/2018, Tokyo Sports 7/6/2018


[6/30/2018] Norichika Aoki leaves after taking pitch off head

Norichika Aoki left yesterday’s game against the Hanshin Tigers are Jingu Stadium after a Yuta Iwasada fastball hit him on the right side of the head. Iwasada was ejected from the game for throwing a dangerous pitch. Aoki had to be taken off the field on a stretcher.

Aoki was able to get up and walk after he was taken off the field. He changed and took a taxi with staff to a hospital in Tokyo for tests. Aoki was diagnosed with a bruise on the side of his head.

The Yakult Swallows are concerned about Aoki because this is not his first HBP to the head (San Francisco Giants in 2015).

Source: Sports Hochi 6/30/2018, Daily Sports 6/30/2018, Nikkan Sports 6/30/2018, Nikkan Sports 6/30/2018, Sanspo 6/30/2018, Sponichi 6/30/2018

[UPDATE 7/5 @ 4:13pm]

Aoki was taken off the active roster today under the concussion exception rule. After getting hit on June 30, he missed games on July 1 and 4 (rain out July 3). He will be re-evaluated at a hospital in Tokyo.

Source: Nikkan Sports 7/5/2018, Sponichi 7/5/2018, Daily Sports 7/5/2018


Kazuhiro Hatakeyama: Did You Know



June 23 vs Yomiuri at Tokyo Dome – Hatakeyama recorded a pinch-hit double to left in the seventh inning and Shinichiro Inoue (1951), Hiroshi Aoyama (1955), and Katsuo Osugi (1976) as the only players in Swallows history to accomplish the feat. The NPB record of seven was set by Kiyoshi Hatsushiba in 2003.

Source: Sports Hochi 6/24/2018


[6/20/2018] Yakult Swallows reach agreement with Jason Urquidez

The Yakult Swallows announced today that they reached an agreement with thirty-five-year-old pitcher Jason Urquidez. He was assigned the uniform number 61. According to media reports, the two sides agreed to a contract worth 150,000 US dollars plus incentives.

Urquidez is in the process of getting a work visa. He could arrive in Japan some time next week.

Source: Daily Sports 6/20/2018, Nikkan Sports 6/20/2018, Daily Sports 6/20/2018, Sponichi 6/20/2018, Sanspo 6/20/2018

[UPDATE 6/29 @ 10:24pm]

The Swallows held a press conference for Urquidez today. He was assigned the uniform number 61.

Source: Yakult 6/29/2018

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[6/20/2018] Yakult Swallows to part ways with Jordan Armengot

The Yakult Swallows announced today that they decided to part ways with thirty-one-year-old Jordan Armengot. They have filed paperwork to place Armengot on waivers.

Armengot is currently in the United States due to problems with his lower body.

Source: Daily Sports 6/20/2018, Chunichi 6/20/2018, Sanspo 6/20/2018


[6/20/2018] Norichika Aoki fined for ejection on June 20

Norichika Aoki was ejected for using offensive language during a game against Softbank at Jingu Stadium on June 20. The ejection took place in the seventh inning after Aoki struck out on a check-out. The NPB announced today that they issued Aoki a stern warning and a 100,000 yen fine.

Source: NPB 6/20/2018, Sanspo 6/20/2018, Daily Sports 6/20/2018, Nikkan Sports 6/20/2018