Tokyo Yakult Swallows (東京ヤクルトスワローズ)

[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

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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


Norichika Aoki: Did You Know



June 14 vs Seibu at MetLife Dome – Aoki recorded an inside-the-park home run to start the game. He became the ninth player in NPB history (fifth in the top, fourth in the bottom; fifth in the CL, fourth in the PL) to hit an inside-the-park lead-off home run in the first inning; first since Takashi Ogino in 2014; first in the CL since Tomochika Tsuboi in 1998; and second in Swallows’ history, behind Tetsuya Iida in 1992.

The lead-off home run was Aoki’s eighth over his career. At thirty-six years and five months, he also became the oldest player to record an inside-the-park lead-off home run in the first. The previous record of thirty-five years and eight months was set by Tsutomu Kimura in 1956.

Source: Sports Hochi 6/14/2018, Sponichi 6/15/2018

June 19 vs Softbank at Jingu Stadium – Aoki was ejected for arguing a third strike (check swing) during his at bat in the seventh inning. He was ejected from a game for the first time during his professional career (including MLB).

Source: Tokyo Sports 6/19/2018, Nikkan Sports 6/19/2018, Sponichi 6/19/2018, Daily Sports 6/19/2018


[6/14/2018] Tetsuto Yamada dropped from line-up with bruise on elbow

Tetsuto Yamada was left out of the starting line-up against Seibu on June 13 because of a bruise near his left elbow. Yamada suffered the bruise when he collided with Sosuke Genda while fielding a grounder at second base during the first inning against Seibu on June 12. He was examined at a hospital on June 13 and did not participate in practices later in the day.

Source: Sponichi 6/13/2018, Nikkan Sports 6/13/2018, Nikkan Sports 6/14/2018, Tokyo Sports 6/13/2018


[6/12/2018] Yuhei Nakamura takes HBP off head

Yuhei Nakamura took a pitch off his head during his at bat in the fourth inning of a game against the Seibu Lions earlier today.

Seibu starter Fabio Castillo threw a pitch that struck Nakamura on the left side of the head. Nakamura had to be taken off the field on a stretcher. Castillo was tossed from the game for throwing a dangerous pitch.

Nakamura was taken to a hospital in Saitama for tests. No abnormalities were discovered.

Source: Daily Sports 6/12/2018, Sponichi 6/12/2018, Nikkan Sports 6/12/2018

[UPDATE 6/14 @ 10:46am]

Castillo met Nakamura during pre-game practices on June 13 to apologize for his errant pitch.

Source: Sponichi 6/13/2018, Sponichi 6/13/2018


[6/10/2018] Yakult Swallows looking to add Jason Urquidez

Sports Hochi is reporting that the Yakult Swallows are looking to add Jason Urquidez to their pitching staff and may have already reached an agreement with the thirty-five-year-old.

The Swallows have five foreign players on their seventy-man roster: pitchers David Buchanan, Matt Carasiti, Dave Huff, Jordan Armengot, and outfielder Wladimir Balentien. Armengot is currently in the United States for a second opinion on an injury. Adding another arm would give the Swallows a little more room to breath.

Source: Sports Hochi 6/10/2018

(additional sources: Nikkan Sports 6/11/2018)


[6/9/2018] Wladimir Balentien hurts right hand

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.

Source: Sanspo 6/8/2018, Nikkan Sports 6/9/2018


[6/7/2018] Keiji Obiki hurts leg while running bases

Keiji Obiki hurt his leg while running to first after he hit a single to center in the fifth inning and was replaced by a pinch-runner. Junichi Ogawa later told reporters that Obiki will have to be taken off the active roster.

Source: Sanspo 6/7/2018


[5/5/2018] Norichika Aoki leaves after taking pitch off left knee

Norichika Aoki took a pitch near his left knee while facing Daichi Osera during the first inning of today’s game against the Hiroshima Carp at Jingu Stadium. He had difficulty getting up and had to be helped off the field. He was removed from the game and taken to a hospital in Tokyo for tests (x-rays, CT scan). He was diagnosed with a bruise.

Aoki has been hit a league-high six times so far this year.

Source: Sports Hochi 5/5/2018, Daily Sports 5/5/2018, Daily Sports 5/5/2018, Sanspo 5/5/2018, Sponichi 5/5/2018, Nikkan Sports 5/5/2018