The Swallows decided to have Chang-Yong Lim start the season at Ni-gun on Friday. The decision allows them to kill two birds with one stone: 1) Lim gets more time to prepare, and 2) they no longer have to decide between Orlando Roman and Wladimir Balentien (at least for the time being).
As for who will replace Lim as closer, Sanspo mentions that the Swallows will likely go with a bullpen by committee and rely on a number of different pitchers like Tony Barnette, Kenichi Matsuoka, Takehiko Oshimoto, and Tatsuyoshi Masubuchi. Nikkan Sports reports something similar and addes that Barnette will likely anchor the closer role.
Yuya Kubo (returning from right hip surgery) pitched in his first Ichi-gun pre-season game today (vs Yokohama) and retired the side in order in his one inning of work.
Takahiro Suzuki and Daisuke Fujimura were called up on Friday. Hiroki Nakazawa was sent down to Ni-gun.
Nick Stavinoha is apparently having a hard time judging the off-speed pitches on the outside corners of the strike zone and has struck out six times in his last eight trips to the plate: four times today and twice on Friday.