Kenshin Kawakami is still having problems with his back and has not been able to toss a bullpen session since he came off the active roster on April 8. At this point, the earliest he might be able to return is April 28.
Morimichi Takagi is not particularly happy with how Tony Blanco has been swinging the bat. Blanco has four strikeouts in his last six trips to the plate, eight strikeouts in his last sixteen trips to the plate.
Blanco was taken off the active roster today.
Yoshinori Sato started a Ni-gun exhibition game against Fuji Juko (Industrial League) on Friday and allowed three runs on eight hits over eight innings of work. He also struck out three, topped out at 146km/h, and threw 102 pitches.
The Swallows were thinking about promoting Yoshinori on or around April 20, but decided to give him at least one more start at Ni-gun (currently scheduled for April 21 against Yomiuri).
Said Junji Ogawa to reporters, "We will hold off this time. His velocity and movement were down and I feel I can not bring him up at this point."
Hirokazu Sawamura recorded a one-hit shutout on Friday night. According to Sponichi and Nikkan Sports, that made him the first pitcher since Takeo Kawamura (1998-1999) to record at least one one-hit shutout in two or more consecutive seasons and the third in franchise history, behind Victor Starffin (1938-1940) and Tsuneo Horiuchi (1971-1973). As for pitchers that recorded shutouts in two consecutive seasons, beginning with their rookie year, Sawamura joins Eiji Sawamura (no-hitters in 1936 and 1937) as the only two players in franchise history to accomplish the feat.
Yutaka Wada told reporters on Friday that Craig Brazell's legs were not in the greatest of shape right now. It was apparently part of the reason why he was removed early in the game.
Nick Stavinoha will likely return to the starting line-up tonight. Stavinoha missed the last five games because of neck pain.
Yokohama Bay Stars
Brandon Mann threw a total 100 pitches in the two bullpen sessions he tossed this past week. He is slated to start Sunday's game against the Yomiuri Giants.
Kentaro Takasaki's start was rained out today. Instead of having his start pushed back a day, he will likely pitch during the upcoming Hiroshima series that begins on April 17.