It's been all too long since I've done a bullet points round up... but here we go with another edition.
Only Japanese links today...
- Roberto Petagine has made his NPB return, and looks set to get his first ichi-gun start with SoftBank on May 29, DHing and batting 6th. Petagine's spot on the roster comes at the expense of Beom-Ho Lee, who was demoted the other day after hitting .218 in 34 games. Incumbent DH Nobuhiko Matsunaka has been even worse than Lee, struggling with a .197/.267/.318 slash line.
- In other SoftBank news, Munenori Kawasaki has racked up enough service time for domestic NPB free agency. I can't see him leaving unless it's to go to MLB though.
- The Yakult Swallows seemed to really want Kazuo Matsui.
- Here I go rattling the cage again: the Yankees had two scouts watch Yu Darvish's last start. This is the second time they've seen him this year.
- Keiichi Yabu wants to play again, and is looking into playing in a US independent league. The idea of a return to the Hanshin Tigers came up, but Yabu seems to prefer the Indy leagues.
- The Carp promoted Dominican lefty Dioni Soriano to ichi-gun, and he promptly pitched a scoreless inning of relief in his debut. Soriano took the long way to NPB - playing at the Carp's Dominican Academy, moving to Japan as a renshusei (practice player), spending time in the Shikoku Island League, re-joining Hiroshima as an ikusei player, and finally signing a regular contract this season. If Soriano pans out, he gives the Carp a much-needed bullpen lefty.
- Scouting news: SoftBank has hired Kent Blasingame as its US-based scout, and former Hanshin scout Tom O'Malley is working with the Wasserman Media Group with the intent of helping NPB players move to MLB. Blasingame's father, Don, played in Japan and managed the old Nankai Hawks and later the Hanshin Tigers.