Posts Tagged ‘Ryota Igarashi’

The Mets Look To The Far East Again, Sign Hisanori Takahashi

February 12, 2010

The New York Mets dipped into the far east once earlier this offseason when they signed relief pitcher Ryota Igarashi, so they figured why not take another shot at it later in the offseason.

According to various sources, the Mets have signed Japanese left-handed pitcher Hisanori Takahashi to a one-year, minor league contract. The contract will be worth $1 million if Takahashi makes the team and he can earn an extra $2 million in incentives.

Takahashi, 34, pitched for 10 seasons with the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants. He posted a career record of 79-66 and last year he had a 2.94 ERA in 25 games. Takahashi could pitch in relief or could compete for the fifth starter spot in the Mets’ rotation.

I have no idea what Takahashi will bring to the table in 2010. He could be Hideki Okajima or he could be Hideki Irabu, I have no idea. But here is what I do know–the Mets need all the starting pitching help they can get.

Outside of Johan Santana, the Mets have a bunch of question marks. As I mentioned before, the Mets starting rotation in 2010 is a lot like the Boston Red Sox rotations of the late and early-2000’s.

Those rotations consisted of Pedro Martinez and a bunch of clowns. Unless one of the quartet of Oliver Perez, John Maine, Mike Pelfrey, or Takahashi step up, then the Mets are facing the same situation as the Red Sox did back in the day.

It’s really hard to win that way. That type of rotation really puts a lot of stress on the bullpen and by the end of the year, the bullpen is usually warn out.

Takahashi could compete with Jonathan Niese for the fifth starter spot.

Here is a look at Takahashi via YouTube:

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Mets Go Shopping In The Bargain Bin Again, Sign Kelvim Escobar

December 26, 2009

Update: Escobar’s deal is for $1.25 million. Escobar can make an additional $125,000 for making the team. an additional $2 million based on the number of games pitched, and an additional $1 million based on the number of games finished in 2010.

Original Post

The New York Mets signed a player on Christmas Eve, but it wasn’t the type of present Mets fans were expecting. Mets fans were hoping for a Jason Bay or Matt Holliday under their tree.

Instead they got a low-risk, high-reward signing.

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Mets have signed RHP Kelvim Escobar to a one-year, major league deal. No terms of the deal have been disclosed as of yet.

The Mets signed Escobar

Escobar has pitched a grand total of five innings over the last two years, but Mets’ GM Omar Minaya felt that was good enough to give Escobar a major league deal. I am not sure why Minaya would give him a major league deal and not a minor league deal, but I don’t understand a lot of things Minaya does.

Escobar has missed the last two years because of a shoulder injury. Before that, he was a very effective starter for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim–for one year at least.

In his last healthy season with the Angels, Escobar went 18-7 with a very respectable 3.40 ERA. The 18 wins was good for sixth in the American League that year.

However, the Mets will not be asking Escobar to start, they will be asking him to come out of the pen. The Mets are hoping Escobar can compete with recently signed Japanese import Ryota Igarashi to be the eighth inning set-up man for closer Francisco Rodriguez.

Escobar does have experience coming out of the pen as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2002. However, despite having 38 saves that year, Escobar had a very mediocre 4.27 ERA and WHIP of 1.53.

I really have my doubts as to whether or not Escobar can step in and be an effective set-up man right off the bat. For a pitcher not to have pitched in two years against major league talent and be expected to come in during a pressure situation on the first day is a lot to ask.

My guess is Escobar ends up pitching the sixth or seventh inning and Bobby Parnell ends up being the bridge to Rodriguez.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

New York Mets Look To The Far East, Sign Reliever From Japan

December 17, 2009

Update: The terms of the deal are for two-years and $3 million total.

Original Post:

The New York Mets have looked to Japan for talent nine times in their history. And nine times the results have not been what the Mets were looking for.

The Mets are hoping the results from their latest import from Japan are more favorable than in years past.

Today, the Mets have signed 30-year-old RHP Ryota Igarashi from the Yakult Swallows of the Japanese Central League to a two-year contract. No terms of the deal have been released yet.

In his 10-year career in the NCL, Igarashi had a 3.25 ERA, 54 saves, and 630 strike outs in 570 innings. Igarashi is expected to work out of the bullpen for the Mets in 2010 and could ultimately be the eighth inning set-up man to closer Francisco Rodriguez.

Here is a scouting report on Igarashi courtesy of ESPN.com’s Keith Law:

“Igarashi is a slightly wild power reliever who missed all of 2007 and part of 2008 due to Tommy John surgery, but has fully recovered and handled a regular workload in 2009. He has a very quick arm and has been clocked at 98 mph, although he’ll probably pitch at 93-96 in a one-inning role in the U.S.

His best off-speed pitch is a mid- to upper-80s splitter with good bottom, and he can throw the pitch for strikes instead of waiting for hitters to chase it in the dirt. He has some deception in his delivery, and he’s almost a “drop-and-drift” guy without great forward momentum towards the plate.”

And for those of you who aren’t satisfied with Law’s scouting report and want to see Igarashi for yourself, here is a video of Igarashi in action courtesy of YouTube:

As I mentioned earlier there have been nine players from Japan, who have played in a Mets’ uniform. Here they are:

Takashi Kashiwada, Hideo Nomo, Masato Yoshii, Satoru Komiyama, Tsuyoshi Shinjo, Kazuhisa Ishii, Shinjo Takatsu, Kazuo Matsui, and Ken Takahashi.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg