Igarashi’s Return Will Be Welcomed By Mets…

An article by posted on May 19, 2010
His time in Japan was a precursor to this. Behind his diminutive stature and deceptive motion, was hidden a true ‘Warrior‘, the kind romanticized by western film and looked upon with reverence in Japan. Behind this hard throwing Japanese league veteran burned a fire to compete with the best…
So Ryota Igarashi came to America…and to MLB with the New York Mets.
Keith Hernandez’s favorite Met these days has to be Igarashi. Whenever his name is brought up Keith gushes about his stuff. Hernandez, who’s opinion I value when assessing new upcoming talent has muttered and exclaimed “I’m impressed!” and also, “I love his stuff .” Keith, it seems, longs for the return of ‘Iggy’ as much as anyone.
Ryota had barely made his mark when he pulled his groin. But he made enough of an impression with the Mets and we fans, who are impressed with his power arm and devastating splitter. When he was brought on board, I viewed film of him on ‘you tube’ relentlessly trying to ascertain why the Mets had brought him here for two years. I watched him strike out the side and show his explosive fastball and splitter in one cut, and was immediately sold.

Over this past week, I have searched for anything positive to grab hold off. Every Met fan in Met Nation has been searching as well… I too, just like Mr. Hernandez, wish to see the return of “The Warrior.”

In his brief stint so far with the Mets, I see Igarashi as an important arm in the Met bullpen. Due to the ‘capabilities’ of our 4 and 5 starters, or lack thereof up till now, the Met bullpen has been taxed.

Fernando Nieve must have a clause in his contract that he must get up and throw everyday to get paid. I tip my hat to “Everyday Nieve” as Gary Cohen calls him. But, Nieve has a history of arm woes. The loss of Igarashi, coupled with the ineffectiveness in the lower half of the Met rotation has only served to exacerbate the strain on this relief staff.

He is not the answer to all that ails this team, but Ryota Igarashi, who throws in the mid to upper 90’s with his fastball, and who has an explosive split finger pitch will be a factor for this team over the long haul.

I look forward to seeing ‘Iggy’ on his quest to compete with the best, to use that power arm and devastating splitter to become a premier setup man. I’m not saying it’s a lock to occur, but it’s refreshing to have a Met pitcher, reliever or otherwise throw a fastball in the mid nineties. That is something this franchise has been lacking since the early part of ‘06 when Duaner Sanchez took his famous cab ride for food on a hot night in Miami…

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