With a Mets bullpen that has been consistently inconsistent since late May, blowing countless leads, letting close games get out of hand and collapsing when it counts most, the Amazin’s need some change in the pen. So when a veteran pitcher that was sent down to work on his stuff is dominating, you may want to consider making said change sooner than later.
That veteran is Ryota Igarashi. The 32-year old Japanese native after a disappointing 2010 and beginning of 2011, was sent to Triple-A to regain his former glory from the Japan Central League that earned him his 2-year $3 million deal that he signed in the winter of 2009 with the Mets.
Finally, after one and one half seasons of being called up and sent down, Igarashi seems to have pulled it all together, absolutely shutting down opposing batters in Triple-A. The hurler once known as “Rocket Boy” in Japan, has an incredible 0.93 ERA in 20 relief outings for the Bisons. He has walked only 8 batters while punching out 31 and has not allowed a run in his last ten outings. With Igarashi being so dominant in Buffalo, a callup has to be on the horizon, especially the way some other guys in the pen on the major league level are performing.
For instance, Manny Acosta, who has an 8.38 ERA in ten outings since getting his call to the show in 2011. Another example is DJ Carrasco, who hasn’t been much better since being recalled from Buffalo, pitching to a 4.91 ERA since his return. If Igarashi replaced either of these two, it would be a significant improvement to the bullpen, a bullpen in dire need of some change for the better.
With the next few weeks before the trade deadline to have a major impact on the future of the franchise for the next five years or so, the best need to throw their best team out there and play to the best of their ability every day. Given the weakest spot of the Mets roster is their bullpen, a perfect way to fill that hole, or at least put a small band-aid over it, is to give Igarashi another shot.
With the way some of the Amazin’s relievers have been pitching, at the very least, Igarashi cannot be much worse.