Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Hello & Goodbye

Say "sayonara" to Ryota Igarashi

They might be a little bit late, but Sandy Alderson finally delivered some Christmas presents to Mets fans hoping for a pitching staff makeover.

Chris Capuano is a former All-Star who was fairly average in 66 innings with the Milwaukee Brewers last year. He’s guaranteed $1.5 million and could earn more through incentives.

What does it say, though, when the team’s press release about Capuano’s signing mentions that he is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and talks about his two Tommy John surgeries?

At least I can stop thinking about DJ Carrasco or Oliver Perez being potential default candidates for the starting rotation now.

Taylor Buchholz can make $600,000 in a non-guaranteed deal this year if he makes the team. He’s expected to compete for a bullpen spot, but he only pitched 12 major league innings last year after having Tommy John surgery.

Buchholz’s arrival likely means the departure for Ryota Igarashi, who was designated for assignment Monday. If I want to be kind, I can say that Igarashi had a disappointing rookie season. “Terrible” would be a more accurate description.

Still, I’m sad to see him go. I was rooting for Igarashi to succeed ever since I started reading about him last off-season. Before he ever put on a Mets jersey, I had collected a surprising number of his Japanese baseball cards. (He never did manage to get an American baseball card last year.)

I was very disappointed when he struggled last season, but I hoped that he would get another shot with a manager who hopefully has more skill at managing a bullpen than Jerry Manuel did. It doesn’t look like that’s going to happen, at least not in New York.

I know that Alderson is trying to improve the team, within certain fiscal constraints. I’d be hard pressed to argue that Igarashi or Omir Santos are better than the players that he brought in to replace them… and I don’t think I could convincingly say that Hisanori Takahashi is worth the financial commitment that the Angels have made to him.

That doesn’t make the departure of three of my favorite players any easier, though.