Igarashi on waivers

January, 13, 2011

Ryota Igarashi

Relief Pitcher
New York Mets


2010 Season Stats
34 1 1 18 25 7.12
As expected, Ryota Igarashi is currently on outright waivers, a source confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com. Igarashi had been designated for assignment last week to clear 40-man roster room for the signings of Chris Capuano and Taylor Buchholz.

Sandy Alderson acknowledged earlier this week that Igarashi would soon be placed on outright waivers with the expectation he would clear because no other team would want to take on the reliever's $1.75 million salary. Assuming Igarashi clears, he will be in spring-training camp as a non-roster invitee.

Terry Collins believes his experience as a manager in Japan will allow him to maximize Igarashi's output. Collins' reasoning is that he knows how Japanese pitchers like to be used often.

Still, there's no assurance Igarashi is on the Opening Day roster. Francisco Rodriguez, Bobby Parnell, D.J. Carrasco and Buchholz would appear highly likely to occupy bullpen spots. The fifth spot could go to a left-hander: newly signed Taylor Tankersley or otherwise.

Under that scenario, if Pat Misch emerges as the long man, that leaves one spot for Rule 5 pick Pedro Beato, Manny Acosta or Igarashi in a seven-man bullpen, which is more common.

Assuming the remaining competitors are roughly equivalent, Igarashi would face an uphill battle. While Igarashi could be placed at Triple-A Buffalo already having cleared waivers, Acosta is out of options, so he would still need to go through the waiver process to be sent to the minors. And Beato would need to be offered back to the Baltimore Orioles if he doesn't make the squad. Acosta also has been relatively effective against left-handed batters, including a .163 opponent batting average from that side in 2010.

Adam Rubin

ESPN Staff Writer
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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