2009 Analysis: Ken Takahashi

ken-takahashi-pitchKen Takahashi is the lefthanded version of Elmer Dessens: a well-traveled, international man of intrigue, with ordinary stuff, who won’t embarrass himself — but won’t have much of an impact on a championship club, either.

The Mets were in dire need of another lefthander for the Jerry Manuel Matchup Strategy of late innings management, but it turned out that the 40-year-old Japanese southpaw pitched better against righties (.156 batting average against) than vs. lefties (.302). That put a major wrench into Manuel’s plans, and made it difficult for the push-button manager to figure out how to use Takahashi.

In some ways, Takahashi resembles Darren Oliver — another lefthanded starter turned reliever who pitched better against righthanded hitters. In 2009, Takahashi’s role was stopgap — pitching for the big league club mainly by default — no other options were available. Will he be with the Mets come spring training in 2010? Not likely, but you never know with this organization.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Harry Chiti October 19, 2009 at 1:21 pm
    If Takahashi is on the roster next April, the team is in major trouble. He has no value other than possibly a 2 week call up to replace an in jured guy. If its more than thet they better have very strong starters.
  2. Walnutz15 October 20, 2009 at 12:31 pm
    Mets released LHP Ken Takahashi.

    Signed to a minor league deal during spring training, the 40-year-old rookie posted a 2.96 ERA and 23/14 K/BB ratio in 27 1/3 innings with the Mets while spending much of the year at Triple-A. He could latch on elsewhere as a long reliever, but may opt to finish his career back in Japan.


    Whew……glad we weren’t kidding ourselves with anything Takahashi-related, post-2009.

  3. Harry Chiti October 20, 2009 at 2:36 pm
    Walnut: If anything, the 2009 NY Met season should have taught you NOT to live on stats. Ateam with one of the highest bating averages and one of the highest averages with RISP sounds like a team that was an offensive juggernaut doesn’t it? Well then are you going to brag about the Mets offense when the site reviews the O?
  4. Walnutz15 October 20, 2009 at 3:36 pm
    Don’t know why you’re directing anything at me; since I’m probably the least sabermetric guy on any message board online.

    I was just posting what Rotoworld said about Takahashi – and I provided the link.

    My comments are at the bottom of my post.

    Takahashi was old; and NEVER anything special.

    Upon his call-up in May/June — I remember saying on here, that if he made if past July on the roster…….it’d mean we’re in MAJOR trouble.

    Turns out, we were in more trouble than any of us would ever have thought. Sayonara, Kenny!

  5. Harry Chiti October 20, 2009 at 4:34 pm
    whatever, he’s released. thanfully, he won’t be in Queens next year.`
  6. Walnutz15 October 20, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    Precisely what I thought when I updated this post with the latest news.