Tag: ken takahashi

2010 Analysis: Hisanori Takahashi

Takahashi was the less-heralded Japanese pitcher signed by the Mets last winter, and some less-in-touch fans might have confused him with Ken Takahashi. But by the end of 2010, there was no confusion as to who was Hisanori Takahashi, and he far outperformed the supposedly better-skilled Ryota Igarashi.

“Tak” did everything that was asked of him and more – starting, mop-up relieving, executing matchup situations, setting up, closing. He was effective in all of those situations – a pitching jack-of-all-trades. If he had a flaw it was as a starting pitcher, where his performance usually fell off quickly after batters saw him a second and third time. Was it because he was not conditioned to throw beyond 40-50 pitches? Or was his first-round success due to mystery? No one knows for sure.

Perhaps the most surprising skill was


2009 Analysis: Darren O’Day

darren-oday-metsHey! Darren O’Day wasn’t on the team by Game 162 — in fact he was gone before the end of April. So what the heck is he doing as part of the 2009 analysis?

It’s a sore spot, that’s why — and O’Day’s brief tenure as a New York Met is a symbol of the organization’s shortsighted, knee-jerk “strategies” of building and maintaining the 25-man roster.

What this post should have been was a congratulatory note to Omar Minaya and his scouting staff for having the boldness and acuity to pluck Darren O’Day in the Rule 5 Draft. The acquisition could have been a soothing bright spot amidst a dark year of disappointment. But even when the Mets did something right, they found a way to undo it.

O’Day earned a bullpen spot on the strength of a sparkling


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.


Carlos Beltran to the Disabled List

Just got word that Carlos Beltran’s MRI did not look good, and he’s headed to the DL.

Fernando Martinez reportedly is on the way back up to take his place on the roster.

In addition, Wilson Valdez has been DFA’d and Ken Takahashi demoted to AAA Buffalo. Taking their places will be lefthanded pitcher Pat Misch and and RHP Elmer Dessens.

Adding Misch and Dessens to the bullpen makes sense, since Dessens has been pitching well as a middle reliever in AAA (as loyal MT reader/commenter Micalpalyn has noted on several occasions), and Misch can’t be any worse than Takahashi as a LOOGY. Misch was used as a starter and reliever by the San Francisco Giants prior to being released by that club, and is one of those crafty lefties (meaning, don’t expect him to overpower anyone with a 95+ MPH heater) who relies on pinpoint control. Dessens is a longtime MLB veteran swingman who survives on guile and luck. Both arms are a welcome addition to the bullpen, whose main three men are about to pass out from overuse.

Now what about F-Mart? Does he become the Mets’ starting centerfielder? Or does he play RF while Ryan Church shifts to center? Church has played 114 MLB games in centerfield. Otherwise, it’s Jeremy Reed’s time to shine.


Perez Placed On DL

Omar Minaya announced that Oliver Perez would be placed on the disabled list with “tendinitis in the knee”. (Ha), and that Jonathan Niese would take his place on the 25-man roster.

He also announced that Niese would start on Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates instead of Ken Takahashi. Thank goodness someone in the organization realized starting Takahashi was a bad idea.

Interestingly, Minaya had a giddy, gleeful look on his face when he approached the microphone to address the press. Was he pleased with himself for putting one over on the late-shift administrative assistant processing DL requests over at the MLB offices?


Oliver Perez in the Bullpen


So it’s official: Oliver Perez will be “working out his issues” in the bullpen.

40-year-old rookie Ken Takahashi will take Perez’s spot in the starting rotation, at least for this Friday evening’s game.

Though Takahashi was a starter in Japan last year, he was conditioned as a short reliever in spring training this year and pitched 11 innings through 6 games in AAA this year. I imagine he can throw 50, maybe 60 pitches. He did throw 55 pitches in a game with Buffalo earlier this season. Under perfect circumstances, that could get him through the fifth inning.

Mets manager Jerry Manuel says he will use Oliver Perez in both long-relief / mopup situations and in critical points of a close game. He cited Jon Garland (as a 21-year-old in 2001) and James Baldwin (1998) as previous examples of struggling starters he had sent to the bullpen in the past to work things out.

There was no official word on whether Nelson Figueroa, Dillon Gee, Jonathan Niese, Brandon Knight, or Pedro Martinez were considered.

I refuse to pass judgment or state an opinion on any of this information. The Mets obviously know what they’re doing.