12 December 2009

Ryota Igarashi signing coming soon?

NPB tracker is conveying that the Orioles are getting more in depth on conversations with LHRP Ryota Igarashi, ex-teammate of Koji Uehara, signing on as a LOOGY [note: error was made in handedness of pitcher. Igarashi is a righthander]:

"An earlier Hochi report said that Igarashi’s camp negotiated with the Orioles on the 9th, who would pair him up in the bullpen with Koji Uehara. Hochi also named the Padres and Diamondbacks as interested."

MacPhail sounded non-committal as he always does:

"Righthanders, lefthanders, we're always looking to sign pitchers. Last year we signed Uehara. Our information on Japanese talent has improved. We would like to talk with them."

Here is an excerpt on a scouting report provided by the tracker:

"Igarashi is known one of the hardest throwers in Japan, and jointly holds the record for fastest pitch* by a Japanese pitcher in an NPB game with a 158 kmph (98.75mph) fastball. Igarashi hit 158 kmph in 2004, when the average speed of his pitches over the course of the season was 154.5 kmph (96.6mph), which is an NPB record he has to himself.

Although he doesn’t throw quite as hard as he used to, but still runs his heater into the upper 90’s, and augments it with a hard splitter that he throws at around 90mph. He’s also got a slider and a curve that he’ll mix in occasionally, but is primarily a fastball/splitter pitcher."

Other teams mentioned in connection with Igarashi in the Japanese papers are the Yankees, Mets, Pirates, and Giants. An embedded video after the jump that includes former Orioles Larry Bigbie who pulled in a 255/318/421 line last year.

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