Checking in on Kei Igawa

Watch the nine-minute Venditte fiasco
Remembering 50 years of baseball in LA

It’s time for the once-a-month look back at Kei Igawa! This time, it’s brought to you by Rainer Sabin and The New York Times. Reading about Kei’s predicament in Scranton and his constant trips to New York to visit his wife, I feel bad for the Yanks’ expensive left-handed flop. He just wants to do well.

Watch the nine-minute Venditte fiasco
Remembering 50 years of baseball in LA
  • tony from the bronx

    just found out andy pettite is going for a M R I Not sure how serious.If Andy is injured Cashman is going to be forced to make a deal

    • Ben K.

      You have a source on this one?

  • tony from the bronx

    yes no doubt about the info

    • yankeemonkey

      What is your source on this?

    • Ben K.

      If you’ve got no doubt about it, what’s your source? My e-mail address is at left if you’re interested in keeping quiet.

  • Jeff

    Honestly, no matter how much we all hate Igawa…you can’t help but feel bad for the guy. Just a bit. He’s been thrown into a no-win situation for himself.

    • Smitt Dog

      I agree. I can’t imagine moving to Japan, told I’d be working in Tokyo, and then being sent to some town I’ve never heard of where theres not another American or person speaking English anywhere to be found. Add to that the fact that for whatever reason, my wife still lives in Tokyo. This is what Kei is up against in Scranton. He sounds like an honorable guy who just wants to do well, and may have been set up against unrealistic expectations (partially by the Yankees, and partially by scouts around baseball). The amount of money he’s cost shouldn’t weigh on him, even though it undoubtedly does. You take what you can get and you work as hard as you can to earn it. That is why Pavano draws such ire and Igawa has not.

      • Rob_in_CT

        Yup. At the end of the day, it’s not Kei’s fault that he sucks. I thank him for the effort, though I don’t want to see him in the bigs again (unless he’s the opposing starter).

    • Count Zero


      However, he’s not exactly known for his work ethic. No one denies his ability to make batters swing and miss, but rather his problem is that he can’t seem to find a consistent, repeatable delivery. Any MLB pitcher will tell you that in the show, lots of people have “good stuff.” So it’s all about your ability to command that “stuff”, and ability to command is a function of consistent mechanics. This is not a matter of talent — it’s a matter of hard work.

      I would be more sympathetic to his plight if he actually showed me that he was working hard between starts, reviewing tape of his mechanics after every game, etc. From what I’ve heard, he likes to punch the clock and go home. Maybe that’s not true, but no one seems to be saying: “This kid is working hard and he’s determined to be the pitcher we thought he could be when we signed him.”

      • iYankees

        how many chain link fences does he have to throw at to convince you :)

        • Count Zero

          Every one he sees… ;-)

  • Andy in Sunny Daytona Beach

    I look forward to Kei getting his mechanics together one day and proving us all wrong. He has the raw stuff to do it, I just hope that he can.

  • JohnC

    Could Igawa be a starter instead of Ponson in one of the games of the doubleheader against the Mets next Friday? If Ponson doesn’t pitch well in his Scranton start and Igawa does, could be an interesting development.

    • KAnst

      If you were to ask the question, What pitcher would I pick Igawa over? Ponson would be on the short list…at least Igawa is a lefty.

      • RICH

        If Ponson’s not on the 40 man roster it’s what *2* pitchers would you pick Igawa over.

  • A.D.

    If Igawa is that miserable he can retire and return to Japan

  • Babe’s Ghost

    Yeah I read that and immediately started feeling sorry for him… but it really was a human interest piece, not a baseball piece.

    Saberscouting had a great piece on “What’s Wrong with Kei Igawa” a few months ago. The skinny is that he’s got the ‘stuff’ to be successful, but his arm speed is too slow, particlularly given his long stride and the combination has him leaving balls up in the zone. Their advice was shorten the stride.

    Anyone know what he’s actually working on down at Scranton? Any links to newer video of him? I know his results have been OK, but does he look like he’s actually changing things or is he working on “execution” and “repeatability” with the idea that his mechanics are fundatmentally sound.

    I still think we should dangle him as part of the ‘posting fee’ for Yu Darvish. If he goes back to Japan he could be a quality lefty again, and that and $50 million dollars might make parting with Darvish sooner than necessary more palatable.

  • Bruno

    Wasn’t he somewhat decent out of the pen last year? He’d be an expensive RP, but not as expensive as he is for AAA pitcher.

  • Brett

    I don’t feel bad for Igawa. He’s stealing $20 million from the Yankees. He sucks. If he’s miserable he should give up the money and go back to Japan. Otherwise, suck it up and keep pitching.