He’s o-Kei in AAA


In what is perhaps, outside of Edinson Volquez’s Rookie of the Year votes, the most unintentionally hilarious story of the off-season so far, Topps has named Kei Igawa to the card company’s AAA All Star team.

Chad Jennings has the press release from the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre home office, and it too is rather funny simply because it’s so endearingly unironic:

2008 may end up being a break through year for left handed pitcher Kei Igawa. The second year pro from Japan set a Scranton/Wilkes-Barre franchise record for wins in a season by a left handed pitcher with 14 and was named the team’s 2008 Pitcher of the Year.

Igawa set the tone for the season with six perfect innings on opening night for the Yankees and closed out the season winning 11 of his final 13 decisions, earning the southpaw a spot on the 2008 Topps’/Minor League Baseball Triple-A All-Star Team…

Igawa led the Yankees in starts (24), wins (14), innings pitched (156.1) and strike outs (117). His 14 wins tied Joe Roa’s franchise record set in 2002. The outstanding work on the hill for the left hander did not end with the regular season as Igawa posted a 1-0 mark with a 1.35 ERA and nine K’s in 13.1 post season innings, helping lead Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to the Governors’ Cup for the first time in franchise history.

I don’t really know what else I can add to this news. I, for one, am glad the Yanks’ $46-million investment is paying dividends for some team. That 6.66 ERA and 1.76 WHIP in 71.2 big league innings makes me wonder just how bad AAA hitters are anyway.

Now, can we trade him?

Categories : Minors


  1. George says:

    Not the way I wanted to start out my baseball morning news, reading this

  2. Andy In Sunny Daytona says:

    “That 6.66 ERA and 1.76 WHIP in 71.2 big league innings ………”, so are you saying that we should give up on pitchers after 71 innings?

    • Ben K. says:

      Not at all. I’m more inclined to give up on Igawa because his stuff doesn’t profile to big league success. All I’m saying is that there is a big, big difference between his MiLB numbers and his MLB failures.

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona says:

        What is his “stuff”? Is it mental? Can he just not keep the ball down in the strike zone? I’ve seen most of his major league innings, but I haven’t seen any of his minor league starts.
        I’m not trying to be a dick, but I just want to know why there is so much hate towards him.
        Is he just a AAAA pitcher, or can the Yanks just not squeeze any success out of him?

    • Chris C. says:

      They’ve certainly given up on players for much less than that!
      You can tell by watching Igawa that he clearly doesn’t have the stuff or command to succeed on the major league level.

      The only reason he’s still around is because of the scratch they laid out for him, and still owe him. Otherwise, he’d have been back in Japan long ago, harassing bartenders with Irabu!

  3. jsbrendog says:

    BUT HE BEAT Joe Roa’s RECORD!!!!!!!

    JOE ROA!!!! FROM 2002!!!!!

    wait….who the f is that?

  4. tomaconda says:

    The famous 14-0 Joe Roa with the 1.8 era and .86 whip. Man that guy was awesome. You shoulda seen him that year. Reminded me of the great Jim Deshais.

    • Chris C. says:

      Hey, don’t knock my man Jim Deshaies. At least he had a somewhat servicable career with Houston. The Yankees could have used him. He was a starter with the Astors for 6 straight season, and had a great 1989 season, winning 15 games and a 2.91 ERA.

      He’s been a commentator for the Stros for years now, and by some accounts, one of the best and funniest guys in the clubhouse.

      He was by no means the flop that Roa and Igawa turned out to be.

  5. DonnieBaseballHallofFame says:

    When Cashman had the chance to trade him to San Diego he should have done so. At least that would have shown that he was not attached to him. Sometimes its better to admit a mistake and get out. Instead we payed half as much as the Sox did for an actual pitcher who helped them win a WS title.

    • Ben K. says:

      Great. Lovely.

      Here’s my question: Why do people care so much about this? The Yanks wouldn’t have gotten a useful part back from Igawa, and he’s not hurting the Major League team. So let him rot away at AAA. In two years, he’ll go back to Japan, and the Yanks will have filled a spot in Scranton’s rotation. No harm, no foul. It’s not like he spent your $46 million.

    • When Cashman had the chance to trade him to San Diego he should have done so…

      Here, allow me to make a template for you that you can simply cut and paste into to save us all some time:

      “When Cashman had the chance to trade [insert inconsequential non-factor player here] to [insert NL West team here] he should have done so. He’s an idiot who clearly sucks at his job, he’s never made a good trade since [insert David Justice trade here].

      I mean how do you give away [insert Mike Lowell and various other Yankee prospects here, hopefully mentioning Jake Westbrook just to make your logic more circular and less comprehensible] ?!?!?!?! For what, to lose in the playoffs again?!?!??!

      We always suck at the draft, look at [insert unheralded low round pick passed on by all 30 teams who eventually became a good player here] Why do you Cashman [insert lovers/apologists/trolls/cockmonkeys here] fail to see that? Cashman keeps [insert lengthy rant about signing overpriced free agents or trading for/resigning ARod] and we keep falling further behind the [insert Sox/Rays/Jays/Angels/Mets/Billy Beans here].

      What this team needs is [insert lengthy false, historically inaccurate platitudes about the 1996-2000 Yankees being scrappy, talentless underachieving team-firsters who were us-against-the-world underdogs here]. I can’t understand why you people tolerate us not having a championship strategy anymore. Cashman is clueless.

      Next, you’ll probably say we should bring in [insert various great player who would drastically improve our team but has somehow personally offended you here]. If that ever happened, I’d [insert petty, juvenile threat about you revoking your precious fanhood here].

  6. Slugger27 says:

    ahhh… u gotta love a good kei igawa story… its hilarious how serious the tone of the article is

    personally, i just think its a mental thing…. i just dont see how u can have such good numbers in AAA and so terrible in the show…. not saying he should be a really good pitcher in the majors, but a 1.76 whip with a 6.6 era?? theres gotta be somethin goin on in his head… no reason he shouldnt be able to pitch to AT LEAST ponson/rasner levels

    but then again, who cares? he sucks and we all hate him

    oh well, whatever, nevermind

    • Chris C. says:

      I think “hate” is a little strong. The man never did anything to me. It’s not his fault the Yankees threw a ton of money his way. What’s he supposed to do, tell them, “hey guys, you’re making a big mistake…….I really stink…..take the money off the table, I’m not worth it.”

      • Slugger27 says:

        ur takin it too literally… its more like the jeff weaver type of hate

        i mean, nobody wishes ill fate on the guy, im just sayin after all his performances and failures its hard to care one way or the other about anything he does anymore

        • jsbrendog says:

          no but it was fun to watch weaver cry on the mound when he gave up three or four hits. once you saw him put his head down and slump hios shoulders and kick dirt my friends and i inevitably knew what was coming and gave the “uuhhhhhhhhhhh oh here it comes”


    • gxpanos says:

      Haha I love that we’re all so scarred by the ’08 starting pitching situation that Sidney Ponson and Darrell Rasner are, and really can only be, referred to as “ponson/rasner.”

      And that all speculations about starters can be effectively argued with the line “X is at least better than ponson/rasner!”

      • Slugger27 says:

        haha so true… whats sad is that in igawa’s argument, you CANT make that claim

        and its hard to think of another pitcher they have trotted out there that you cant make that claim for… maybe chase wright in 06? ipk this year? sean henn a few years ago when he made 3 or 4 starts… its tough

        • gxpanos says:

          Yeah I don’t know. The Kei Man is a sure thing: he was worse than ponson/rasner. It’s pretty hard to figure out anyone else who was as bad. The thing about ponson/rasner was it happened over and over and over.

          Man, it’s getting less funny the more I think about it. ponson/rasner pitched 194 innings! Sweet Jesus we need CC.

      • Chris C. says:

        I don’t know why Yankee fans are all over Rasner. I thought the guy did a pretty servicable job. He gave the Yankees a good amount of quality starts, and probably should have won about 10 ballgames if not for terrible run support. Sure, he threw a few clunkers that gave him the high ERA, but he was good way more often than he was bad.

  7. Brian says:

    Just two short seasons ago, Igawa and Pavano were slated for two spots in our rotation. Funny, I don’t really remember them playing…

    But I still don’t think it’s going out on a dead limb to say that Igawa makes a start this year for the Yanks. Maybe even more than that.

  8. Baseballnation says:

    Someones always looking for pitching, and it only takes one cook GM to take that flyer…Telling me Texas, or some team in the N.L. wouldn’t take a looksy at Igawa?

  9. Jeremy says:

    Igawa’s numbers in Japan were excellent. Most everyone expected a decline in MLB, but he was a disaster. What happened? Is the Japan League roughly equivalent to AAA ball?

  10. waswhining says:

    Peavy — Igawa straight up. That’ll stop you Igawa bashers in your tracks.

  11. christopher says:

    leading the AAA team in wins – a rather dubious honor – very crash davis

  12. Chip says:

    Honestly, if I were the GM of the Giants/Cards/San Diego/insert other crappy NL team with a huge stadium here, I’d try to throw a bag of balls at Cashman for Igawa. I think he could hold down the longman job in the NL in a big park. Hopefully he gets traded to Colorado and we can watch him set the record for homeruns given up

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