Nov
02

Agent calls Yankees a ‘dark horse’ in Iwakuma bidding

By

Via NPB Tracker, agent Don Nomura called the Yankees a “dark horse” in the bidding for Japanese righty Hisashi Iwakuma. I don’t know about you, but this sounds like a classic case of an agent trying to drive up the price by looping the Yanks into the mix. I posted about Iwakuma yesterday, and we have zero indication that they actually have interest in acquiring him, at least until this report from his agent. The posting process started today, so we should found out a results in the next week or so.

43 Comments»

  1. Jerome S says:

    I hope the Red Sox pay out the nose for him like they did Daisuke, then have him suck like Daisuke.

  2. I don’t know about you, but this sounds like a classic case of an agent trying to drive up the price by looping the Yanks into the mix.

    (nods)

  3. I Voted 4 Kodos says:

    I hope that they take a chance and submit a low bid. He sounds like the type that might be able to squeak out a decent year or two on deception alone.

  4. vinny-b says:

    japanese pitchers = intentional walk

  5. Joey - hughes#34 says:

    Eh, I guess he could be alright for a 5th starter if Pettitte retires or Lee doesn’t sigh with the yanks. I would still prefer that job go to Joba but it doesn’t look like the yanks see him as a starter.

    • Craig says:

      Exactly. Pass on this cat and his low ceiling. If they’re pinched for a starter, Joba is the best way to go. They either need to put him back in the rotation or trade him.

  6. dan says:

    darvish or no one.

  7. Iwakuma’s four-seam fastball averaged about 91 mph in the WBC. He got 11 inches of hop and six inches of tail, which is pretty typical for a four-seamer. He threw it 19 percent of the time to left-handed batters and 24 percent of the time to right-handed batters. He had some trouble throwing it for strikes, missing for a ball 48 percent of the time. Here is a photo of his four-seam fastball grip.

    Iwakuma’s two-seam, or sinking, fastball averaged 90 mph, and he got eight inches of hop and nine inches of tail on the pitch, which is about four to five inches of movement relative to his four-seamer. He threw the sinker 17 percent of the time to left-handed batters and 18 percent of the time to right-handed batters. He did a better job throwing this pitch for strikes (68 percent) and he induced six ground ball outs against four air balls. Here is a photo of his two-seam fastball grip.

    His split-finger fastball averaged 86 mph, and he got three inches of hop and eight inches of tail on the pitch due to spin. Adding in the effect of gravity, the splitter dropped about nine inches relative to his four-seamer. He threw the splitter 31 percent of the time to left-handed batters and 20 percent of the time to right-handed batters. It was his main strikeout pitch, accounting for five of his nine strikeouts in the last three games of the WBC. Batters swung and missed at 34 percent of his splitters, which is an excellent mark. Here is a photo of his split-finger grip.

    Iwakuma’s slider averaged 80 mph, and he got four inches of horizontal deflection on the pitch. He threw the slider 20 percent of the time to left-handed batters and 35 percent of the time to right-handed batters. He did a decent job of throwing this pitch for strikes (63 percent), but it didn’t deceive the hitters that much, only garnering whiffs seven percent of the time, half the major-league rate for the slider. Here is a photo of his slider grip.

    He threw a curveball infrequently, and it averaged 72 mph, with seven inches of lateral deflection and three inches of drop due to spin. He threw the curve 13 percent of the time to left-handed batters and only three percent of the time to right-handed batters. Here is a photo of his curveball grip.

    Iwakuma’s splitter is the only pitch that strikes me as an above-average major league pitch. His other pitches seem passable, but I’m somewhat skeptical whether they will play against major-league hitters.

  8. Andrew Brotherton says:

    I think if we could get him on a two year deal I’d go for it. He could be a great 6th or 7th starter. Give him around 20 starts and use him out of the pen the rest of the time. Basically an Aceves like role.

  9. zs190 says:

    Doesn’t make sense for Yankees to bid much on him, so I guess they are only a dark horse team in the sense that if nobody else bids high, they are in contention.

    We have two rotation spots available and Andy Pettitte and Cliff Lee are both available still. It does not make any sense to invest 10+ million in a starting pitcher until one of those two is retired/off the market.

  10. Craig says:

    I don’t want anything to do with this guy at all.

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