The Pirates have signed Ryota Igarashi, a 32-year old Japanese reliever who was released by the Mets on October 20th.
Despite being relatively dominant in the minor leagues, he has been all but that in the Bigs. In 69 innings pitched, Igarashi allowed 44 runs for an ERA of 5.74. He has been a decent strikeout pitcher, with a K/9 of 8.74, but his control is a huge issue. He has walked 46 batters in his career, which is a BB/9 of 6. From what I see, he is a very, very poor man’s Jose Veras. As in Anne Frank poor. The most comparable player to him currently on the Pirates would be Jason Grilli, who had a K/9 of 9.7 and a BB/9 of 5.3 in his last full season in the Majors. Apparently Igarashi’s contract was a MiLB contract with a Spring Training invitation. That makes a lot of sense for both sides, Igarashi is lucky to have any contract at this point, and the Pirates only have to pay him league minimum. I’m not quite sure why we would still sign this guy though, unless Huntington is positive that Ray Searage and his witch doctors can fix Igarashi’s erratic control.