2011 Season in Review: Ryota Igarashi

The New York Mets went 77-85 in 2011. As suggested by the sub-par record, there were a fair share of ups and downs throughout the season. “2011 Season in Review,” which will be an ongoing series, will analyze every single Mets player that picked up a ball or glove in 2011, for better or worse. This particular “2011 Season in Review” will take a look at reliever Ryota Igarashi.

Ryota Igarashi came over from Japan before the 2010, and signed a two-year, $3 million deal with the Mets. The righty struggled in his debut season, posting a dismal 7.12 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, and 1.39 K/BB. The import was demoted to the Minors where he fared better (3.00 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 3.86 K/BB), but surrendered far too many hits (10.5 Hits/9).

Unfortunately for Ryota, his 2011 season wasn’t much better. The 32 year-old posted a 4.66 ERA, 1.83 WHIP, and 1.50 K/BB in 38.6 innings. While the righty did strikeout more hitters in 2011 than he did in 2010, he also walked more batters (from 5.3 BB/9 to 6.5 BB/9) and allowed more hits (from 8.6 Hits/9 to 10.0 Hits/9).

In addition, none of the reliever’s three pitches were effective. Igarashi threw a fastball, curve-ball, and split-finger, registering a -0.3, -2.1, and -4.5 RAA, respectively. Also, his fastball’s average MPH dropped from 93.7 in 2010 to 92.3 in 2011. Interestingly enough, Igarashi sported respectable GB% (45.6%) and HR/FB (5.4%) rates, but even with a seemingly elevated .360 BABIP, his 4.66 ERA was justified (4.54 xFIP).

Given Igarashi’s stint in Triple-A (0.87 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, 3.78 K/bb) during 2011, there’s a good chance another franchise will ink the free agent on a Minor League deal. Needless to say, the Ryota Igarashi experiment was not a successful one for the New York Mets.

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