Ryota Igarashi Eyeing MLB

» 06 October 2009 » In mlb prospects, nichibei, npb »

One of the few free agents in the NPB this off-season, Yakult fireballer Ryota Igarashi is reportedly eyeing a move to the MLB. According to sources he has already been listing notable agents to help his transition and negotiation process. In the previous off-season he trained at one of the Athlete’s Performance training facilities, which increased his desire to play overseas.

Igarashi has made an impressive comeback from his elbow surgery in 2006 as he carries a 3.31ERA yielding 51.2 innings allowing 42H, 19ER, 20BB with 43K this season. Concerns for his elbow has diminished as specialist Dr. Lewis Yocum has gave him a clean bill of health during the previous off-season. Igarashi went on the injured list on August 30th with a hip injury, but he is currently back with the team and it did not seem serious (Bullpen Session Clip).

Igarashi has been one of the few NPB players who have been hinting a desire to play in the MLB this season. His pitching style has matured in recent years and he’s mixed in some occasional breaking pitches to compliment his power fastball. The real test for him will be how his fastball plays in a league with more power bats. The Tokyo Yakult Swallows are currently fighting for the last playoff spot and Igarashi has not commented on the report, but we should know more once the Swallows’ season concludes.

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