Can Igawa learn to pitch in MLB? Chad Jennings pointed out this NYTimes piece. Hideki Matsui weighs in on Igawa's struggles:
"In Japan, he had pretty good velocity and he was the type of pitcher that usually threw fastballs and changeups to strike out hitters," Hideki Matsui said through an interpreter.And Cashman weighs in on what the Yanks saw in Igawa in the first place, and while trying not to sound pessimistic, sounds pretty pessimistic about Igawa's chances.
"In Japan, you don't see that many pitchers throw changeups, as opposed to here, where a lot of pitchers throw changeups. And in Japan, his fastball was pretty fast. But when you compare it to pitchers here, it's not as fast."
"If I felt that our evaluations were improper, then I would think that he's failed, and I'm not ready to concede that yet," Cashman said. "It took José Contreras some time to adjust, and although he possesses a different ability, he led the White Sox to a world championship.Personally, I think the smart thing to do is put Igawa in AAA and let him fight his way to the big leagues alongside Horne, Melancon, and Sanchez. I'd like to think that the Yankees are unconcerned enough with pride and money (and focused on winning) to do that.
"All I can tell you is Igawa was the strikeout leader in Japan -- and not just for one year -- and those guys are contact hitters over there. Swing-and-miss is still a big part of his game. You can't deny that; just look at his statistics."