March 6, 2012; Bradenton, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Ryota Igarashi (17) throws in the fourth inning against the New York Yankees at McKechnie Field. The Pirates defeated the Yankees 7 - 4. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE

Blue Jays acquire Ryota Igarashi from Pirates

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March 6, 2012; Bradenton, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher

The Blue Jays have acquired right-handed relief pitcher Ryota Igarashi from the Pirates in exchange for future cash considerations, according to a notebook entry on the Jays’ official website. Igarashi, 32, was signed as a minor league free agent by the Pirates in December after previously spending his entire major league career with the New York Mets.

In 38 2/3 innings for the Mets last season, Igarashi went 4-1 with a 4.66 ERA. Although he managed to rack up 42 strikeouts over that span (9.8 K/9), he did walk over six batters per nine frames and finished the year with an unsightly 1.836 WHIP. With Triple-A Buffalo, however, Igarashi managed a 0.87 ERA in 31 innings with 34 strikeouts to nine walks while allowing only 15 hits.

Igarashi won’t be considered for a position in the Jays’ bullpen given that it’s already full, so he’s purely a depth pickup and that will spend the season with Triple-A Las Vegas. As a pitcher with a decent splitter that can generate ground balls but also rack up strikeouts, though, he’s a solid, low cost pickup for Vegas’ bullpen.

– JM

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Tags: Pittsburgh Pirates Ryota Igarashi Toronto Blue Jays

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