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April 12, 2011

Transaction Analysis Blog

The Mets Promote Isringhausen and Igarashi

by R.J. Anderson

New York Mets

Designated RP Blaine Boyer for assignment. [4/10]
Optioned OF Lucas Duda to Triple-A Buffalo. [4/10]
Called up RP Jason Isringhausen from extended spring training. [4/11]
Promoted RP Ryota Igarashi from Triple-A Buffalo. [4/11]

During Sunday’s broadcast, the SNY announcers foreshadowed the moves as Sandy Alderson’s comments about possibly going to a 13-man pitching staff were echoed throughout a half-inning. Ten starts into the season and the Mets have seen yanked their starter three times before the end of the fifth inning --opening day starter Mike Pelfrey has ended his night early twice already. The large workload has coincided with unflattering performances from Blaine Boyer, Bobby Parnell, and Tim Byrdak.

To see Boyer among the departed is no surprise. Giving up 15 baserunners in five outings is not the way for a fringe reliever to endear himself to any team. Odds are, Boyer will land in Triple-A and attempt to work his way back up the ladder. Meanwhile, the 25-year-old Duda struggled to a .118/.250/.176 line in 20 plate appearance, but he is a victim of circumstance here, as the Mets could not afford to spare their other bench parts. Duda has a future in the big leagues, so this is little more than a minor setback.

In hopes of breathing new life into the relief corps, the Mets are reintroducing some old friends to the pen. Igarashi made his major league debut with the club last season and failed to impress thank to control difficulties. It’s an odd failure on Igarashi’s part, as his more recent numbers for the Yakult Swallows showed decent control, as did his brief exposure to Triple-A. At tis point, the Mets may as well see what they have here, if anything, given the alternatives.

There are old friends and then there are old friends. Isringhausen last pitched for the Mets on July 31, 1999. More than a decade later, Isringhausen recorded two-thirds of a perfect inning for the Metropolitans in his first outing back for the club. Nearly two year ago, Isringhausen blew out his elbow with the Rays –not the first time he has suffered such an injury, mind you—and a failed recovery stint with the Reds in 2010 left Izzy’s future in doubt.

For the time being, Isringhausen is back. You have to admire the man’s love for the game and willingness to endure pain while running the risk of becoming the Bullpen Sisyphus. That, or admire his naivety should he forget his elbow isn’t getting any younger –and neither is he.

R.J. Anderson is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see R.J.'s other articles. You can contact R.J. by clicking here

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