Yankees Scouting Japanese Star

By JOEL SHERMAN

One player the Yankees have scouted heavily is Yu Darvish. And there is strong belief around the game that the top starter in Japan will, indeed, be posted this offseason and come to the States.

“He is coming, period,” one personnel man said.

The Yankees have had sour experience with high-profile Japanese pitchers Hideki Irabu and Kei Igawa, whose five-year contract finally expires this year. And the last can’t-miss Japanese pitcher to come to the majors, Daisuke Matsuzaka, was hardly a bonanza for the Red Sox.

So you wonder if there will be greater financial caution with Darvish this winter or will the hunger for pitching motivate teams to bid. I will say this, I have not sensed that the Igawa experience will take the Yankees, for example, out of the Japanese marketplace.

Darvish is certainly attractive as a pitcher. He is 6-foot-5, 25 years old, pitches at 93-94 mph with the ability to touch higher than that and is known for having an inventive and competitive spirit on the mound. He is 15-3 with a 1.59 ERA and 182 strikeouts in 158 innings for the Nippon Ham Fighters.

 

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2 comments

  1. Matt Anello

    I just hope he’s not another Igawa. Dice-K has been a disappointment as well. I’m all for the move if it’s at a reasonable price tag, if not then its not worth the money risk. Although with the Yanks there really isn’t such a thing as a money risk. Nice post.
    I would really appreciate some feedback on my blog @ http://manello33.wordpress.com/

  2. djpostl

    I am not sold on Japanese pitchers translating well (long-term) in MLB. Nomo, Dice-K and others have shown flashes of brilliance but mostly struggled to maintainn it over the long haul. The larger ball (yeah, the one in Japan is actually slightly smaller), pitching every 5th day as opposed to every 7th, MLB hitters getting used to their “gimmicky” deliveries etc…all seem to come into play.

    Added you to my Blogroll and will wander around/give feedback on your site also =)

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