Originally posted on Pirates Prospects  |  Last updated 8/24/12
LEFT HANDED PITCHER Born: April 2, 1975
Height: 5’10″
Weight: 175
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, 2010 (Mets)
How Acquired: Waiver Claim (from Angels)
Country: Japan
Agent: Wasserman Media Group WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES Takahashi debuted in the majors at age 35 after signing with the Mets out of Japan.  He’d served as both a starter and reliever there with varying degrees of success.  His velocity is about average for a LHP, with his fastball typically registering just under 89 mph.  His out pitch is a change, and he also throws a slider and an occasional curve.  He’s had a limited platoon split; since he came to US ball, right-handed hitters have had an OPS of .724 against him, left-handed hitters .671.  He’s a flyball pitcher and has had some limited trouble with gopher balls.

MLB:  10-6-8, 3.61 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 122.0 IP, 3.2 BB/9, 8.4 K/9

The Mets used Takahashi initially as a reliever, but moved him to the rotation in late May.  He made a dozen starts, but didn’t pitch well; opponents posted an .821 OPS against him as a starter, as opposed to .582 as a reliever.  As a starter he allowed a HR every six innings, as a reliever every 28 innings.  He served as the Mets’ closer starting in mid-August, converting all eight of his save opportunities.  The Mets released Takahashi after the season when the two sides were unable to agree on a contract for 2011 and Takahashi signed a two-year, $8M deal with the Angels.

MLB: 4-3-2, 3.44 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 68.0 IP, 3.3 BB/9, 6.9 K/9

Takahashi had a solid season with the Angels, with a good WHIP, although his K rate dropped.

AAA:  0-0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP, 1.0 IP, 0.0 BB/9, 0.0 K/9
MLB (LAA):  0-3-0, 4.93 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 42.0 IP, 2.1 BB/9, 8.8 K/9

Takahashi had a poor ERA with the Angels, but his other numbers were good, better even than previous years as he improved his walk and K rates, and his WHIP.  He did allow a HR every seven innings.  The Angels sent him to AAA and removed him from the roster to make space after they acquired Zack Greinke in a deadline deal.  The Pirates claimed him off waivers.

Clint Hurdle has always professed to want at least two lefties in the bullpen and Takahashi now joins Tony Watson to give Hurdle two.  Why exactly is difficult to determine, because Hurdle has steadfastly refused to restrict lefties like Joe Beimel and Doug Slaten–who are dramatically better against LH than RH batters–to facing righties.  Takahashi, however, hasn’t had much of a platoon split, so he should fit better with Hurdle’s usage patterns than Beimel or Slaten did.

STATS Japanese StatsBaseball Reference–Majors
Baseball Reference–Minors
MiLB.com CONTRACT INFORMATION 2010: $1,000,000
2011: $3,800,000
2012: $4,200,000 PLAYER INFORMATION Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2012
MLB Debut: 4/7/2010
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2016
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: 4/7/10
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 2.000 TRANSACTIONS February 11, 2010: Signed as an international free agent by the New York Mets.
November 5, 2010: Released by the New York Mets.
December 2, 2010: Signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Angels.
August 19, 2012: Placed on waivers and optioned to AAA by the Los Angeles Angels.
August 24, 2012: Claimed off waivers by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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