From the Florida Ledger -
Can Kei Igawa be the Yankees’ stopper?
That’s what they will be looking for tonight in San Francisco as he makes his first major-league start since May 4. At the very least, the Yankees need Igawa to pitch well enough to give them a chance to win.
“I think we’re all going to watch it,” Manager Joe Torre said. “I want to see comfort, I want to see him in a good rhythm, in a good tempo.”
Igawa, a 27-year-old rookie who pitched the previous eight seasons in the Japanese Central League, was optioned after that early May start against Seattle so he could overhaul his delivery.
From the Daily News -
After spending more than six weeks in the minors, Kei Igawa will make his return to the Yankees’ rotation tonight in San Francisco, hoping the adjustments he has been working on will result in success at the major league level.
Igawa was 2-1 with a 7.63 ERA in his six appearances for the Yankees before being sent down on May 7.
“Has been working on his mechanics, trying to keep his body over the mound instead of getting in front of his arm,” Joe Torre said. “I expect to see all of his stuff.”
From Ed Price -
Kei Igawa returns to the Yankees tonight after working on a new delivery in six minor-league starts. Yankees minor-league instructors worked with Igawa, who is scheduled to start against San Francisco tonight, to get him moving more directly toward home plate with his entire body.
What pitching coach Ron Guidry wants to see is more pitches down in the strike zone, especially changeups. In his six outings before being sent down May 5, Igawa threw too many letter-high pitches. As a result, he allowed eight homers in 30 2/3 innings and had a 7.63 ERA.
So, here’s your Kei Igawa checklist for tonight:
1. Not allowing his body to get ahead of his arm.
2. Working at an acceptable pace.
3. Keeping the ball down.
Can he do it? We’ll know for sure later today. My guess? Well, check out this line from Igawa’s Triple-A start on June 14th:
Ground outs-fly outs: Igawa 1-13
Does that sound like he’s getting the ball down? Barry Bonds could have a lot of fun with Igawa tonight.