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Could the Yanks call on Kei Igawa in 2011?

The name Kei Igawa invokes groans out of any Yankee fan. Not on a Carl Pavano scale, but definitely worse than Jeff Weaver.

Igawa is playing out the last year of a five-year, $20 contract in Double-A Trenton. He began the season in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre, but was sent to Trenton so he could get more innings and starts, according to The Star-Ledger. The 31-year-old last pitched in the majors in Sept. of 2008 when the rosters expanded. During his five-year deal, he has given the Yankees a grand total of 71 2/3 IP, with a 2-4 record and 6.66 ERA in just 16 games.

Yet, the Japanese lefty has done a decent job in the minor leagues over the last few years. Obviously, not worth $20 million bucks, but his 2011 numbers have been solid. Here’s a closer look at the numbers:

Year - Team W-L ERA G IP K BB WHIP
2007 - Tampa (A), SWB (AAA) 6-5 3.49 13 77.1 77 .18 1.203
2008 - SWB (AAA) 14-6 3.45 26 156.1 117 45 1.190
2009 - SWB (AAA) 10-8 4.15 26 145.1 105 40 1.411
2010 - SWB (AAA) 3-4 4.32 22 77 68 23 1.351
2011 - SWB (AAA), Trenton (AA) 1-0 0.49 6 18.1 15 5 0.764

With the questions surrounding the starting pitching this season, it’s not inconceivable to think Igawa could make a cameo in 2011 at Yankee Stadium. Is Bartolo Colon going to be able to continue to give the Yankees seven innings every start? Will his shoulder and elbow hold up over the long haul? You can ask those about Freddy Garcia. 

So Yankee fans, yay or nay on Kei Igawa? 

New York Sports