After Oliver Perez stunk up the joint again and his teammates responded with play every bit as lazy and uninspired, the Mets made reliever Casey Fossum pay. The lefty, whose work week included three mop-up jobs — two for Perez — was designated for assigment Sunday with Buffalo lefty Ken Takahashi recalled to take his place.
Takahashi makes an interesting choice. He’s a high-kicking, curve-throwing 40-year-old lefthander from Japan’s Hiroshima club who reportedly drew free agent interest from several teams this winter (including the Mets) but signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays, only to be released as spring training broke and scooped up by the Mets.Though trained as a starter, he’s been doing effective short and long relief for the Bisons, and so might come in handy if he’s not too worn out by the time Perez’ turn in the rotation comes around again.
No word yet on Takahashi’s uniform with the Mets. He’s been wearing 33 with Buffalo which belongs here to John Maine and wore 22 with Hiroshima (currently JJ Putz‘ number). If like me you sense a pattern here, 11 is out (Ramon Castro); 44 is theoretically waiting for Tim Redding, and 55 is on the back of coach Randy Niemann (thanks for the updates below). 66? Doubtful. Maybe he’ll turn up in 30 or 36.
Buffalo by the way eventually re-signed Nelson Figueroa, no doubt humbled by the waters he tested.
Takahashi, should he appear, would be the 859th Met of all-time (thanks to MBTN reader Gordon for the below update):
We left off 2008 with 848 – Bobby Parnell
849 would have been Al Reyes but he did not play
2009: 849 – Sean Green 4/6
850 – JJ Putz 4/6
851 – Jeremy Reed 4/6
852 – Francisco Rodriguez 4/6
853 – Alex Cora 4/9
854 – Darren O’Day 4/9
855 – Garry Sheffield 4/9
856 – Livan Hernandez 4/11
857 – Omir Santos 4/17
858 – Casey Fossum 4/21
Although recent roster cuts bled the organization of lefties including veterans Ron Villone and Valerio de los Santos, the team hasn’t stopped searching for Portside depth. On Monday, word came they signed Japanaese veteran Ken Takahashi to a minor league contract. Takahashi, who was recently released after an unsuccesful audition with the Blue Jays, is expected to report to Class AAA Buffalo. YouTube video out there shows him pitching for his former Hiroshima team wearing No. 22, now on the back of JJ Putz.
Elsewhere, looks like Rule 5 sidewinder Darren O’Day may sweat out the final bullpen slot, withElmer Dessens and Fernando Nieve his competitors.
Very busy with travel recently, but I plan to resume with the Top 10 countdown after we get through Opening Day: We’ll try to have the new rosters set, new player pages added, etc., later this week.