HISANORI TAKAHASHI
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.

2010
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.  Takahashi’s contract required the Mets to release him after the season and they did so.  He signed a two-year, $8M deal with the Angels.

2011
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.

2012
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
MLB (Pgh):  0-0-0, 8.64 ERA, 1.68 WHIP, 8.1 IP, 4.3 BB/9, 11.9 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.  He didn’t do well with them and ended up not pitching very much.  After he allowed seven runs in his first 4.1 IP, he went two weeks without pitching.  There wasn’t much meaningful work in September anyway, so Takahashi pitched mostly in mopup roles; the Pirates lost eight of the nine games he appeared in.

Takahashi doesn’t have six years of service and it hasn’t been reported whether his contract has a clause similar to the one he had with the Mets.  Even if he’s not a free agent, he should be eligible for arbitration as a “super two.”  It’s difficult to imagine the Pirates going that route with him, so one way or another he figures to become a free agent in the off-season.

STATS
Japanese StatsBaseball Reference–Majors
Baseball Reference–Minors
Fangraphs
MLB.com
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.