Friday afternoon, Blue Jays management made a series of moves optioning Evan Crawford to AAA Vegas. recalling 1st Baseman David Cooper & selecting the contract for Right Handed Pitcher Ryota Igarashi while placing Dustin McGowan and Ben Francisco on the Disabled List.
Evan Crawford will make his 3rd trip back to the minors in over a month as the former 8th round draft pick finds himself replaced by Ryota Igarashi in the Blue Jays bullpen. In 7.1 IP with Toronto this season Crawford, who originally skipped AAA, put up a 7.36 ERA while surrendering 10 Hits and 4 Walks.
David Cooper will take Ben Francisco’s spot on the 40 Man Roster following his placement on the 15 day disabled list. The call up will provide Cooper with a chance to showcase his talents at the big league level as the club looks to solidify its 1st base position in the wake of Adam Lind’s demotion to AAA.
The 25 year old Cooper put up a .211 Batting Average while driving in 12 and launching 2 Home Runs in 71 At Bats for Toronto in 2011. Despite a relativity slow start to his Big League career, Cooper managed to impress the Blue Jays brass with his performance in AAA hitting .364 with 51 Doubles and 96 RBI in 120 games in the PCL.
In 2012, Cooper continued to hit at a torrid pace collecting 48 hits in 42 AAA games (19 for Extra Bases) while continuing to have a good eye at the plate drawing 22 Walks for a .378 On Base Percentage. His power numbers have improved as the Lefty has already clubbed 6 Home Runs early on in the season. Compare this to the 9 he hit in 2011 and you find a young hitter making the adjustments needed to take the next step in his career.
Igarashi take’s Dustin McGowan’s spot on the Roster as the injury prone Right Handed Pitcher finds himself on the 60 day Disabled List.
After appearing in 19 games for Las Vegas, Igarashi found himself with a 1.29 ERA Striking out 28 hitters in 21 innings of work. One statistic jumps out as you take a look at his 2012 numbers, Home Runs. Igarashi did not allow a Home Run during his stint with the 51′s which is not the easiest of tasks considering the hitter friendly Pacific Coast League.
The 32 year old Japanese import is known to be a power pitcher with a Fastball that will touch 97 at times complimented by a Forkball and Splitter to keep opposing hitters honest.
It should be noted that during his JPCL (Japan Central League) career, Igarashi went 47-29 with 54 Saves and a 3.25 ERA. His success in Japan has not yet translated over to North America as he has compiled 5-2 record to go with a 5.74 ERA in 2 seasons with the Mets.