According to recent reports, the Yankees might ship Kei Igawa to the minors to begin the season. If they do, Jeffrey Karstens would crack New Yorkís rotation.
This news surprised me, but I wouldnít go tearing up my cheat sheets just yet. A couple of things:
1. If Karstens does win a big-league job, itís unlikely heíll be able to hold it for long. Last year in Triple-A, Karstens had just a 48/30 K/BB in 73 2/3 innings. Nothing special there. He wasnít great with the big-league squad last season, either. His control was good -- 11 walks in 42 2/3 innings -- but he struck out just 16, gave up six home runs and yielded a ton of fly balls (0.67 G/F).
Karstens flashed some fine skill in Single-A and Double-A, so the 24-year-old does have potential. He just doesnít seem ready for prime time yet.
2. The Yankees paid $26 million just for the right to talk to Igawa. $26 million! Then they signed him to a five-year, $20 million contract.
You donít throw money like that at a player, then have him spend significant time in Scranton. Donít expect Igawa to be down on the farm for long, if at all.