I was reading MLBTR the other day and found this, from Rosenthal:
The Angels were not in on Youkilis but remain on the lookout for bullpen help, specifically a left-on-left reliever who would be an upgrade over Hisanori Takahashi. They're also looking for Triple-A starting pitching depth.
Multiple Disclaimer Time
1. It's June 28, and there's a lot of season in which Taka can blow this analysis up.
2. It's Ken Rosenthal. It's a trade rumor. They pass like gas in the wind, and they're part of the game.
3. I have a very big soft spot in my heart for Taka. I love his wind-up, I love the way he waits for guys coming off the field to give them high-fives, and I love his repertoire.
Sure, he's had his struggles. Lots of struggles. But, recently, he's actually been good. And, for the year, while still young in the season, there are several statistical categories in which he's actually been better than he was in 2011 and 2010, his "rookie" season and the season that first attracted the Halos to him.
His ERA (4.15) ain't good, but you know what else ain't good? Judging a reliever on ERA. So, let's dig deeper.
His WHIP is 1.115, as compared to 1.221 in 2011 and 1.303 in 2010.
His BB/9 is 2.1, as opposed to 2011 when it was 3.3.
His SO/BB is 3.67, but was 2.08 in 2011 and 2.65 in 2010.
He's given up 12 ER thus far and is on pace for 25 ER, which would be one less than 2011.
He's given up 3 HR thus far and is on pace for 6 HR, which is one less than 2011, as well.
He's given up 23 H thus far and is on pace for 48 H, which is 10 hits less than 2011.
Of course, the "on pace" argument is a weak one. But hey, it's my first fanpost, so be kind.
Now, his ERA+, perhaps the most important stat for a pitcher, is junk. It sits at 93, as compared to 113 in 2011. Neither number is very impressive, but that dip is particularly bad.
More recently, and more importantly, in June (10 IP), he's given up 2 ER, 7 H, and 1 BB.
Again, this isn't great stuff in the grand scheme of things, but for a guy whose role is very mutable, he's been pretty effective lately.
BONUS INTERESTING TAKAHASHI STATS
He has only had 1 wild pitch and exactly 0 balks called in 216 IP.
His HR/9, while not great, is extremely consistent. In 2010, it was 1.0; in 2011, it was 0.9; and in 2012, it is 1.0.
Now, the prevailing sentiment of Hisanori on HH is...well...Takashitty. So why is that? Was there a specific incident that sticks in your mind? A blown save; a crappy change-up (or as Vin Scully would say, a crappy screwball); or do you just not trust him?