Southpaw Takahashi provides 'pen with versatility

Southpaw Takahashi provides 'pen with versatility

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates' newest relief pitcher was expected to appear at PNC Park at just about first-pitch time for Saturday's game against the Brewers, but Hisanori Takahashi's first game appearance won't happen before Sunday.

Takahashi, claimed on waivers from the Angels on Friday, may have had a uniform waiting for him. But he did not have room on the roster: The Bucs will have to clear space on both the 40-man and 25-man lists prior to activating him for Sunday's series finale with Milwaukee.

After a brief run with Doug Slaten, and cameos by Jeff Locke and Justin Wilson, manager Clint Hurdle looked forward to having a second, versatile left-hander at Tony Watson's side.

Takahashi, a Japanese veteran who was a 35-year-old Major League rookie as a starter for the Mets in 2010, has a varied enough repertoire to fill a variety of bullpen roles.

"He's a four-pitch guy. It makes him able to go through a lineup, not just a left-on-left guy," Hurdle said. "He's another of those guys who don't become available when they're pitching well. It's a good fit for us and for him."

Takahashi was recently optioned to Triple-A after he'd pitched to a 4.93 ERA in 42 outings with the Angels. The control specialist had a 4-3 record, seven holds and two saves along with a 3.44 ERA in 61 appearances last season.

Hurdle ran down some reasons this was a good get for the Bucs: "The experience factor. The skill-set. He gives us another weapon."