NEW YORK -- With few other options, Mets manager Jerry Manuel may begin turning to Ryota Igarashi once again in high-leverage relief situations.
Though Elmer Dessens remains Manuel's preferred right-handed option in the late innings of close games, Igarashi pushed his way up the depth chart with a strong outing Saturday at Yankee Stadium. After a leadoff walk and Angel Pagan's misplay in center field put two men on with no outs, Igarashi retired the next three Yankees to complete his scoreless inning.
Now, Manuel will look for Igarashi to repeat the trick with a late lead.
"I wouldn't be afraid to use him," Manuel said.
Igarashi, the club's primary right-handed setup man before landing on the disabled list in late April, saw his Saturday outing in a similar light.
"It's a great opportunity to build on," Igarashi said through his interpreter. "I need to get momentum going for myself and obviously without good results, you're not going to gain trust. I need to get the job done."