Two good reasons to like Mets' Takahashi

Updated: May 27, 2010, 4:52 PM ET
By Eric Karabell
The next time New York Mets lefty Hisanori Takahashi takes the mound likely will be Monday at Petco Park in San Diego against a below-average Padres offense. Pitching there is almost always a positive thing, but in the case of Takahashi, who comes off a pair of six-inning shutout performances against the mighty offenses of the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies, it would be smart to add him in fantasy no matter what team he's facing and where.

Takahashi is owned in a scant 4.7 percent of ESPN standard (10-team mixed) leagues, up from a meager 0.6 percent one week ago, so I still get the impression there's plenty of uncertainty about his potential. I admit I didn't know what to expect from him this spring, when the 35-year-old -- no, he is not a kid! -- came over from Japan, bringing success as both a starting pitcher and reliever with him. Takahashi made it clear he wanted to start games for the Mets, but until recently he didn't get that chance. Now I wonder how he'll lose the opportunity.