Following final evening’s sport towards the A’s, the Rangers introduced that Kohei Arihara would get the ball for the second contest of the sequence this night. It’ll be the 30-year-old’s first huge league look of the season, as he’s spent all the season with Triple-A Spherical Rock after being outrighted off the 40-man roster final September. The Rangers 40-man is presently full, so that they’ll have to make a corresponding transfer this afternoon to formally choose Arihara’s contract. Longtime Texas beat reporter Jeff Wilson first suggested that he may very well be on the radar for a call-up.
A longtime member of the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters in Japan, Arihara made the soar to MLB over the 2020-21 offseason. The best-hander was made accessible by the Fighters through the posting course of, and he finally signed a two-year, $6.2MM contract. Texas additionally paid a $1.24MM posting price to the Fighters, pushing their complete funding to round $7.5MM.
Arihara by no means threw particularly laborious or missed many bats in Japan, however he was a elegant strike-thrower who pitched to a 3.74 ERA over six NPB seasons. Texas hoped that management might enable him to flourish as a back-of-the-rotation arm within the huge leagues, however that hasn’t been the case so far. Arihara made ten huge league begins final season, permitting a 6.64 ERA over 40 2/3 innings whereas struggling mightily with the house run ball (2.43 HR/9). He required shoulder surgical procedure that Could and spent practically 4 months rehabbing earlier than returning in September. After three extra begins, he was run by waivers and assigned to Triple-A.
By 18 appearances (14 begins) with Spherical Rock in 2022, Arihara has a 4.88 ERA in 72 innings. His 20.4% strikeout fee is a bit below-average, however he’s demonstrating his customary glorious management (5.8% stroll share). Extra importantly, he’s gotten his dwelling run fee to a extra manageable degree than it was throughout his first MLB stint, largely as a result of he’s inducing grounders on over half the batted balls towards him. Arihara’s season line nonetheless isn’t eye-catching, however he’s allowed three or fewer earned runs in every of his previous 5 begins and can get a shot to attempt to carry that over towards huge league hitters.
Arihara’s contract wraps up on the finish of the season, so the ultimate couple months are significantly essential for him personally. Capturing a rotation spot and performing serviceably over the following seven weeks would appear to be a prerequisite if he hopes to land a significant league contract this winter. The Rangers have already bumped Taylor Hearn to a reduction position after a tough run within the rotation, however they’re with out Jon Gray attributable to an indirect pressure and have given 18 begins to Glenn Otto with out a lot constant success. There’s sufficient uncertainty Arihara might have a path to choosing up a handful of begins down the stretch.