Kohei Arihara earned a second season with Texas Rangers


Kohei Arihara was the Texas Rangers’ largest out-of-season acquisition. A solid pitcher in Japan, he’d signed a two-year deal with Texas that likely served as a bridging option while they tried to rebuild the roster. However, for only $ 7.44 million over two years, Arihara was a worthwhile investment that could easily return great value.

That turned out not to be the case. Instead, the Rangers designated Arihara for use on Sunday and cleared a squad spot for the equally disappointing Mike Foltynewicz.

Kohei Arihara earned a second chance with the Texas Rangers

Arihara was a solid pitcher in Japan before coming to the States. He had posted a respectable 3.74 ERA and a 1.209 WHiP over his 836 innings in Nippon Professional Baseball, hitting 626 bats with 194 walks. While those numbers might not be ace material, it seemed likely that Airhara would be a solid back of the rotary arm at the major league level.

His time in Texas got off to a promising start. He had an excellent first four outings, scoring a 2.21 ERA and a 0.934 WHiP in his 20.1 innings. Things quickly fell apart, however, as he allowed 16 runs on 16 hits, including six homers, and nine walks, in his next 8.1 innings. Arihara ended up on the list of injured due to an aneurysm in his throwing shoulder that likely caused these fights and had to be surgically removed.

He returned in September but his performance was mixed. Arihara was solid enough in his first two appearances but allowed six runs with eight hits in four innings against the Astros on September 15. That turned out to be the last drop when it was destined for use.

While it can be argued that Arihara disappointed, he certainly deserves a longer look at the Rangers. They will have numerous holes on their pitching team next year and his strong start before his injury gives hope that he could be a viable option for the Major League. With he’s likely not going to get called on waivers and the Rangers will be hooked for the remainder of his salary, it wouldn’t be a surprise to another team to give him a chance.

The Texas Rangers are ready to run Kohei Arihara. Given how he fared before his shoulder problems, he deserved a better chance.

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