Rangers Starter To Make Season Debut Friday Night

He came over as a proven solid starter in Japan, but Kohei Arihara hasn't quite translated his stuff to the major leagues just yet. The Texas Rangers are giving him another shot Friday night, handing him the ball for the first time this season.

The 30-year-old Arihara had a nice career for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters in Japan before coming over to North America in 2021, with a 3.74 ERA during his six seasons in the Far East. Last year in Texas, however, was a rude awakening for the right-hander. In ten starts, he struggled to a 6.64 ERA, with only 24 strikeouts in 40.2 innings. 

He has a 4.88 ERA this season at Triple-A, though has been pitching better of late, surrendering no more than three earned runs in each of his last five starts. In 14 contests, he's lifted his strikeout rate to 7.9K/9. 

He's got about six weeks now to prove that the Rangers' two-year, $6.2M contract handed to him in 2021 was not a mistake. 

Photos: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports, Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports