Arihara Kohei, who once ate rice with Hyeon-jong Yang (KIA Tigers), returns to the Japanese professional baseball stage. Leaving the ‘parent’ Nippon Ham Fighters and wearing the Softbank Hawks uniform.

Japan’s ‘Sports Hochi’ reported on the 6th (Korean time), “It is known that the Softbank Hawks are recruiting Arihara Kohei, who became 토토 a free agent from the Triple-A Round Rock Express under the Texas Rangers.”

Arihara started his professional career after being selected by Nippon Ham in the first round of the 2014 rookie draft. Arihara, who reigned as an “ace” during his time at Waseda University, appeared in 18 games in his debut season and recorded an ERA of 4.79 with an average of 8 wins and 6 losses, quickly adapting to his professional stage.

There was no second year jinx. Arihara played 22 games (156 innings) in the 2016 season and recorded an average ERA of 2.94 with 11 wins and 9 losses. Arihara spent the 2019 season with a career high season of 15-8 and an average ERA of 2.46, and after the 2020 season, he signed a two-year contract with Texas for a total of 6.2 million dollars (about 7.8 billion won) through the posting system and stepped on the big league stage.

Arihara competed fiercely to enter the starting rotation after wearing a Texas uniform, and succeeded in entering the starting lineup by defeating Yang Hyeon-jong at the time. However, his major league stage was different from Japan. Arihara went 2-3 with a 5.73 earned run average in April and fell short of expectations.

Arihara returned to the mound in September after a long rehabilitation, but in 10 games in the 2021 season, he suffered a sluggish 2-4 record with an ERA of 6.64 and was excluded from the 40-man roster. Arihara stayed with Triple-A, aiming to re-enter the big leagues, and was called up to the major leagues again last year. However, in September of last year, he suffered the humiliation of 3 innings and 11 runs (11 earned runs), and only recorded 1 win, 3 losses and an average ERA of 9.45 in 5 games (4 starts), and after the season, his contract expired and he was eligible for free agency.

Japan’s ‘Sports Hochi’ said, “As Kodai Senga (New York Mets), who won 10 wins for 7 consecutive years until last season, moved to the major leagues, Softbank wants to entrust Arihara, who has rich experience playing in the US and Japan, to the ace role. do,” he said.

Continuing, ‘Suhots Hochi’ said, “Arihara was interested in multiple clubs in Japan, including the Hanshin Tigers, but Softbank obtained a new ace candidate.” sent a love call,” he added.

Softbank has greatly strengthened its power this offseason. Kensuke Kondo, who became a free agent at Nippon Ham, and Roberto Osuna, who played for Chiba Lotte Marines last year and recorded 155 saves in the major leagues, succeeded in holding Arihara in his arms.