The Los Angeles Angels are going with the cheap, strength in numbers approach to how they are going fill out their minor league roster. You know what? That’s a perfectly fine approach. They added another arm, but this time going to Japan to do so. The team signed Hiroyuki Kobayashi to a minor league deal with the invitation to spring training added into it.
Looking up his stats, I could only find info from 2007-2011. He pitched for the Chiba Lotte Marines and was actually a starter. In ’07, he went 13-3 with a 2.69 ERA and a 8.6 K/9 ratio. He then faltered in ’08 and ’09 going a combined 9-25. He then became the team’s closer and went 3-3 with a 2.21 ERA and 29 saves. He almost went to the MLB after 2010 but signed with the Hanshin Tigers in 2011 going 1-5 with a 3.00 ERA. He didn’t pitch for anyone in 2012.
Again, this deal is like all the other ones that have been signed the past couple of days. The Angels don’t have a lot of minor league depth, so the team has to bring in guys like Kobayashi and such to help fill out the roster. I don’t see him being a part of the 40 man roster, but hey, if he impresses in AAA and the Angels need someone up, it’s always possible.
Still, with other major league interested in him a couple of years ago, it makes the signing a little more interesting than the others, especially since I haven’t and probably not many people here in the US have ever seen him pitch.