Los Angeles Angels Add Another Arm To A Minor League Deal

By Jason Evans

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.

February 21, 2012; Tempe, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Angels general manager

Jerry Dipoto

watches during spring training at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

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.