Texas Rangers starting pitcher Kohei Arihara got an injection in his right middle finger for a callus that has developed there, per the beat guys. Arihara is not going on the injured list as of now, but his status is apparently in flux, and his next start could be pushed back.
Arihara has struggled early on this year — he has a 5.76 ERA, a 6.41 FIP, and an xERA over 9 — and he has had particular problems in his last two outings. Two starts ago, against the Chicago White Sox, it was believed that he was tipping his pitches in a game that saw him get lit up. In his start Friday against the Boston Red Sox, he was also lit up, and there was no pitch tipping that was believed to be going on.
Manager Chris Woodward mentioned the possibility of using lefty Hyeon-jang Yong, who has been a starter throughout his career in the KBO before being added to the Rangers bullpen late last month, as a spot starter in order to give every Ranger starting pitcher an extra day’s rest in the midst of a stretch of 19 games in 19 days. Arihara, who generally pitched on five days rest due to the six man rotations used in the Japanese League, would presumably benefit from that, as he would be then pitching on what has been his normal rest, rather than on four days rest.
I suspect the Rangers are going to wait and see how Arihara responds to the injection and how their pitching needs develop over the next couple of days. If the bullpen gets taxed and the Rangers need a fresh arm in the next few days, Arihara could go on the injured list, allowing them to bring someone up. Alternatively, if the workload for the pen is manageable, Texas may keep him on the active roster and see about bringing him back on long rest if Yang gets a spot start.