How the Seattle Mariners are Affected by the Kohei Arihara Signing

Nippon Ham starter Kohei Arihara pitches the ball. The Texas Rangers pitcher will be facing the Seattle Mariners often in 2021. (Photo by STR / JIJI PRESS / AFP) / Japan OUT (Photo by STR/JIJI PRESS/AFP via Getty Images)
Nippon Ham starter Kohei Arihara pitches the ball. The Texas Rangers pitcher will be facing the Seattle Mariners often in 2021. (Photo by STR / JIJI PRESS / AFP) / Japan OUT (Photo by STR/JIJI PRESS/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Kohei Arihara throws. He will face the Seattle Mariners in 2021.
Nippon Ham starter Kohei Arihara pitches the ball. The new Rangers pitchers will face the Seattle Mariners often. (Photo by STR / JIJI PRESS / AFP) / Japan OUT (Photo by STR/JIJI PRESS/AFP via Getty Images) /

The Seattle Mariners will be facing a couple of new arms in the Rangers rotation, including Kohei Arihara

The Texas Rangers traded away their best pitcher from the 2020 season but brought in two new pitchers to the rotation for 2021. Kohei Arihara is the newest member of the Rangers pitching staff.

Arihara is a 28-year-old right-handed starting pitcher from the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters of the Nippon Professional Baseball league. Arihara agreed to a $6.2million deal with the Rangers, alongside a $1.24million posting fee.

https://twitter.com/Rangers/status/1342889768372334597?s=20

Over the past six seasons in Japan, he threw 836 innings and posted a 3.74 ERA. Arihara struck out 6.7 batters per nine innings and walked 2.1 batters per nine. Although it isn’t the greatest career stat line, Arihara has been much better in the last two seasons.

He posted a 2.46 ERA in 2019, and a 3.46 ERA in 2020. He also improved his strikeout rate as of late, raising it to 8.8 in 2019 and 7.2 in 2020. Arihara could be considered your typical Japanese pitcher because of his reliance on his secondary pitches. He has seven distinct pitches and throws a low-90s fastball.

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Kohei Arihara seems like a pretty good pitcher, with the potential to be a staple in the middle of the rotation. But, you never know what can happen. Remember, the Texas Rangers signed Yu Darvish and look at what he turned into.

The Seattle Mariners will also have to go up against Dane Dunning. The Rangers acquired Dunning in early December which sent Lance Lynn to the Chicago White Sox. That should be a sigh of relief for Seattle Mariners fans, but Dane Dunning isn’t too bad also.

He was a highly touted prospect in the White Sox organization and will be a good addition for the unimpressive Rangers rotation. Now the Texas Rangers will most likely be rolling with Kyle Gibson, Jordan Lyles, Kohei Arihara, Dane Dunning, and the fifth spot to be determined (Kyle Cody, Kolby Allard, or Wes Benjamin)

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How will Kohei Arihara and Dane Dunning affect the Seattle Mariners?

I like the additions of Arihara and Dunning. I think it makes a lot of sense for the Texas Rangers. But, the loss of Lance Lynn is huge for the Texas Rangers (good for us). It also doesn’t seem like the Rangers will be bringing back Corey Kluber next year.

So, I do not think the revamped Rangers rotation should give the Seattle Mariners too much trouble. The Seattle Mariners had an 8-2 record against Texas last year, and they also finished last in the AL West.

https://twitter.com/Mariners/status/1303108781773959173?s=20

Although, I think the Kohei Arihara and Dane Dunning additions should not be overlooked. If Arihara can adjust quickly into the MLB, there is a lot of potential. Dunning is a good young pitcher and he could turn into the Rangers’ ace at some point, so the Seattle Mariners could be seeing a lot of him in the future.

All in all, I think the Rangers either took a step back, or remained in place. The addition of the two new pitchers should put them at the same level as last year, unless Arihara and Dunning break out in 2021.

Next. How the Seattle Mariners are affected by the Angels acquiring Raisel Iglesias. dark

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