Japanese right-hander Kyuji Fujikawa has visited with multiple MLB teams over the past couple of weeks. It shouldn’t be long before we know where he’ll pitch stateside.
According to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, Fujikawa is nearing a decision on where to sign and adds that the Angels are seen as the front-runners. The 32-year-old right-hander has also been linked to the Rangers, Diamondbacks, Cubs and Dodgers.
Fujikawa has been one of the most dominant relievers in Japan for the past few years, compiling a 1.36 ERA and 202 saves with the Hanshin Tigers since 2007. He’s coming off a season where he posted a 1.32 ERA and 58 strikeouts over 47 2/3 innings.
The Diamondbacks announced on Sunday that the club will call up pitching prospect Braden Shipley from Triple-A Reno to start on Monday against the Brewers. He’ll oppose Chase Anderson.
Shipley, 24, was selected by the Diamondbacks in the first round — 15th overall — of the 2013 draft. This season, his first at Triple-A, Shipley has compiled a 3.70 ERA with a 77/22 K/BB ratio in 119 1/3 innings.
MLB Pipeline ranks Shipley as the Diamondbacks’ best prospect and 58th overall in baseball. The right-hander throws a fastball that sits in the low-90’s but can reach the mid-90’s. Shipley is also regarded for throwing a change-up and a power curve.
After Sunday’s win against the Angels, the Astros announced that the club is calling up infield prospect Alex Bregman. Danny Worth has been designated for assignment to create room on the roster.
Bregman, 22, is considered the Astros’ best prospect and #18 overall in baseball according to MLB Pipeline. He hit .297/.415/.559 with 14 home runs and 46 RBI with Double-A Corpus Christi before being promoted to Triple-A Fresno. In 18 games with Fresno, Bregman hit .333/.373/.641 with six home runs and 15 RBI.
Bregman doesn’t have an obvious positional opening with the Astros, particularly since the club also signed Yulieski Gourriel. As a result, Bregman played some third base and, recently, left field. So the Astros may have him play at a handful of positions, even giving the middle infield regulars Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa a breather every so often.