Angels close to minor league deal with Japanese reliever Hiroyuki Kobayashi

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After considering a move over to MLB following the 2010 season, Japanese reliever Hiroyuki Kobayashi is finally headed stateside. According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, the 34-year-old right-hander is close to a minor league deal with the Angels. The deal is expected an invite to spring training.

Kobayashi has a 3.53 ERA over 12 seasons in Japan. He was an effective starter for a long time prior to moving to the bullpen in 2010, when he saved 29 games for the Chiba Lotte Marines. He moved on to the Hanshin Tigers from there, posting a 3.00 ERA and 45/19 K/BB ratio over 39 innings in 2011. However, he didn’t throw a pitch in Nippon Professional Baseball last year.

Kobayashi was never regarded as a top talent in Japan and wasn’t offered a major league contract last time around, so the Angels are likely looking at him as minor league bullpen depth.

Rick Renteria taken to hospital after complaining about lightheadedness

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White Sox manager Rick Renteria was taken to the hospital before Monday night’s game in Minnesota against the Twins after complaining about lightheadedness, Dan Santaromita of NBC Sports Chicago reports. Renteria underwent testing which reportedly didn’t turn anything alarming.

Bench coach Joe McEwing is managing Monday’s contest, a makeup of a postponed game from April 15, in Renteria’s place.

The rebuilding White Sox entered Monday’s action 46-77. They have gone a combined 113-172 (.396) with Renteria at the helm. However, the organization has one of the game’s most highly regarded minor league systems in the game, so Renteria’s squad certainly could be a contender in the near future.