T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that the Rangers have signed reliever Kyuji Fujikawa, pending a physical. Exact terms aren’t yet known, but Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram hears that he’ll get a one-year contract with an option for 2016.
Fujikawa was expected to handle the closer role when the Cubs brought him over from Japan for $9.5 million two years ago, but he struggled in 12 appearances in 2013 before undergoing Tommy John surgery. The 34-year-old right-hander made it back to the majors this past August and posted a 4.85 ERA with 17 strikeouts and six walks over 16 innings down the stretch. He hit free agency after the Cubs declined a $5.5 million option on him in October.
It’s a low-risk move which could pay off nicely if Fujikawa is healthy and gets a better feel for his command the further removed he becomes from surgery.
Stephen Strasburg‘s bat was on fire Thursday night in Atlanta. He hit a three-run home run off of Touki Toussaint to cap off an eight-run third inning, then added a two-run single off of Toussaint in the fifth.
The last time a pitcher knocked in at least five runs was on April 11, 2014 when Madison Bumgarner homered and drove in five runs at home against the Rockies. Strasburg is just the seventh pitcher since 2000 to knock in five runs in one game. The others, along with Strasburg and Bumgarner:
- Chris Carpenter (Cardinals) vs. Reds, October 1, 2009 (HR, 6 RBI)
- Jason Marquis (Cubs) vs. Mets, September 22, 2008 (HR, 5 RBI)
- Micah Owings (Diamondbacks) vs. Braves, August 18, 2007 (2 HR, 6 RBI)
- Robert Person (Phillies) vs. Expos, June 2, 2002 (HR, 7 RBI)
- Shawn Estes (Giants) vs. Expos, May 24, 2000 (HR, 5 RBI)
Strasburg is 3-for-3 overall as he also singled to lead off the third. Tonight’s homer marked the fourth of his career and he’s now up to 25 RBI.
Strasburg is performing well on the mound as well. At the time of this writing, he has held the Braves to a lone run on four hits and a walk with six strikeouts over four innings as the Nationals lead 10-1.