Notes: Arihara's callus; Davis' debut

May 6th, 2021

Rangers righty is eying a weekend return to the mound after he was scratched from his scheduled start on Wednesday due to a callus on his right middle finger.

A December signing from Japan, Arihara is looking to avoid a stint on the injured list. He received an injection on his finger on Saturday, which manager Chris Woodward said relieved the pain at the time.

Arihara was set to throw a bullpen session on Thursday before the Rangers left Minnesota, and he is tentatively scheduled to start Saturday against the Mariners if that goes well, with right-hander Dane Dunning starting Sunday at Globe Life Field. Otherwise, Dunning will start Saturday and ace Kyle Gibson will start Sunday.

“[Arihara] said everything's good with his throwing program, and everything feels fine,” Woodward said.

Arihara started the season hot, posting a 2-1 record with a 2.21 ERA through four starts and 20 1/3 innings. But he lasted two innings then 2 2/3 in his past two starts, and he allowed four home runs in a loss to the Red Sox at home on April 30.

Woodward said the callus was likely the cause of Arihara’s struggles, so the club wants him to be at 100 percent before he returns to the mound.

Rangers pitching coach Brendan Sagara said the staff feels Arihara will be the pitcher he was at the start of the season and be a major contributor down the line. Sagara specifically pointed to Arihara controlling his pitches and sequencing them well so that he’ll get more swings and misses and strikeouts on pitches in the zone.

“He’s really growth-minded,” Sagara said. “As accomplished as he was in Japan, he wanted to come here and prove that he could be a better version of that, even. We were able to help him kind of adjust a couple of pitch types, and we've had really good discussions about a pitch approach with him. He’s very intelligent in his work as well. Very, very studious and smart in the way he goes about things.”

Davis close to Rangers debut
Triple-A Round Rock was set to begin its season Thursday night against Oklahoma City with Rangers designated hitter in the lineup to start his rehab assignment. He isn’t expected to be there for too long.

Woodward said Davis is likely to be recalled during the weekend series against Seattle. Davis has been sidelined since mid-March with a left quad strain after running the bases in a Spring Training game.

“[He] definitely would probably be there for the Sunday game when we're facing [Justus] Sheffield,” Woodward said. “He will most likely be in the lineup for sure that day. We want to get him out there probably Friday or Saturday, whatever would make the most sense.”

Davis, who hit .219 with two home runs in 13 Spring Training games, is looking for a bounceback season after struggling in 2020. He hit at least 42 home runs for the A's each year from 2016-18 and 23 in ‘19 but only two in 30 games in ‘20. The Rangers acquired him from Oakland in a five-player deal on Feb. 6.