Every baseball player wants to perform against the best talent possible. That makes Major League Baseball such an intriguing siren song for players overseas. Hiroshima Carp pitcher Aren Kuri is no exception.
According to Yahoo Japan, Kuri is looking to make that move this offseason. He has just passed nine years of Nippon Professional Baseball service time, making him eligible for international free agency. Now, he has his sights set on making a potential move stateside.
Hiroshima Carp pitcher Aren Kuri potential wild card during offseason
Kuri has had a strong showing for the Carp this season, posting a 1.76 ERA and a 0.880 WHiP in his 92 innings this season. While his command has impressed, as he has issued just 20 walks, Kuri has only struck out 68 batters. His ERA and WHiP are far better than his peripherals would indicate, especially as he has struggled to punch out NPB batters.
There is also a question of usage. While Kuri’s 1218 professional innings over ten years are not a staggering total, there is still a question of how many pitches he has fired. He inexplicably threw a 347 pitch bullpen session in 2021, with former Carp pitcher Manabu Kitabeppu saying that “it was a bit much,” although he noted that if pitchers go all out in those sessions, their stuff starts lagging at 250 pitches.
Kuri himself is aware that he may not attract much interest, saying “I don’t really feel like I got it” in terms of a guaranteed deal in the majors. However, his strong showing this season, coupled with a fastball that can touch 95 MPH, may lead to an opportunity. Interested teams just should not expect him to be an ace stateside.
Hiroshima Carp pitcher Aren Kuri is eyeing a move to the majors. The question is whether or not he will be able to generate any interest.