Arlington, Texas - The Texas Rangers announced prior to today's game that the club has returned right-handed pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa (pronounced kiy-YOO-jee foo-jee-KAH-wuh) from an injury rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Round Rock and reinstated him from the 15-day disabled list. To make room on the active roster for Fujikawa (#21), the team has optioned right-handed pitcher Spencer Patton to Round Rock.
Fujikawa, 34, will be seeking his Texas debut in today's series finale with the Royals. He has been on an injury rehab assignment with Round Rock after opening the year on the Rangers 15-day disabled list with a right groin strain suffered during a spring training game on March 31 vs. Chicago-NL. Fujikawa has posted no record with a 3.86 ERA (4 ER/9.1 IP) in 10 relief outings with the Express, holding opponents to a .194 (6-31) average with 9 walks and 8 strikeouts. He last pitched on Monday at Nashville (1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 SO, 19 pitches/12 strikes).
Fujikawa signed with Texas as a free agent on December 16, 2014 after spending the previous two seasons in the Chicago Cubs organization. He had a 14-month layoff following 'Tommy John' ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow in July 2013. In his major league career with the Cubs in 2013-14, he went 1-1 with 2 saves and a 5.04 ERA (14 ER/25.0 IP) over 27 relief appearances. His last big league outing was with the Cubs on September 21 vs. Los Angeles-NL.
Patton allowed 3 runs in 3.0 innings over 2 outings for the Rangers since being recalled on May 4. He has spent the balance of the season with Round Rock, going 1-0 with a 0.96 ERA (1 ER/9.1 IP) over 9 appearances.
With these moves, the Rangers major league roster is still at the 40-man limit.