After a long period on the disabled list (since June), Rick van den Hurk recently threw a few Ni-Gun (minor league) starts. Especially his second start was very successful. In five
innings he allowed three hits, walked none and struck out six.
In the previous article about Rick van den Hurk, it was mentioned that it was not clear yet when he would rejoin the Ichi-Gun (NPB) team. But according to Nikkan Sports Rick will likely join the Ni-Gun team on September 15.
If Van den Hurk will be placed on the active roster of the Softbank Hawks again, it is very likely that he will pitch in the series vs the Orix Buffaloes, the upcoming weekend. Otherwise he will pitch in the following series vs the Nippon Ham Fighters.
Before Van den Hurk was taken from the active roster, he had a great season with the Softbank Hawks. Since his debut in 2015 he clinched fourteen wins without recording a loss, a rookie and foreigner record in the NPB. In the record setting game vs the Chiba Lotte Marines, was on no-hit course through five innings. Only an error prevented him from being perfect until then. In that game Rick was flat out dominating as he threw only 95 pitches and struck out ten hitters. He gave up only four hits eight innigs and did not issue any walks.
So far this season, Rick has won six games and lost one (he lost the start after the record setting game) in ten starts. His ERA stands at 3.41.
Last season Rick finished the season with a 9-0 record and a 2.52 ERA in fifteen starts.