Arakawa nears return to mound
Senior Jarrett Arakawa‘s comeback from a second shoulder surgery is almost complete.
The left-hander was part of the travel roster that left on Wednesday for a two-week road trip that begins with a four-game series on Thursday at Pepperdine in Malibu, Calif.
Arakawa will not pitch against the Waves (4-4), but is eyeing a potential season debut the following week in the Houston College Classic at Minute Maid Park. Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso said he would not have brought him on the trip if he didn’t think it was a possibility he’d pitch, but wouldn’t say for sure that he’d use his fifth-year senior.
“It’s not an impossibility,” Trapasso said. “You never know how it could go and how he will feel, but he’s going on this trip because he’s really close to where if he looks good, he’ll start the progression of throwing to hitters.”
Arakawa has thrown up to 30 pitches off of a mound and was scheduled to pitch in a bullpen session on Tuesday. He’ll throw again on Sunday and if he responds well then, could make his debut in the home park of the Houston Astros.
“I can’t say that I’m 100 percent as far as where I want to be, but I feel like I could go out and contribute,” Arakawa said. “I’m dying to get back out there. Hopefully I can help out this trip.”
Arakawa was a pleasant surprise as a freshman, when he quickly worked his way into the starting rotation and went 5-4 with a 4.50 ERA.
We saw him at his best as a sophomore, when he went 7-6 with a 2.88 ERA in 97 innings. A torn labrum cost him his entire 2013 season and he continued to struggle with a shoulder that he thought had been fixed last season. He went 2-1 with a 2.42 ERA in 48 1/3 innings before he was eventually shut down and it was discovered that he still had a tear in his shoulder that needed to be fixed.
After debating whether or not to come back for a fifth year and go through the entire rehabilitation process again, Arakawa decided to have the second surgery last summer. He says he feels better now than he did at any point last season, which is scary considering how well he did despite the injury.
His presence would only add to an already deep staff that has performed well to start the season. UH has held opponents to three runs or less in six of nine games and has a team ERA of 3.76, with the starters combing for a 3.57 ERA.