Angels release Japan league veteran Kobayashi

PHOENIX -- The Angels released veteran pitcher Hiroyuki Kobayashi on Monday, giving the right-hander a chance to land with another team. Kobayashi, 34, went 26-36 with a 3.65 ERA in five seasons split between Japan's Pacific and Central leagues, but this was his first attempt at landing a job in the Major Leagues.

Most of Kobayashi's career came with Chiba Lotte, where he was managed by Bobby Valentine for three seasons. Kobayashi's most effective season came in 2007, when he went 13-3 with a 2.69 ERA for Chiba Lotte, and he registered a 2.21 ERA as a reliever for the same team in 2010.

Kobayashi, who pitched last year in Japan's Industrial League, registered a 4.50 ERA in three appearances for Los Angeles this spring, and manager Mike Scioscia said the release was best for all parties.

"Kobi just wasn't as far along as he needed to be to compete for a job on our staff," Scioscia said after his team's 13-5 loss to Oakland. "It's probably better if he's wants to go somewhere else and hook on."