Gohara had been on the open market since the Braves released him Aug. 2, which came shortly after they designated him for assignment. It came as a surprise at the time that Atlanta decided to cut ties with Gohara, who was once a high-ranking prospect with the organization. However, physical problems have undermined the 23-year-old this season. A shoulder issue has prevented Gohara from taking the mound since 2018, and he won’t pitch at all this year as a result of the injury.
Last season was difficult at both the major and minor league levels for Gohara, but he did show positive signs in 2017. Gohara debuted in the majors that year and tossed 29 1/3 innings (five starts) of 4.91 ERA/2.75 FIP ball with 9.51 K/9 and 2.45 BB/9, averaging 96 mph on his fastball in the process. He also amassed 123 2/3 frames of 2.62 ERA pitching and notched 10.7 K/9 with 3.2 BB/9 across three levels in the minors.
Regardless of whether Gohara’s able to return to his old form, it’s worth it from the pitcher-needy Angels’ perspective to take a risk-free flier on him. The out-of-contention club figures to place a great deal of emphasis this offseason on improving its staff heading into 2020, when Gohara might be able to help its cause.