Kikuchi reported to spring camp having dropped 10 pounds over the offseason, Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN Seattle reports.
The 29-year-old southpaw is undoubtedly looking for any edge after generating ERAs over 5.00 in his first two seasons stateside following a successful career in Japan. Kikuchi did have a better season in 2020 than his 5.17 ERA indicates, as he allowed just 41 hits over 47 innings and surrendered just three home runs while averaging a strikeout per frame. He also pitched six full innings in three of his last four trips to the mound, with two of those quality starts. The double-digit weight loss may further help his overall mechanics, although both player and team will undoubtedly monitor matters carefully to ensure it doesn't also lead to a drop in stamina.