We’ve changed everything but LG… Pro baseball’s biggest outsider war yet
Reporter Kim Joo-hee = This season, the number of foreign players in the Korean Baseball Organization has been increasing. The hotly contested race for the top spot in the standings has become even more intense.
Nine teams, excluding the LG Twins, have used the foreign player substitution card at least once this season. In total, 13 foreigners have left the team.
This is the most since 2014, when teams were allowed to keep up to three foreign players. Last year, 12 foreigners were replaced during the season, with eight teams making at least one change.
An early injury bug has prompted some quick decisions.
The Hanwha Eagles, the first of the 10 teams to make a foreign player change this season, released pitcher Butch Smith on April 19 after he was sidelined with shoulder pain. After throwing just 60 pitches in 2⅔ innings in the season opener against the Kiwoom Heroes, Smith never took the mound in the KBO again.
On May 4, the SSG Landers parted ways with Annie Romero, who never made his KBO debut. Romero left the team after rehabbing from a shoulder injury sustained in spring training.
The fierce standings battle also sparked a rush to replace foreign players. If you’re not far behind your rivals and you’re looking for a boost from a foreign player, it’s worth the investment.
The Lotte Giants, who are aiming to play fall baseball for the first time in six years after 2017, overhauled their lineup last month by releasing slugger Jack Rex and pitcher Dan Straily and bringing in new faces Nico Goodrum and Aaron Wilkerson.
The Kia Tigers also retooled their one-two punch at the end of the first half, releasing Shawn Anderson and Adonis Medina and bringing in Thomas Pannoni and Mario Sanchez.
All of these teams are in the midst of a mid-table battle.
Four teams made the two-player foreign player limit. Lotte and KIA, as well as Hanwha and Kiwoom Heroes, have made significant changes to their foreign roster.
However, replacing foreigners during the season is inevitably going to raise concerns about acclimatization. To account for this, some teams are bringing in players with KBO experience to replace the foreigners who were released.
KT Wiz released Bo Schuler and brought in William Cuevas, who led the team to its first overall title in 2021, as a replacement. The Doosan Bears, who released Dylan Pyle after struggling with injuries and poor play, also welcomed Brandon Waddell, who played with them last year, as a new partner.스포츠토토
The bottom-placed Samsung Lions have decided to give the mound for the rest of the season to Taylor Widener, who was claimed off waivers from the NC Dinos earlier this month, in place of the injured Albert Suarez.
Meanwhile, LG, who are in first place in the standings, will continue to be accompanied by pre-season foreign signings Casey Kelly, Adam Plutko, and Austin Dean.