As professional baseball KT fires the signal for the first foreign player replacement this season, the possibility of the replacement of foreign players struggling with injuries and poor performance will spread throughout the league.
KT announced on the 18th that it had signed a contract with Benjamin (29), who will replace the team’s fourth-year foreign pitcher Cuevas (32), for an annual salary of $331 million (about 422 million won). Cuevas played an active part in the regular season first-place match against Samsung and the postseason last year, contributing to the team’s first unified victory, but eventually left the league after suffering an injury early last month. This is the first case of expelling foreigners from the season.
The heated competition for ranking had a great impact. As of the 18th, there are only two games between 3rd place (Doosan) and 7th place (KIA). KT, which has fallen to 8th place (17 wins and 22 losses), had to prepare an opportunity for a rebound before 3 more games against 7th place were played. KT general manager Na Na-hyeon said, “I waited for Cuevas to recover because he was a player who contributed to the championship, but as uncertainty grew, I signed Benjamin.”
Cuevas isn’t the only one who has suffered from long-term injuries. Hanwha’s foreign one-two punches Kingham and Carpenter have both been away with injuries for over a month. Instead, Hanwha, which started with gums, has been sluggish with 2 wins and 8 losses in the last 10 games, and is tied for ninth place (13 wins and 27 losses) in the league. Hanwha coach Carlos Subero said, “We will review the replacement after monitoring the rehabilitation situation.”
Lotte’s second foreigner, Sparkman, is rumored to be expelled due to poor performance. This season, with an ERA of 5.88 (17 earned runs in 26 innings), he only harvested one win and two losses. He showed a difference by throwing 1 run in 6 innings against KIA on the 17th, but it is difficult to be sure with a good performance in just one out of 7 games. Lotte manager Larry Sutton said, “Sparkman needs consistency.”
The risk of other ships is bigger than the mound. Seven foreign batters, including Pirella (Samsung), who is at the top of this category with a batting average of 0.399, and Socrates (KIA, 0.316), who have recently gained a lot of batting, and Tuckman (Hanwha, 0.308), are all recording batting averages in the 1 or 20 percent range. . Ex-major leaguer Puig (Samsung), who had high expectations even before joining, barely maintained a batting average of 20% with a batting average of 0.200 (30 hits in 150), while Luiz of LG hovered around the batting average of 10% (0.171) in the Futures League (2nd team) even downgraded to Amidst the uncertainty of injuries and poor performance, the position of foreign players is getting narrower.
By Kang Dong-woong, staff reporter firstname.lastname@example.org