Archive for the 'Korea' Category

Lotte Giants Go Back to Back to Back to Back but Still Lose Game - Singles Win

Thursday, October 22nd, 2020

The Lotte Giants hit four consecutive homeruns in their game against the SK Wyverns but still lost the game 9-8. In fact, the Giants hit six homeruns to the Wyverns one, but lost in the final inning when the Wyverns rallied for three runs in the final inning, stringing together four consecutive singles. Lee Jae-Won got the final single that scored the tying and go ahead runs with one out.

In the sixth inning with the Giants trailing 5-1 they hit their four consecutive homeruns to tie the game. The first to start the party was veteran Lee Dae-ho, who jacked one into the left field bleachers. He was followed by Lee Byung-kyu, who worked his to centerfield. After An Chi-hong went deep the Giants replaced reliever Kim Jung-bin. He could only retire one batter (the first) in his sixth inning relief work. Park Min-ho replaced Kim and gave up a tater to Han Dong-hee to tie the game.

The Giants then got solo shots from Son Ah-Seop in the seventh and then Jung Hoon in the eighth. That is six homeruns that account for only six runs.

Neither team is in the playoff race.

Foreign Pitchers Dominate KBO Leaderboards

Saturday, October 17th, 2020

If you look at the rosters of the KBO teams they are filled with Korean pitchers whose age range from 19 to 23 years of age. Many of them are starting for these KBO teams. That spells promise for the KBO if these native pitchers pan out. In the mean time, the best pitchers filling the leader boards in the KBO are foreign pitchers.

Most Wins

1) Drew Rucinski 18-4 (NC Dinos), 2) Raul Alcantara 17-2 (Doosan Bears), 3) David Buchanan 15-7 (Samsung Lions), 4) Odrisamer Despaigne 15-8 (KT Wiz), 5) Casey Kelly 14-7 (LG Twins), 6) Dan Straily 13-4 (Lotte Giants), 7) Eric Jokisch 12-5 (Kiwoom Heroes), 8) Aaron Brooks 11-4 (Kia Tigers), 9)So Hyeong-jun 11-6 (KT Wiz), 10) Mike Wright 11-8 (NC Dinos) 11) Park Jong-hoon 11-11 (SK Wyverns)

The top 7 pitchers in wins are all foreign born. It is when you get to the eighth spot that you have a four way tie, with two of those pitchers Korean born. There are ten teams in the KBO. Eight of those teams made decent investments with foreign pitchers who are in the top ten. The two teams at the bottom, the Hanwah Eagles and SK Wyverns are missing foreign born pitchers, though the Wyverns had a Korean pitcher make the top ten. The NC Dinos had two foreign born pitchers in the top ten.

ERA

1) Eric Jokisch 2.02 (Heroes), 2) Aaron Brooks 2.50 (Tigers), 3) Dan Straily 2.61 (Giants), 4) Raul Alcantara 2.67 (Bears), 5) Drew Rucinski 3.00 (Dinos), 6) Casey Kelly 3.23 (Twins), 7) David Buchanan 3.45 (Lions) 8) Moon Seung-won 3.65 (Wyverns), 9) Lim Chan-gyu 4.00 (Twins) 10) William Cuevas 4.10 (Wiz)

You have to jump to the eighth spot to get to a Korean pitcher. A different Wyverns pitcher made the list. The ninth spot also belongs to a Korean pitcher.

The top save leaders are all Korean pitchers, but that is because all the foreign pitchers are starters. Teams are allowed three foreign players on the roster with a maximum of only two foreign pitchers. If you look at strikeouts it is the usual suspects, expect that possible major league free agent Yang Hyun-jong of the Kia Tigers appears fifth on the list. He is having a down year ERA wise (4.56), but was one of the top pitchers in 2019.

One of the best Korean pitchers last year, Kim Kwang-hyun bolted for the major leagues. He turned into one of the top starting pitchers for the Cardinals after they began his season pitching in the bullpen. A Korean pitcher who would have fit at the top of the three major leader boards, the NC Dinos Koo Chang-mo was shut down with elbow issues after the first half of the season. He was 9-0 with a 1.55 ERA after 13 starts.

KBO Posting Period Pushed Back

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020

The KBO season has been extended this year and with that they have pushed back the posting period when players can be posted for the major leagues. The original posting period dates were November 1 through December 4. That has been pushed back to begin November 10 and end December 14.

For players to be eligible for posting they must play eight years in the KBO. The two top players in the KBO who have met that requirement are Ha-Seong Kim of the Kiwoom Heroes and myworld’s favorite player, the NC Dinos Sung-Bum Na.

Of those two players Kim will probably make the most impact because of his position and age. He plays shortstop but could move to third or second. He is also only 25 years old. He was the replacement for Jung-Ho Kang when he left for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Kim does not show the power numbers of Kang but he may be the better overall player. He has been a starter with the Kiwoom Heroes since he was 19 years old.

Na has more power than Kim but plays right field, which is where power is expected. Whether that power can translate in the major leagues is a fair question to ask. Hyun-Soo Kim did not have as much power as Na but showed moderate power in the KBO. That moderate power disappeared in the major leagues and he became a singles hitting corner outfielder who played moderate defense. Na also had a severe knee injury last year which required surgery, causing him to miss most of the 2019 season. He has played a lot of designated hitter and first base in 2020, but has also played some right field. Also at 31 years of age his window of opportunity is closing.

Another possibility is Kia Tigers pitcher Hyeon-jong Yang who is a left handed pitcher. He may not be as talented as Kwang-hyun Kim, but with the success of Kim this year in the major leagues, Yang could be a hot commodity. In 2019 he was the best Korean pitcher in the KBO with a 16-8, 2.29 ERA. This year, at age 32, has not been as kind to him (9-8, 4.66). In 2019, his last year in the KBO Kim was 17-9, 2.51 ERA, similar numbers to Yang that year.

Dinos Yang Named Player of the Month for September

Monday, October 12th, 2020

Dinos catcher Yang Eui-ji was named player of the month for September. Aaron Brooks of the Kia Tigers won the fan voting but came in second in the overall point totals.

Yang hit .367 with a .422 OBA and .673 slugging for the month of September. He had a league leading 32 RBIs driven in for the month. For the year Yang is hitting .318 with 25 homeruns and 105 RBIs. The homeruns and RBIs are a career high. He is third in the KBO in RBIs behind the LG Twins Kim Hyun-soo (113) and the KT Wiz Mel Rojas Jr. (125).

Brooks only gave up three runs in his four starts covering 28.3 innings for a 0.95 ERA in the month of September. He walked only 2 and struck out 28. For the year Brooks is 11-4 with a 2.50 ERA in 23 starts playing in his first year in the KBO. His 2.50 ERA puts him second in the KBO behind the Kiwoom Heroes Erik Jokisch.

The first place winner receives about $1,750 in prize money and a gold bar worth around $500.

Heroes Manager Resigns

Friday, October 9th, 2020

When you are in the middle of the playoff race the last thing you want is to fire your manager. The Kiwoom Heroes did not fire their manager, Son Hyuk, but they will need to replace him after he resigned.

The Heroes had caught the NC Dinos for first place in the KBO a couple weeks ago. The Dinos got hot and the Heroes got cold and have now dropped 8 games behind in the standings, but still well within shot of the playoffs, which go to the top five teams in the KBO. For Son, this was his first year managing the team after the Heroes did not rehire their manager after a failed playoff run. In the past he had been a pitcher for the Heroes.

The Heroes this year were a popular pick to win the division but injuries have haunted them, especially to their foreign players. Pitchers Erik Jokish and Jake Brigham have been in and out with injuries and slugger Byoung-Ho Park has been absent from the lineup. They did not get any production from foreign signing Taylor Motter and his replacement Addison Russell has not been the answer. So it has been a disappointing year for the Heroes.

Hyuk is signed through 2021 and the Heroes have stated they will honor his contract through next year. He has been replaced by quality control coach Chang-Hyeon Kim, who was hired to be the team’s data analytics guru. Kim has no professional baseball playing experience. There are only 12 games left in the season.

Dinos Take Charge in KBO

Wednesday, September 30th, 2020

The Dinos lost their ace Koo Chang-mo back in late July. They lost their slugger Na Sung-bum for about ten days in mid-September. They also began losing their lead to the LG Twins and the Kiwoom Heroes, falling to just half a game at one point.

That no longer is the case as the Dinos have stormed to a 10 game winning streak and increased their lead to seven games. The Heroes and Twins have been relegated to .500 ball and have now dropped to third and fourth in the standings. It is the KT Wiz that have taken over the second place spot. The Wiz arrived as an expansion team the same year as the NC Dinos, but unlike the Dinos they have yet to make the playoffs.

Addison Russell has found the KBO a little more difficult, his batting average dropping to .258. The Heroes fortunes have also been dropping with his batting average. Russell only has one hit in his last 18 at bats. He has only hit one homerun and his slugging average is creeping closer to below .300. When he first arrived to the KBO scene Russell was an RBI machine, driving in at least one run in his first four games, but that production has also disappeared.

The defending champion Doosan Bears have lost their hold on the final spot in the playoffs after being one hit by Warwick Saupold and the last place Hanwha Eagles 10-0. The Kia Tigers have taken over the fifth place spot after their 3-2 win over the sliding Kiwoom Heroes. The Lotte Giants still have faint playoff hopes, but find themselves five games back of the Tigers.

With only about 25 games to the season it would take a Dino collapse to lose their first place spot.

Ex-O Kim in RBI surge

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020

Ex-Orioles Hyun-Soo Kim of the LG Twins is in an RBI surge. In his last seven games he has driven in 20 runs, with just one homerun. This has put him tied for first with KT Wiz Mel Rojas for RBIs with 106.

Kim and Roberto Ramos have been a formidable one-two punch in the Twins offense. Ramos has been the big homerun bat with 35 homeruns, second to Rojas in the KBO. Kim does not send as many balls over the fence, with only 21 homeruns but he has been an RBI machine. In the last seven games he has driven in 6, 5, 3 and 4 runs in four of those games, hitting only one homerun. He is also hitting .351, which is second to Doosan Bears Jose Miguel Fernandez, who is hitting .358 for the KBO lead.

One of the problems myworld had with Kim when he was with the Orioles was his inability to hit for power. At the major league level he was not a strong defensive outfielder, restricting him to a corner outfield spot. This is a position teams look for players with power. But if you are driving in runs like Kim is currently doing with the Twins, the power is secondary.

The Twins are in third place in the KBO, a certain lock to make the playoffs. They find themselves two games behind the Kiwoom Heroes and 4.5 games behind the DC Dinos.

Dane Dunning Has Choices for WBC

Friday, September 18th, 2020

Dane Dunning was recently called up by the White Sox to fit in their rotation. He was drafted by the Nationals but traded to the White Sox along with Reynaldo Lopez and Lucas Giolito for Adam Eaton. That trade accounts for 60 percent of the playoff bound White Sox rotation. Last year the Nationals won the World Series with Eaton. This year it appears to be the White Sox turn to make a run with Dunning, Lopez and Giolito.

With the World Baseball Classic (WBC) on the horizon Dunning could play for the United States team. If that doesn’t work out he could also play for South Korea. His mother was born in Korea making him eligible. According to a Yonhap News Agency article Dunning would love to play for South Korea, even though he has yet to visit the country. At some point he would embrace experiencing the culture there.

Traditionally, Korea has not looked to the United States to fill their WBC teams. They generally pick their teams from players in the KBO. Dunning though is a talent that could fill a rotation spot, along with current major leaguers Kim, Ryu and young pitching sensation Koo that would prove quite formidable.

KBO All Star Team

Thursday, September 10th, 2020

Though there will not be an All Star game in Korea this year, the fans still voted for an All Star game. The biggest vote getter for the All Star team was surprisingly shortstop Dixon Machado, who did not have great offensive numbers but has been playing some spectacular defense. Below are the All Star teams, broken out into five team groups.

Dream Team (Doosan Bears, SK Wyverns, KT Wiz, Samsung Lions and Lotte Giants)

Starter - Dan Strailey (Giants)
Middle Reliever - Koo Seung-min (Giants)
Closer - Kim Won-jung (Giants)
Catcher - Kang Min-ho (Lions)
First Base - Kang Baek-ho (Wiz)
Second Base - Kim Sang-su (Lions)
Third Base - Choi Jeung (Wyverns)
Shortstop - Dixon Machado (Giants)
Outfield - Mel Rojas (Wiz), Kim Jae-hwan (Bears), Son Ah-seop (Giants)
Designated Hitter - Jose Miguel Fernandez (Bears)

Nanum Team (Kiwoom Heroes, LG Twins, NC Dinos, Kia Tigers, Hanwha Eagles)

Starting Pitcher - Koo Chang-Mo (Dinos)
Middle Reliever - Park Jun-pyo (Tigers)
Closer - Cho Sang-Woo (Heroes)
Catcher - Yang Eui-ji (Dinos)
First Base - Kang Jin-sung (Dinos)
Second Base - Kim Sun-bin (Tigers)
Third Base - Kim Min-sung (Twins)
Shortstop - Kim Ha-seong (Heroes)
Outfield - Lee Jung-hoo (Heroes), Kim Hyun-soo (Twins), Preston Tucker (Tigers)
Designated Hitter - Na Sung-bum (Dinos)

NC Dinos Koo Diagnosed with Forearm Fracture

Thursday, September 10th, 2020

The NC Dinos Koo Chang-mo was easily the best pitcher in the KBO this year, going 9-0 with a 1.55 ERA in his first 13 starts. His last start was one of his worst when he gave up three runs in seven innings, all the result of solo homeruns. He was sent to the DL and was rehabbing for inflammation and has not been seen since July 26.

That inflammation turns out to be a slight fracture in his left forearm, which could force him to miss the season. He will be reevaluated in the next two weeks to see how the injury is healing. The doctors stated the fracture is 70 percent healed and may have been the cause of the inflammation, but could not be detected when he was first examined.

The Dinos are still hanging on to first place but the LG Twins and Kiwoom Heores have narrowed their lead and made it a three team race. Koo would have made the Dinos feel much more confident about staying ahead in the race if they knew he was available to take the mound every fifth or sixth game.