Archive for the 'Taiwan' Category

Foreign Pitchers Struggling in Taiwan

Tuesday, May 12th, 2020

It is still early in the season, but foreign pitchers in Taiwan are struggling. The China Professional Baseball League (CPBL) tends to be more of an offensive league, but despite the poor performances by the foreign pitchers, teams do not have much patience. Releases during the season are not uncommon if players are not performing. Below are some of the numbers of the foreign pitchers, with their won loss records in parenthesis.

Rakuten Monkeys (14-4)

Lisalverto Bonilla - 2-0, 4.28 ERA in five appearances, 4 starts.
Ryan Carpenter - 1-1, 2.42 in four starts
Justin Nicolino - 1-0, 4.05 in two starts
Elih Villanueva - 0-0, 18.00 in just one start

China Trust Brothers (9-11)

Jose de Paula - 0-5, 6.44 in five starts.
Ariel Miranda - 3-0, 1.97 in five starts.
Esmil Rogers - 1-2, 7.79 in four starts.
Mitch Lively - no appearances

Fubon Guardians (8-11)

Henry Sosa - 1-2, 6.55 in four starts
Bryan Woodall - 1-2, 9.35 in five appearances, 4 starts
Ryan Bollinger - no appearances
Mike Loree - no appearances

Uni-President 7-11 Lions (8-13)

Ryan Feierabend - 0-2, 5.54 in five starts
Donn Roach - 1-3, 10.18 in four starts
Josh Roenicke - 0-1, 12.38 in two appearances, one start
Logan Darnell - recently signed.

Games are a Sellout in Taiwan

Saturday, May 9th, 2020

The games in Taiwan on Friday were a sell out. Only 1,000 fans were allowed in the stadium and they all had to wear masks. But every ticket was sold. The home teams won the games, the Fubon Guardians defeating the Uni President Lions 7-6 while the China Trust Brothers put a rare defeat on the Rakuten Monkeys 6-4.

Taiwan has now gone 26 days without a new corona virus infection. The United States continues to slog through its mess. Both identified their first corona virus patients at the same time. It appears Taiwan took the virus a little more seriously and eliminated it quickly. The United States waited too long domestically before preparing themselves for the wave. The United States and Europe also learned how inefficient their health care industry is to respond to a pandemic.

Next on the agenda is to up the attendance to 2,000 fans per game.

Taiwan to Allow Fans for Games Beginning Friday

Thursday, May 7th, 2020

The China Professional Baseball League (CPBL) will begin allowing fans into their stadium beginning with games on Friday. Initially they were hoping for 250 but the powers to be (CDC and CECC) allowed up to 1,000 fans. The following were recommendations made to the league for allowing fan attendance:

Social Distancing, which means spacing out the seating
Fans must wear masks
Temperature screening devices at the gates

Can’t see these recommendations being accepted in the United States. There is already a huge protest over social distancing requirements and wearing of masks. The United States loves their independence, even if it means the death of us.

CPBL Update

Monday, May 4th, 2020

Baseball Reference is just a tad behind in their standings, but we’ll use their numbers for convenience and uderstanding’s sake. Rakuten is actually 11-3 now but Baseball Reference has them at 9-3, so they are a tad behind. The translation spellings of the player names may not match that of the Taiwan English media, but we will go with the Baseball Reference spelling for again, convenience sake, since myworld would not know the correct translations as well.

Rakuten Monkeys (11-3)

They started off hot winning seven straight to start the season. The team averages 7.92 runs per game and as a team is hitting .335. That is an impressive team batting average. The Monkeys have slowed down a bit but here are the players to watch.

Yu-Xian Zhu (.455, 8, 17) - He has actually hit 10 homeruns in 13 games breaking the CPBL record for earliest in a season to 10 homeruns (13 games). He was the MVP in the league last year.

Hong-Yu Lin (.423, 3, 14) - Only one walk in 52 at bats. He likes to swing and appears to make good contact.

Li Lin (.412, 2, 13) - He leads the CPBL in runs scored with 16.

Chen-Wei Chen (.291, 0, 5) - He leads the team in stolen bases with 7 (caught once) and has scored 13 runs. Only 22.

Lisalverto Bonilla (1-0, 4.22)

Ryan Carpenter (1-0, 2.37)

I-Cheng Wang (2-0, 1.29) - It is only two starts but it is rare for a local pitcher to outperform the foreign pitchers. He is 34 with a lifetime ERA closer to 6 in the CPBL.

Justin Nicolino (1-0, 0.00) - He has only one start covering eight innings.

Uni Lions (7-7)

They are second in the league in runs scored with 6.79 per game. They lead the CPBL in homeruns with 22. The pitching is last in the CPBL (6.50 ERA). The foreign pitchers are not performing well. Here are some players to know.

An-Ke Lin (.340, 5, 18) - He tied a CPBL record with homeruns in four consecutive games. He also leads the CPBL in RBIs with 18. Just his second year in the CPBL, but his first as a starter. Just 24 years old.

Jie-Xian Chen (.311, 1, 12) - Chen leads the team in runs scored with 14.

Fu-Lin Kuo (.350, 2, 8)

Zhi-Jie Su (.281, 4, 10)

Ryan Feierabend (0-1, 6.46)

Donn Roach (1-2, 8.82)

China Trust Brothers (6-7)

They are hitting .309, but the team lacks power with just 11 homeruns. The pitching is on top in ERA (4.54).

Zi-Xian Zhan (.377, 3, 11) - Leads the team in RBIs.

Wei-Da Su (.340, 3, 10) - Leads the team in doubles with 5 and slugging with a .620 percentage.

Wei-Chen Wang (.345, 0, 3) - Leads the team in runs scored with 11.

Kun-Yu Jiang (.333, 2, 8) - A 19 year old to watch in his first full season.

Ariel Miranda (2-0, 2.08)

Esmil Rogers (1-0, 4.26)

Jose de Paula (0-3, 5.12)

C.C. Lee (0-0, 5.63) - Had 47 relief appearances with the Indians in the major leagues.

Fubon Guardians (4-9)

The only team in the CPBL that has been shutout, and it has happened to them twice (now three times). Last in the league in hitting (.266) and runs scored. Pitching is not much better (6.34)

Chih-Hsien Chiang (.370. 3, 8) - Leads the team in runs scored with 11.

Chin-Lung Hu (.308, 1, 8) - Played shortstop some for the Dodgers in the major leagues. At 36 is a veteran of the league.

Che-Hsuan Lin (.306, 2, 7) - Played 9 games with the Red Sox.

Henry Sosa (1-2, 6.55) - Has already started one brawl by intentionally throwing at a hitter.

Hung-Wen Chen (1-0, 1.35, 2 saves) - The Guardians closer played in the Cubs minor league system.

Shi-Peng Chen (1-1, 4.67) - The 22 year old pitcher shows promise in his second year in the Guardians rotation.

Bryan Woodall (0-2, 9.24)

Dimple Cannon Breaks Homerun Record

Monday, May 4th, 2020

Taiwan and the CPBL attach nicknames to their players. The nickname for Chu Yu-Hsien is Dimple Cannon. That nickname comes from his continuous smile. The Dimple broke the homerun record in Taiwan for a player to reach 10 homeruns the fastest in a season.

He hit is tenth off Jose de Paula in the Rakuten Monkeys 9-3 win over the China Trust Brothers. Those 10 homeruns came in 13 games over 51 at bats. The previous record was held by Lin Chih-sheng, who did it in 20 games in 73 at bats. Lin got his start with the Monkeys franchise but is now finishing his career with the Brothers.

Chu is no flash in the pan. Last year he was voted the MVP in the CPBL for his 30 homerun season. With a .472 batting average he is ready for another level, whether that is the KBO, the NPB or the major leagues. He will turn 29 in November.

Taiwan Continues to Make Progress with CPBL

Saturday, May 2nd, 2020

The league will meet on May 5 to discuss going from no fans to 200 to 250 fans per game. This optimism is based on the fact that Taiwan has had six straight days with no new corona virus cases. The world could learn a lot from how Taiwan has handled this pandemic.

The Rakuten Monkeys continue to lead the CPBL with a 10-3 record, avenging a loss to the China Trust Brothers with a 16-11 win. Offense is not absent in a CPBL game. None of the other three teams have a winning record with the Uni Lions in second (7-8), China Trust Brothers in third (6-8) and the Fubon Guardians in last (5-9).

Since April 30 all CPBL games have finished with at least one team scoring in double digits. In that same time frame, all teams in all games have gotten double digits in hits except for the Uni Lions, who only got five hits in an 11-2 loss to the Fubon Guardians. Since the season started there have only been two shutouts, both against the Fubon Guardians (11-0 and 3-0).

You can go to Baseball Reference to get CPBL stats in English. It will show you that there are four players in the league who are hitting .400 or more. They are all Rakuten Monkeys. English translations of their names could be different than what you are used to seeing. The leader is Yu-Xian Zhu (.455), who has also been reported as Yu-Hsien Chu, he of the 8 homeruns and 17 RBI phenomena. The other three are Hong-Yu Lin (.423), Li Lin (.412) and Chun-Hsiu Chen (.400).

Next week myworld will provide an update on the key players from each team. Of course, if you want to go to Baseball Reference you can look at each team’s stats in English. The names may be a little funky.

Manny Talks About a Return to Taiwan Baseball

Wednesday, April 29th, 2020

Manny Ramirez would like to return to baseball in the CPBL. The problem is, all the foreign roster spots are filled. These foreign roster spots are filled with pitchers, who are considered a more valuable commodity than position players. Last year Taiwan brought in some foreign position players but that was met with disappointment and they were quickly released to strengthen the pitching staff.

Manny would like to return as a player manager. When he played in Taiwan in 2013 he was 41 years old. Now he is 48. As a 41 year old he hit .352 with 8 homeruns and 43 RBIs in 49 games. Of course, production may not be an issue if he can drive up attendance, television ratings and attention to the CPBL.

According to the interview in the Taiwan Times he starts his day at 6 AM by reading the bible and then watching one hour of Taiwan baseball. The team he played for in 2013 was the EDA Rhinos. They are now the Fubon Guardians. After six years they probably no longer have the player rights to Manny.

Foreign Players in CPBL

Sunday, April 26th, 2020

The CPBL has now gone through 9 to 11 games of their season. The Rakuten Monkeys finally lost their first game, losing to the Uni-Lions 8-7 after winning their first seven. No team other than the Monkeys has a winning record in the CPBL, but it is still early in the season. Motivated by their win the Uni Lions again beat the Monkeys the next day 12-5 to take the series. Yu-Hsien Chu of the Monkeys has started the season hitting .548 with 8 homeruns and 17 RBIs after just 8 games.

Myworld thought we would identify some of the foreign players in the CPBL. As you can see from the list, it is dominated by pitchers. Only three foreign players are allowed on the roster. If teams have more than three the fourth player will play in the minor leagues. The teams won loss record is shown in parenthesis.

Rakuten Monkeys (7-2)

Ryan Carpenter (LHP)
Elih Villanueva (RHP)
Lisalverto Bonilla (RHP)

Fubon Guardians (4-6)

Henry Sosa (RHP)
Bryan Woodall (RHP)
Ryan Bollinger (LHP)
Mike Loree (RHP)

China Trust Brothers (4-6)

Jose de Paula (RHP)
Mitch Lively (RHP)
Ariel Miranda (LHP)
Esmil Rogers (RHP)

Uni-Lions (5-6)

Josh Roenicke (RHP)
Donn Roach (RHP)
Ryan Feierabend (LHP)

Roster information courtesy of CPBLstats.com.

Starved for Baseball

Friday, April 24th, 2020

When the Rakuten Monkeys decided to provide temporary English broadcasts to five games they were not aware of how popular it would be. If people did not listen they would discontinue the English broadcasts.

People listened. There were 7 million views of the English commentary in the five games. That was enough for the three other teams to add an English broadcast.

The Twitter feed Eleven Sports provided the English broadcasts of the game. The Monkeys will now extend their English broadcasts to all 60 of their home games. Not only was their a brawl in one of the games, but the 2019 MVP Yu-Hsien Chu hit five homeruns in the first two games for the Monkeys.

The Uni President Lions will also use the Twitter feed Eleven Sports to broadcast their games. The Fubon Guardians will use their Twitter feed to broadcast games and have Chen Chin-Feng, the first Taiwan player to appear in the major leagues provide color commentary.

The Brothers will provide commentary on May 5.

The CPBL is taking advantage of being the only professional baseball league playing right now, though the KBO is scheduled to begin their games on May 5.

Rakuten Monkeys Off to Fast Start

Monday, April 20th, 2020

The defending champion Rakuten Monkeys have gotten off to a quick start with five straight wins to open the season. They swept a three game series against the Fubon Guardians, a series made more exciting by a rare brawl. So much for social distancing.

The brawl started when Fubon Guardians pitcher Henry Sosa hit infielder Kuo Yen-Wen in the posterior. It was the fourth straight inside pitch thrown to the Rakuten Monkeys infielder. Brawls are rare in Taiwan baseball, especially in front of an empty stadium filled with robots.

Eleven Sports Twitter feed has been announcing the Rakuten Monkeys games in English. They claimed to have close to a million views for two games live streamed with English commentary last week. The games are live but United States viewers would have to get up at 6 AM to watch games, since there is about a 12 hour time difference.