First Dominican Batterymates to Win in Korea

It is uncommon for Asian clubs to sign catchers to fill their clubs. The language barrier and the ability to communicate with their pitchers is important. When the Hanwha Eagles signed catcher Wilin Rosario his position was to play first base or DH. Even in the major leagues Wilin was not considered a strong defensive catcher. When the Eagles signed Dominican Alexi Ogando for the 2017 season to be one of their starters the communication dynamic changed.

In the major leagues Alexi was used mostly in relief. Because his Korean is limited and both Rosario and Ogando are from the Dominican Republic it seemed only natural to pair them as a battery mate. The Eagles were scheduled a Dominican Republic day and Ogando requested Rosario to be his personal catcher. For this day at least it seemed natural they be paired.

Ogando threw six strong innings, allowing just one run in the Eagles 3-1 win over the defending champion Doosan Bears. After Ogando departed in the seventh and the Eagles went to a Korean pen Rosario moved to first base. The Korean pen shut down the Bears the last three innings to give the Dominican battery the win.

Ogando is pitching well for the Eagles at 5-4 with a 3.17 ERA. This is in a hitter’s league where ERAs are generally over 4. Rosario is also hitting well with a .311 average with nine homeruns. This after a slow start to the season. Last year Rosario hit .321 with 33 homeruns.

In other Eagle news, Tae-Kyun Kim mashed a two run homerun in the first inning in this game to extend his record breaking KBO on base streak to 83 games. He is hitting .377 with a .466 OBA this year. That batting average is second in the league to Dae-Ho Lee who is hitting .385.

The only other foreign battery to win a game in Korea was when Andy Van Hekken pitched to catcher Vinny Rottino.

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