After the 2022 season, Doosan re-recruited a foreign pitcher who had given up on renewing the contract.
The Doosan Bears announced in a press release on the 13th that they had signed a contract with Brandon Waddell, an American left-hander who played for the Rakuten Monkeys of the Taiwanese professional baseball league, for a total of $280,000. An official from Doosan said, “Brandon showed competitiveness in the KBO League last year, and in Taiwan this year, he was ranked at the top of the average ERA with stable game operation, raising expectations.” In fact, Brandon pitched in 11 games in Taiwan this year, posting a good record of 5-4 with a 2.69 ERA.
In fact, Brandon is a pitcher that Doosan fans are very familiar with. Without going far, Brandon is a pitcher who has been on the mound at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in a Doosan uniform until early October 2022. Brandon, who appeared in 11 games as a member of Doosan in 2022 and recorded a respectable record of 5 wins, 3 losses and 3.60, unfortunately failed to renew the contract and seemed to end his relationship with Doosan. However, Brandon will wear the Doosan uniform again as a substitute foreign pitcher for Dylan Pyle, who suffered a recurrence of an elbow injury while playing in Taiwan this year.
Re-recruitment of foreign pitchers with good results
Henry Sosa, who moved from Nexen Heroes to kt Wiz in 2016 and played for four teams, starting with Ryan Peerband and KIA Tigers, which ranked first in ERA in 2017, Nexen, LG Twins, and SK Wyverns. There are relatively many foreign pitchers who move teams and show good performances. In addition, there are not a few foreign pitchers in the KBO League whose renewal contracts were canceled for various reasons, but then rejoined the same team and showed off their strength by achieving good results.
Josh Lindblom, who earned the nickname ‘Lin Dong-won’ by digesting 210 innings for the Lotte Giants in 2015, returned to the United States after the 2016 season due to health problems for his youngest daughter who was suffering from heart failure. However, as her daughter’s health improved after surgery in the United States, Lindblom, who was active in Triple A, returned to Lotte in July 2017 and recorded a record of 5 wins, 3 losses and 3.72 in 12 games, leading Lotte to fall baseball for the first time in 5 years. led
Dan Strayley, also a member of Lotte, recorded 15 wins in 2020 and 10 wins in 2021, and served as Lotte’s new ace following Brooks Rayleigh (New York Mets), who returned to the United States at the end of the 2019 season. However, Strayley, who expressed his intention to re-challenge the major leagues, canceled his contract renewal with Lotte after the 2021 season ended. Strayley, who signed a minor contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2022 but failed to enter the big leagues, returned to Lotte in August 2022 and has been active as Lotte’s first starter until this year.
William Cuevas, the protagonist of kt’s first Korean Series championship, also returned to kt after many twists and turns. Cuevas, who had been active in kt for four consecutive years from 2019 to 2022, left kt in 2022 due to an elbow injury (Cuevas’ replacement is currently kt’s first starter Wes Benjamin). However, this season kt’s new foreign pitcher, Bo Schulser, was sluggish with 1 win, 7 losses and 5.62 ERA in 9 games, and kt re-recruited Cuevas as a substitute for Schulser on the 9th for a total of $450,000.
Doosan also has the experience of re-recruiting a foreign pitcher who had broken up once. Gary Less, a left-hander with technical skills, won 16 wins at Doosan in 2002 and entered the Japanese professional baseball the following year. However, Ress was kicked out after a year in Japan, and Doosan re-recruited Ress in 2004. And Less tied for most wins in 2004 with 17 wins. Doosan also re-recruited Raul Alcantara, who entered Japan after winning 20 wins in 2020, after two years, and Alcantara is playing a big role as Doosan’s ace this year.
Not flashy but steady Brandon
2022 Doosan is the 2021 regular league MVP and Ariel Miranda (Saraperos de Saltillo), who set a new record for the most strikeouts in a season (225), and Robert Stark, who has a fast ball that exceeds 155 km/h formed a foreigner one-two punch. However, Miranda was ejected after posting an ERA of 8.22 in three games. And in mid-July, when the first half was over, Brandon안전놀이터, who was playing in the minor leagues of the St. Louis Cardinals, was acquired for a total of $230,000.
When Brandon first joined, Doosan’s expectations for Brandon were not very high. At the time, Doosan was already far behind in the ranking competition, and Brandon was a pitcher who was mainly active as a bullpen in the United States, so it was questionable how competitive he would be as a starting pitcher. But did the less burdensome environment work in favor of Brandon’s adaptation? Brandon, who started 11 games for Doosan, recorded a respectable record of 5 wins, 3 losses, 3.60, including 5 quality starts.
However, Doosan has so far had many outstanding foreign pitchers such as Dustin Nippert, Lindblom, Alcantara, Chris Flexen (Seattle Mariners), and Miranda, and gave up renewing contracts with Brandon and Stark after the 2022 season. Alcantara, the ‘returned ace’ who had a bitter taste in Japanese professional baseball, is playing the role of an ace with 7 wins, 3 losses and 1.77 in 12 games this season, but Dylan, who was expected to be the second starter, suffered from an injury and was kicked out after just two games. .
Doosan, who knew that it would not be easy to recruit an ace-level pitcher in the middle of the season, chose to re-recruit Brandon, who had been somewhat verified in the 2022 KBO League. The fortunate part is that Brandon is maintaining his game sense and stamina as a starting pitcher while playing as a starter in Taiwanese professional baseball this year following 2022. Brandon, who is scheduled to enter the country on the 16th, is expected to be able to start as early as the 3rd home game against SSG Landers starting on the 20th.
Following 2022, he will wear the Doosan uniform again as a substitute player, but expectations for Brandon have changed greatly from last year to this year. This is because, unlike 2022, which was already in the lower ranks, Doosan is fighting a fierce ranking battle in the middle ranks this year. Coach Lee Seung-yeop and Doosan fans are expecting Brandon to keep the starting rotation steadily along with Alcantara and Kwak Bin and provide stable pitching. How will Doosan’s decision to re-recruit Brandon be evaluated at the end of the season?