“It wasn’t that bad”

The Lotte Giants officially announced on the 18th that they have signed foreign pitcher Aaron Wilkerson, who pitched for the Hanshin Tigers of Japan in the 2022 season, for a total of $350,000 ($250,000 salary, $100,000 option) as a replacement for Dan Straily.

Lotte has been struggling with foreign players all season. Jack Rex, who joined the team last year as a replacement for DJ Peters, has been struggling with chronic knee pain this year and hasn’t been able to perform as well in the field and on the bases. Worst of all, the knee was not going to get any better over the course of the season, so the team brought in Niko Goodrum as a replacement just before the All-Star break.카지노사이트

Rex wasn’t the only problem for Lotte. The pitching staff was also in trouble, with Dan Streeley and Charlie Barnes, the “hairy ace” and “lefty” respectively, failing to live up to expectations. Streeley and Barnes struggled in the exhibition games, and it carried over into the regular season. They didn’t record a single quality start (6 innings or less) in all of April.

It wasn’t until May that things started to change. Both Straily and Barnes seemed to regain their form, recording their first quality starts in May. However, they have been up and down since June and have not shown any signs of improvement over time. In addition to looking for a replacement for Rex, Lotte also searched for competitive pitchers, and on the 18th, they made their decision.

The player Lotte chose to part ways with was Strillie. In terms of ups and downs, Streeley is more of a Barnes than a Barnes, but on his best days, he lives up to the title of ‘ace’. However, Strillie’s repeated struggles to last five innings, his declining velocity and delivery every year, and Barnes’s valuable left-handedness were all factors in the decision.

What about Lotte’s new acquisition, Aaron Wilkerson? Wilkerson began his professional career as an amateur free agent with the Boston Red Sox in 2014 and made his first big league appearance with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2017. He went 1-1 with a 6.88 ERA in 14 games (three starts) in the majors and 58-31 with a 3.42 ERA in 158 career minor league appearances (133 starts).

On Wilkerson’s side, he also has experience in Asian baseball. Wilkerson pitched 14 games for Hanshin last year, going 5-5 with a 4.08 ERA. “His fastball movement is excellent, and his changeup is strong,” Lotte said, explaining that the main reason they chose Wilkerson was his ability to adapt to Asian baseball through his experience in the Japanese professional league.

Wilkerson has shown “promise” in Japan, albeit briefly. Wilkerson, who signed a one-year, $650,000 contract with Hanshin ahead of the 2022 season, was first called up to the first team in mid-April and went 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA in three games in April. In May, he went 3-1 with a 1.04 ERA in four starts, earning him the Central League’s monthly MVP title.

The problem came later. Wilkerson struggled in June, going 1-0 with a 9.19 ERA in four starts. In July, he went 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA in two starts, but his opportunities began to dwindle, and he eventually parted ways with Hanshin at the end of the season.

For fans in Japan, Wilkerson’s image wasn’t all that bad. One fan commented, “I thought he was only a player in May when he won the monthly MVP, but looking back, he wasn’t that bad,” while another said, “He was tired before the summer and his pitches weren’t good, but he wasn’t bad,” and “He was good until the batting order went around the bend. In Korea, he could be as good as Alcantara,” while others expressed their impressions and support.

Wilkerson didn’t fare so well in Triple-A this year, going 3-2 with a 6.51 ERA in 14 games (six starts), so Lotte guaranteed Goodrum $400,000, but apparently picked up a $100,000 option for Wilkerson. After being released in Japan and having a limited presence in the U.S., Wilkerson will have to show a lot in a short amount of time this season to earn the $100,000 option.

[Lotte Giants Aaron Wilkerson, Charlie Barnes, Dan Streeley, and Aaron Wilkerson with the Milwaukee Brewers. Photo courtesy of the Lotte Giants, MyDaily DB, Getty Images Korea]

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