CPBL Foreign Players Updates Volume #81

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Chinatrust Brothers News: Elih Villanueva

On April 19, rumours surfaced how the Chinatrust Brothers have signed a new foreign player based on the Ministry of Labor’s public record. The Chinatrust Brothers finally confirmed today that the team had re-signed Elih Villanueva as a backup for the 2019 season.

According to the Brothers’ representative, Elih Villanueva will arrive in Taiwan on April 25. After passing physical examinations, he then will report to the farm team.

Returning for his second seasons in the CPBL, the 32-year-old right-hander will once again begin his season in the farm league. In 2018, Elih Villanueva was called up by the Brothers on July 21 to replace Zack Segovia. He wound up posting a 5.11 ERA, 1.54 WHIP across 12 games and 61.2 innings.

Despite struggling in the CPBL, Elih Villanueva managed to get himself into the CPBL record book by pitching a no-hitter against the Monkeys on September 28.

As of today, the Chinatrust Brothers currently have Mitch Lively, Nick Additon and Alex Liddi on the first team roster.

Further Readings

Foreign players come and goes, therefore we compiled a foreign players tracker to keep track of all the foreign players signing for the 2019 CPBL season.


  1. Villanueva pitched well enough last year to make sense as a fourth foreign pitcher. Ryan Bollinger looks like a reasonably good bet also, in that he pitched well in the high minors last year, and he’s still only 28 this year.

    To what do you attribute Henry Sosa’s initial CPBL success? Is he throwing harder than anyone else in the CPBL so far this season?

    • There’s also rumour before signing Villanueva the Brothers were targeting Zack Segovia and Darin Downs.

      As for Henry Sosa’s success, guy throws strikes. Always pounding that strike zone and not afraid of getting hit. Along with that 97mph (156kph) fastball, he is banking on the hitters might not be able to capitalise on it. So far in the season, he was able to got out of jam every single time. Also his forkball is another one killer, he is able to throw that at the edge of the strike zone for a strike.

      For starting pitchers, I think Radhames Liz hit (157kph) a couple times, but overall, Sosa throws the hardest in the league. The league is probably around the range of 88mph to 95mph.

      Would be a shame to see Sosa’s season cut short though, would like to see at least a few more months of him in action. He hasn’t even pitch against the Monkeys yet.

  2. Do you think Sosa will be sold to an NPB team? He’s getting old to interest MLB teams and Sosa would probably make more money playing in CPBL than at AAA, but I could easily see at least one NPB team interested when one of their current foreign players fails to perform. I assume that Sosa’s South Korean tax issues will keep him from returning to the KBO.

    I’m guessing the Fubon Guardians are paying Sosa $25,000 per month. Any idea if that is accurate?

    • According to SET News, Henry Sosa is on more than $30,000 USD per month with the Guardians.

      Both the Guardians and Sosa have declined to commenting on the rumours, but something is definitely in the work. It make no sense at all to invite another foreign player for tryout when Mike Loree, Bryan Woodall and Henry Sosa are healthy and performing well.

      Sosa already turned down a minor league deal (Triple-A) from the Chicago Cubs before signing with the Guardians. With his tax issues in Korea, yeah, NPB seems like the only option at this stage.

  3. I am a baseball fan who lives in Korea. I watch Japanese pro baseball or Taiwanese pro baseball a lot. I have a question.

    Did Roger Bernadina now join the Lamigo Monkis squad?

    The Taiwanese pro baseball team is known to be able to recruit mercenaries to the second division without limit. So, why are you releasing foreign players right away, instead of sending them to the second division when they’re in a slump?

    • To answer your question. Yes, Roger Bernadina have joined the Lamigo Monkeys 2nd team and started playing 2nd team game as of April 25. He is currently hitting 1-for-9 with 1 HR after 2 games. So, maybe he needs a bit more tuning in the 2nd team.

      The reason why they release players instead of of sending them to 2nd team is because according to the CPBL foreign player rules, 1st team can only “register” 3 foreign players, if a team want to call up another player to 1st team, they will have to “de-register” that player, which mean releasing him. I believe KBO have a similar system too with their foreign players.

      Not sure why they make the rule like that though. For example, if a really good foreign got injured and needed to be sidelined for at least 2-3 months. A lot of time, this could be it for him, team would release him to make room for new player.

      I think they really need to abolish this rule, in the early day of CPBL yes, I can understand due to financial reason, but in 2019? It is not practical at all.


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