CPBL Foreign Players Updates Volume #54
Lamigo Monkeys News: Darin Downs
After surrendered 15 runs over 7.1 innings in his last 2 starts, the Lamigo Monkeys have released LHP Darin Downs today.
“The team is at its final phase of clinching the first-half season, and unfortunately Darin Downs did not meet the organisation’s expectation,” according to the Monkeys’ official press release.
Downs was unable to reproduced the stellar performance from his 2017 season, where he posted a 3.49 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, over 25 starts and 149.2 innings of work.
The LHP finished his 2018 CPBL season with a disappointing 7.08 ERA, 1.45 WHIP over 10 starts and 54.2 innings.
Lamigo Monkeys News: Zeke Spruill
With the release of Darin Downs, the Monkeys now have a gap in their starting rotation, the team will call-up their fourth backup pitcher Zeke Spruill from the farm team.
Spruill was part of the Monkeys’ winning formula in 2017 where he posted a dominating 2.56 ERA, 1.14 WHIP over 26 starts and 172.1 of work.
Prior to the first team call up, the 2017 Monkeys’ ace has been pitching the farm league since April. With 5 farm league starts under his belt, Spruill posted a 4.32 ERA and 1.68 WHIP over 25 innings.
Zeke Spruill is expected to makes his 2018 CPBL debut against the Fubon Guardians on May 28th.
Foreign players come and goes, therefore we have compiled a foreign players tracker to keep track of all the foreign players for the 2018 CPBL season.
The CPBL is not a place for the vast majority of foreign pitchers to have long careers. The best foreign pitchers available to CPBL teams in the CPBL price-range are typically over 30 (the average age for the 12 foreign pitchers who started the 2018 CPBL major league season was over 32), in part because the pitchers by this age realize their chances of returning to the MLB majors are slim. Once they make this realization, then the CPBL becomes a great option for players pitching in the Atlantic League or the Mexican League for less money.
However, pitchers over 30 get old fast, and given what a hitters’ league the CPBL is, the law of averages can mean a bad year for a foreign pitcher immediately after a good year. Meanwhile, there is always a new crop of Atlantic League pitchers pitching well each season and a new crop of Mexican League pitchers coming off good seasons each off-season.
In Downs’ case, the fact that the Monkeys had Zeke Spruill, who is five years younger, waiting around in the minor league, is a big part of the reason Downs got the quick ax, in spite of a 4-3 record. It looks like Zack Segovia survived the first deadline, but his job security can’t be great.
Daryl Thompson, Ross Detwiler and Nate Reed look like candidates to join the CPBL later this year, if they keep pitching the way they have so far in the Atlantic League. I have no doubt that Thompson would jump at the chance to pitch in the CPBL. Ross Detwiler has significant MLB major league experience and may be hoping to return to MLB. However, he hasn’t pitched in the Show since 2016 and at age 32, he may be willing to go pitch in Taiwan. Former CPBLer and MLBer Mitch Talbot pitched his way out of the Atlantic League already, recently signing to pitch for the Cleveland Indians’ AAA team.
Yeah, supply and demand. There are way too many potential CPBL foreign pitchers even at the CPBL price range. There’s also the factor of the CPBL foreign players contract structure too, a lot of three months contracts out there. So, the mentality tend to be if someone doesn’t workout, just get someone new.
Looking with greater depth at Atlantic League pitchers, the number of guys who would be reasonable options for CPBL teams, based on the stats, is huge. It seems like the players who actually get signed must largely be based on who is interested in pitching in Taiwan and what the CPBL scouts think.
I assume that at certain times of the year, every CPBL team that could use a foreign upgrade sends a scout to watch the Atlantic League prospects. That must be a fun assignment. I wonder what CPBL scouts look for when scouting Atlantic League and Mexican League talent?
I think Monkeys always sent their scouting team to overseas league for new mid-season recruits. Not sure about Brothers and Lions, from my understanding which could be wrong, they have an agents’ that have a binder full of players for them to choose from. Fubon also have a history of sending scouts overseas.
From my conversation with one of the team Australia pitcher, he told me (Fubon) they are looking for someone that’s big and throw hard 🙂 I guess that’s the simplified way of saying it.
The Seattle Mariners just signed Ross Detwiler today.