CPBL Foreign Players Updates Volume #91

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Uni-Lions News: Austin Bibens-Dirkx

With only 2.5 games behind, the Uni-Lions suffered another massive blow on their chances at capturing the first-half season title.

On June 12, the Uni-Lions announced the team had parted ways with right-hander Austin Bibens-Dirkx. According to the Uni-Lions’ general manager, Austin Bibens-Dirkx wished to return home to be with his wife, who is expecting to give birth to their child next week.

“It is unlikely Austin Bibens-Dirkx will return to Taiwan anytime soon,” said the Uni-Lions’ general manager. “We have our eyes set on a few potential foreign player candidates and will make the decision as soon as possible.”

Austin Bibens-Dirkx started the 2019 season as a starting pitcher for the Uni-Lions. However, he was unable to adjust to the CPBL and posted a 6.30 ERA and 1.53 WHIP across six starts, 30 innings of work.

In early May, the team decided to pull Bibens-Dirkx out of the starting rotation and use him as a reliever. In nine relief appearances, he pitched a total of 16 innings with a solid 3.38 ERA and 0.75 WHIP.

The 34-year-old right-hander finished his 2019 CPBL season with a 5.28 ERA and 1.26 WHIP over 46 innings.

With Austin Bibens-Dirkx leaving and Josh Roenicke on the injured list, the Uni-Lions are now down to just one foreign player (Ryan Verdugo) in their active 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. Kind of a weird way for Austin Bibens-Dirkx to leave. He must have known his wife was pregnant when he signed with the Uni-Lions, but apparently his wife didn’t go with him to Taiwan and have the baby there. I wonder if it wasn’t Bibens-Dirkx’s intention to sign a three-month contract with the Uni-Lions, make $50,000 to $70,000, and then return to the U.S. for the birth of his baby and retire from baseball.

    At his age, Bibens-Dirkx probably doesn’t have many options other than the Independent-A Leagues or the Mexican League if he plans to play professionally in the future.

    • Yeah, it is all depend on how you read it. Historically speaking, if a team use the term “parts ways” instead of “release” there are always more stories below the surface. It is highly likely the Uni-Lions are not going to extend his contract at the end of the month. (With him currently being a reliever).

      Instead of making the player and the agency look bad. This is more of a diplomatic ways to handle it. Something similar to how the Brothers dealt with former manager Cory Snyder last year. The key word in the Uni-Lions’ press release is he is unlikely to come back. Plenty of foreign players took time off and return a few weeks later, that’s if the team want them to come back.

      Also the Uni-Lions’ front office really need to get their stuff together, they knew way ahead of time this could happen with Bibens-Dirkx and yet they don’t have someone in the farm team as back up. Another theory is, maybe Chinen Kohya who they released to make room for Verdugo was originally going to be the back up plan for Bibens-Dirkx, but with Verdugo injured during spring training, they ended up using Chinen early.

  2. Darin Downs is back in the Atlantic League after washing out of the Mexican League after only two appearances. Maybe we will see him back in the CPBL later this year.

    • Apparently, the Uni-Lions have finalised a deal with their new foreign players. The yet to be named pitcher is likely to arrive in Taiwan on June 26. According to the Uni-Lions’ GM, they have plan to sign 2 new pitchers, the team are currently targeting 3 starting pitchers, 2 of them are left-handed pitcher.


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