CPBL Foreign Players Updates Volume #69
Uni-Lions News: Ryan Verdugo, Chinen Kohya
The Un-Lions have announced the re-signing of 31-year-old left-hander Ryan Verdugo for 2019 season. The team also told the media Chinen Kohya, the 29-year-old Japanese lefty would return to Taiwan as the fourth backup foreign player.
“We are still in talks with Josh Roenicke and another new pitcher with MLB experience,” said the Uni-Lions’ general manager. “We can expect all four foreign players report to the Uni-Lions’ spring camp in mid-February.”
Ryan Verdugo: 2018 CPBL Season
In 2018, Verdugo posted a 4.31 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 4.07 FIP, 109 ERA+, 2.89 WAR over 148.1 innings. Verdugo, however, is probably best known for pitching the first ever perfect game in the CPBL history.
You can not write a better script than this. #UniLions' Ryan Verdugo pitched 9 perfect innings and his teammates 郭阜林 (Kuo Fu-Lin) finished the game with a walk-off home run. Final score, Uni-Lions 1 : Brothers 0.
Verdugo's final line: 9IP, 0ER, 0H, 0BB, 8K, 92 pitches. #CPBL pic.twitter.com/0PvKnmW2vb
— CPBL STATS (@GOCPBL) October 7, 2018
Chinen Kohya: 2018 CPBL Season
Chinen Kohya spent the majority of the 2018 season in the farm team as the backup foreign player. He was briefly called up to the first team to replaced David Martinez in August.
However, he missed out several starting opportunities due to a string of rainouts last year. With limited chance to prove himself and with the August 31 Trade Deadline approaching, the Uni-Lions end up released Chinen to make room for Andy Van Hekken on August 31.
Chinen finished his 2018 CPBL season with only one start, 4.2 innings in the first team. The organisation, however, really admired Chinen’s passion for baseball and they promised to invite him back for the 2019 season.
#UniLions' new foreign player Chinen Kohya (知念広弥) makes his #CPBL debut with 3 strikeouts in the 1st inning. pic.twitter.com/HhJQfQuvZ7
— CPBL STATS (@GOCPBL) August 22, 2018
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.
I like the fact that CPBL teams are bringing back a lot of last year’s foreign starters. At least eight of them pitched well enough to deserve another season. Are the Monkeys trying to bring back Zeke Spruill?
I think Bennett Parry should be brought back as a fourth foreign pitcher. He pitched pretty well in limited use in the Venezuelan Winter League this year (3.12 ERA in 17.1 IP with a 1.269 WHIP and 14 Ks), and he’s only 27 years old.
I’m looking forward to learning who the third foreign pitcher with MLB experience is that the Uni-Lions may be signing.
The Monkeys has been awfully quiet on the signing front. But assuming they will bring back Bruce Kern. As for Zeke Spruill, I guess this will depend on his condition. He lost his velocity in 2018 and with a much lower arm slot. If he is 100% healthy again, then should be a no brainer to re-sign him.
Ideally, Parry should be back for the Brothers, given he spent quite a bit of time in the farm league last year. I think Cory Snyder also mentioned something about bring him Bennett Parry back. But again, he is no longer the manager of the team, so maybe the new manager Scott Budner will have other candidates in mind.
That mysterious Uni-Lions signing should be a fun one, would be very interesting to see how he perform in the CPBL. On paper, he should do well in Taiwan. Unfortunately, I can’t talk about it at this stage. But I think the Uni-Lions will probably announce his signing when they finalise the contract with Josh Roenicke.
Your description of Spruill sounds like he was on verge of arm injury. Too bad – he’s still young.