CPBL Foreign Players Updates Volume #92
Uni-Lions News: Alec Asher
With the Uni-Lions officially out of the first-half season title race, the team finally decided to do something about their foreign player gap by adding a new pitcher. On June 19, the Uni-Lions announced the signing of the former Baltimore Orioles’ right-hander Alec Asher from the Atlantic League.
The 27-year-old Alec Asher has four major league seasons under his belt. From 2015 to 2018 he pitched for the Phillies, Orioles and Brewers with a combined record of 5.42 ERA and 1.37 WHIP across 119.2 innings.
After leaving the MLB system, Asher went on and pitch for the Sugar Land Skeeters and Long Islander Ducks in the Atlantic League. Prior to his signing with the Uni-Lions, he posted a 3.58 ERA and 1.27 WHIP over 37.2 innings.
According to the Uni-Lions’ general manager, Alec Asher is expected to arrive in Taiwan and report to the team on Sunday. The team are still in the market for one more foreign pitcher as the fourth backup in the farm team.
Alec Asher’s Pitching Repertoire
As per Alec Asher’s scouting reports on Brooks Baseball, he relies primarily on his sinker and occasionally mixes in with other breaking pitches.
- Sinker (143kph)
- Cutter (143kph)
- Four-seam fastball (146kph)
- Slider (133kph)
- Curveball (125kph)
- Changeup (136kph)
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.
Not the Atlantic Leaguer I’d have elected to sign, but I can see why the Uni-Lions would. His home run and strikeout rates since the start of 2018 do not impress, but he’s young and has major league experience. We’ll have to wait and see what he does in Taiwan.
Another young pitcher too. I like this trend of going with players under the age of 30. I guess in a way, less likely to get injured? With Josh Roenicke and Ryan Verdugo on the injured list definitely cost the Uni-Lions this first-half season.
Yes, somewhat less likely to be injured. However, CPBL teams, like most Asian teams, don’t look much past the year in their expensive imports are signed. Most signings are designed to help the team as much as possible immediately, rather than to develop players who can have a strong 3 to 5 year run.
With respect to Asher, the apparent drop in his strikeout rate since the 2017 season suggests he might be on the verge of an arm injury.
Yeah, in Asia, only a few NPB teams can sort of afford to “develop” foreign players.
For the sake of the Uni-Lions, I really hope that’s not the case for Asher. It’s going to be very interesting see how Asher perform in Taiwan. Uni-Lions’ infield defense are probably the worst in the league, and with him being a sinkerballer it is going to be fun.
Some NPB teams do try to develop foreign foreign players, more so the rich teams. Many of the poorer Japanese teams look for immediate help because if the foreign player plays great, he then jumps to a rich team, like Alex Guerrero and Onelki Garcia the last couple of years.
P.S. Sinker ball pitchers live and die on infield defense.
Any good rumors on which foreign players may get replaced at the end of the first half?
Some rumour the Brothers have signed Casey Harman from the Mexican League. If that’s the case, maybe Villanueva or Additon will be on thin ice.
On the Monkeys’ front, if I have to take a guess it is probably going to be Roger Bernadina. But it all depend on how the new guy perform in the farm league.
I suspect once Bernadina’s 3 months contract expired, they are not going to extend it. Unless Bernadina suddenly start hitting a lot of extra base hits or home runs to get his SLG above .500
Bryan Woodall has struggled this year and hasn’t pitched well of late. Maybe he has a full-year contract so he’s safe until the end of the season?
Yeah, I suspect just like Mike Loree, Bryan Woodall is on a full year contract with the Guardians. All the signs are pointing to that judging by the comments by their GM.
There were some report back in May that Woodall’s arm slot is lower this year. So, yeah, it all depends how you interpret this. Probably just tired and need some rest? He has been a workhorse the past few seasons in Taiwan.
Woodall did pitch a lot in 2017 and 2018, and he’s not a real big guy. He’s also 32 this year, so maybe Father Time is catching up to him too.