CPBL Foreign Players Updates Volume #115
Uni-Lions News: Donn Roach
Yesterday, the Uni-Lions hinted that they are close to signing a pitcher with MLB, NPB and KBO experiences. On January 11, the Uni-Lions announced the signing of baseball journeyman Donn Roach.
Based on the 2018 NPB scouting report, Donn Roach has five pitches in his pitching repertoire. During his time in the NPB, he is known for his low strikeout and walk percentage (8.4 K% and 6.7 BB%).
- 44% 2-Seam Fastball – 144kph
- 24% Curveball – 123kph
- 17% Cutter – 142kph
- 11% Splitter – 137kph
- 4% 4-Seam Fastball – 144kph
The 30-year-old right-hander pitched three seasons in the MLB from 2014 to 2016 for the Padres, Cubs and Mariners. During his time in the big league, in 21 games, Donn Roach compiled a record of 5.77 ERA, 1.77 WHIP across 39 innings.
In 2017, Donn Roach began his tour of Asia by signing with the kt wiz of the KBO. Over 28 starts, he posted a 4.69 ERA, 1.57 WHIP over 165 innings of work.
The following season, Roach signed a minor league deal with the Chicago White Sox in February. With his stellar performance in Triple-A, the Orix Buffaloes of the NPB came knocking and signed him in July. Roach finished the remaining of the 2018 season in Japan with a record of 5.01 ERA, 1.55 WHIP across 50.1 innings.
After his second tour of Asia, Donn Roach returned to the MLB system in 2019. He went 3-6 with a 7.83 ERA, 1.93 WHIP over 79.1 innings in Triple-A.
Donn Roach Completed “Pro Ball Grand Slam”
With this signing, Donn Roach now joins a selective few baseball players that achieved the “Pro Ball Grand Slam” – those that played in all four Major Leagues in the World (MLB, NPB, KBO and CPBL).
Foreign players come and goes, therefore we compiled a foreign players tracker to keep track of all the foreign players signing for the 2020 CPBL season.
Based on his poor performance at AAA in 2019, Roach is the CPBL signing I’m least excited about this off-season. We’ll see if he can bounce back in 2020.
Right now, his only edge is his previous Asia experience. Sometimes, it can be an important factor for foreign players. But yeah, we will see when he is here. If things take a turn for the worse, it could be another Austin Bibens-Dirkx situation for the Uni-Lions.
However, if he can get back to his KBO form, maybe he will find some success in Taiwan. Also being a ground ball pitcher, he will puts the Uni-Lions’ infield to the test, they do not have the most solid middle infield.