CPBL Foreign Players Updates Volume #217
Uni-Lions News: Keury Mella
On January 13, the Uni-Lions announced the signing of Keury Mella and Logan Ondrusek for the 2022 CPBL season. According to the team, both players are set to arrive in Taiwan around mid-February.
Keury Mella, the 28-year-old Dominican right-hander, had five limited seasons of MLB experience under his belt. Between 2017 to 2021, Mella pretty much split his time between Triple-A and MLB.
He posted a combined MLB record of 7.22 ERA over 28.2 innings. And for Triple-A, his career numbers are more presentable as he compiled a 4.77 ERA across 220.2 innings.
Keury Mella throws a 4-seam fastball, sinker, slider and changeup. Based on the data from Baseball Savant, his average fastball and sinker velocity sit at 94-95 mph.
Uni-Lions News: Logan Ondrusek
Logan Ondrusek, the 36-year-old American right-hander, played five seasons in MLB between 2010 to 2014 and another stint in 2016. During his time in MLB, he posted a combined record of 4.03 ERA over 277 innings.
From 2015 to 2016, he went to Japan to play for the Tokyo Swallows of the NPB. He compiled a strong 2.17 ERA and 1.08 WHIP across 99.2 innings.
Despite his solid NPB numbers, in 2016, Logan Ondrusek was released by the Swallows mid-season after he displayed aggressive behaviour towards his teammates and manager.
In 2021, Logan Ondrusek began the season pitching in the Mexican League, where he posted a dominating 2.38 ERA over 45.1 innings. His strong LMB performance eventually led him back to the MLB system. The San Francisco Giants signed him to a minor league deal and assigned him to Triple-A.
At the end of the 2021 Triple-A season, he elected free agency and went to the Dominican Republic to play in the winter league. As of today, he has a 1.64 ERA over 22 innings of work.
Logan Ondrusek has five pitches in his arsenal: 4-seam fastball, cutter, sinker curveball and changeup.
Chad Bell: The Lefty That Got Away
On January 4, rumours began to circulate that the Uni-Lions were targeting an American left-hander that fit the description of Chad Bell. But a few days later, the media reported that the deal was unlikely to happen.
So, what went wrong during the signing process? Well, the Uni-Lions decided to share some of the behind the scene information with the fans.
In today’s press release, the Uni-Lions revealed they initially planned to sign Chad Bell, as both parties had reached an agreement. However, the American left-hander backed out due to pandemic concerns and did not go ahead with the signing.
According to Liberty Sports, the Uni-Lions are targeting an American left-hander who had a 10+ win season in the KBO. 👀
Based on this information maybe it is Chad Bell or Brooks Raley? #CPBL pic.twitter.com/xy7uotkwOO
— CPBL STATS ♥️ #95 (@GOCPBL) January 4, 2022
Foreign players come and goes, therefore we compiled a foreign players tracker to keep track of all the foreign players signing for the 2022 CPBL season.
I like both these signings. My memory of Ondrusek’s problems with the Swallows is that it had more to do with a conflict with management than with his teammates, but it wasn’t heavily reported in English, so it’s hard to know for certain. As I recall it, Ondrusek wasn’t happy about something, although he was having success on the field in NPB.
Still, he can pitch. He was still an effective starter at AAA in 2021. He reminds me of Josh Roenicke in terms of his age and past MLB success.
Keury Mella is the right age and pitched in MLB long enough to earn a pension, so he seems like a good bet.
Same here. I love the Mella signing simply because he is under 30, throws hard, was part of the 40-man roster in the past few years. CPBL needs more of this kind of players.
As for Ondrusek, my gut feeling is telling me he will be one of the best foreign players this season (definitely in the top 3). He is more like the kind of player CPBL team traditionally go for, veteran guy who knows how to play ball.
Meanwhile, Manny Banuelos just signed a minor league deal with the Yankees after his strong 2021 in Mexico and Taiwan.
I haven’t heard much this off-season about CPBL teams having an interest in Enderson Franco. He’s only 29 in 2022, his $300,000 guarantee in the KBO last season is in CPBL teams’ ballpark, and his 2021 season was somewhat similar to Drew Gagnon’s 2020, although Gagnon was better. I wouldn’t be surprised if a CPBL teams signs Franco at some time between now and the end of the 2024 CPBL season.