CPBL Foreign Players Updates Volume #117
Uni-Lions News: Ryan Feierabend
On January 31, the Uni-Lions announced the signing of left-hander Ryan Feierabend. According to the team’s press release, the 34-year-old knuckleballer will arrive in Taiwan early February and begins his first CPBL season.
Ryan Feierabend started his professional career in 2003 with the Seattle Mariners organisation. He eventually made his MLB debut in 2006 and compiled a career record of 7.34 ERA and 1.83 WHIP over 119 innings across five MLB seasons.
From 2015 to 2018, Feierabend went on to pitch in the KBO, splitting time with the Nexen Heroes and kt wiz. Over four KBO seasons, he posted a 4.14 ERA and 1.39 WHIP, over 682.2 innings of work.
After leaving the KBO system, Ryan Feierabend returned MLB and signed a minor league contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. Although he spent most of the 2019 season in Triple-A, he did manage to get the call-up and pitched 5.2 innings in the Major League.
Ryan Feierabend finished the 2019 Triple-A season with a record of 5.53 ERA and 1.44 WHIP over 68.1 innings. It is worth noting he was a frequent visitor to the injured list towards the end of the 2019 minor league season.
Another interesting note worth pointing out is, the CPBL will once again have a knuckleball pitcher. The last one was Mickey Callaway in 2009 for the Uni-Lions. Yes, the former New York Mets’ manager.
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.
I like this signing. 34 is still young for a knuckleball pitcher. What will be interesting to see is how CPBL hitters do against him once they have seen him through the first four or five starts against their team. The knuckleball works in part because so few pitchers throw it that it is hard for hitters to get used to it. Feierabend’s four year run of success in the KBO suggests that his knuckler is good enough that it’s hard for hitters to get used to.
I am really really interested to see how knuckleball will do in Taiwan given the weather is so humid. I think on paper, Feierabend will do quite well here, that 4 strong KBO seasons experience is his advantage
One other rather interesting thing is that he was using the knuckleball more like he would a secondary pitch than normal knuckleball pitchers while in the KBO.
21%, 14% and 68% are his knuckleball usage mix from 2017-2019. So I wonder if he would be a primary knuckleballer in 2020 or not.
I will update this post with more pitch mix later.