The first starter, who was recruited with the foreign player cap of 1 million dollars (200,000 dollars as an option), packed up and left less than a month after the opening.
On the 19th, the Hanwha Eagles said, “We requested the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) to publicize a waiver for foreign pitcher Birch Smith (33),” and “we plan to have a new foreign pitcher join the team as soon as possible.”
Smith’s early exit is a big bad news for Hanwha, which is trying to bounce back from the bottom for three consecutive years. He was ambitiously brought in with the expectation of an ace role, but the result was that he threw 60 balls in one game and voluntarily kicked them.먹튀검증
Smith is a veteran who pitched in 102 career games while playing for five major league (MLB) teams from 2013 to 2021. Last year, he pitched in 20 games for the Japanese professional baseball Seibu Lions, recording 1 win, 4 holds, 1 save and an earned run average of 3.29.
Hanwha decided to recruit Smith because of his big league career and Japanese professional baseball experience. At the time of his signing, there were also voices about his injury concerns. Smith suffered a shoulder injury while playing for Seibu. However, Hanwha enforced the contract, saying that it had thoroughly verified it.
The results were the worst. Smith, who completed the spring camp safely, started the opening game against the Kiwoom Heroes held at the Gocheok Sky Dome on the 1st. After giving up two runs in 2⅔ innings, he complained of shoulder pain and went off the mound himself. As a result of the detailed diagnosis, he was diagnosed with fine muscle damage in his right shoulder.
Hanwha predicted that he would be able to return in mid- or late-April if he receives injection treatment. The recovery has been much slower than expected. Hanwha coach Carlos Subero did not hide his regret, saying, “There is no noticeable progress.”
In the end, Hanwha did not wait any longer and moved quickly. Last season, when Nick Kingham and Ryan Carpenter struggled with injuries, they failed to respond properly and ruined the entire season.
At the beginning of the season, it is not easy to bring in good foreign players. This is because each major league club tries to retain as many players as possible in case of an emergency. Hanwha has no choice but to be more difficult. Hanwha’s biggest task was how to clear the foreign pitcher gap in an emergency situation.