Goodbye to the painful past… Hanwha smiles at the skills of foreign players

The Hanwha Eagles smiled broadly at the skills of foreign players. Last year, he had a headache as a foreign player, but this year, the positive atmosphere is fading.

Hanwha suffered from injuries to foreign pitchers 메이저놀이터 last year. Foreign pitchers Ryan Carpenter (33) and Nick Kingham (32) were replaced early in the middle of the season, leaving a gap in the starting lineup. Jefri Ramirez (30), who will fill the spot, also failed to achieve satisfactory results due to injuries and sluggishness. For foreign hitter Michael Tuckman (33), negotiations with the club to renew his contract did not go well. In the end, Hanwha chose to change and changed foreign players ahead of the new season.

Hanwha has foreign players composed of pitchers Felix Pena (33) and Birch Smith (33) and outfielder Brian O’Grady (31). Two new faces have joined. Smith and O’Grady are new to the team, except for Pena, who wore a Hanwha uniform in place of Kingham in the middle of last season.

Pena joined last year as a substitute foreign player, but left an impact for a short period of time. He went 5-4 in 13 games with an earned run average of 3.72 in 67⅔ innings. He confirmed his appearance as an innings-eater by digesting 5 or more innings 9 times, including 5 quality starts out of 13 appearances. In particular, as he adapts to the league, his power grows stronger. His earned run average was 5.13 in 33⅓ innings in the first seven games and 2.36 in 34⅓ innings in the next six games, showing gradually stable pitching.

Shortly after signing with Pena, general manager Hyuk Son said, “The advantage of Pena is that there is almost no difference in speed between four-seam and two-seam. 24, Kiwoom Heroes), and also has a good change-up, such as a changeup, which has the second highest swing rate.”

Pena clearly proved that expectation in the offseason. He pitched in three games during the practice game held in Okinawa, Japan, and recorded an earned run average of 1.29 (7 innings, 1 run) and 5 strikeouts, and was selected as the pitcher group MVP. In an exhibition game (against Daejeon KIA Tigers on the 13th), he appeared on the mound once and is preparing for the season smoothly with 1 run, 1 walk and 5 strikeouts in 4 innings.

Smith, who should achieve a powerful one-two punch with Pena, is also cruising. With a height of 193 cm, he throws a ball that is fast enough to reach a maximum speed of 155 km. He is also excellent at pitching his slider, curveball and changeup to support his fastball. Smith was excellent enough to compete for the spring camp MVP candidate along with Pena. Even in his first demonstration game (against Daejeon KIA Tigers on the 14th), he showed outstanding pitching with 4 innings, 1 run, 1 walk and 4 strikeouts.

Head coach Carlos Subero returned to Korea after completing the field training and smiled, saying, “If you look at the contents, Smith also showed a very impressive pitch. In fact, Smith also had a lot of trouble when weighing several MVP candidates.”

Foreign batter O’Grady is also impressive. With his excellent power, the evaluation that his long hitting power is his strength is proving in the exhibition game. O’Gredi is showing off his explosive power by decorating both hits with home runs in four demonstration games.

Coach Subero gave a thumbs up, saying, “Oh Grady is hitting well as well, pulling up the timing. I think he can see some positives.”

Pena, Smith and O’Grady have all been outstanding in exhibition games. Can Hanwha, who suffered from headaches as a foreign player last year, be able to smile this year?

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