Shirakawa picks, Balazovic arrives… Doosan ends dithering, starts second half

The Doosan Bears of the Korean Baseball Organization have ended their search for two foreign pitchers to start the second half of the season.

Doosan chose Keisho Shirakawa to replace Brandon Waddell as the foreign player.

Doosan claimed Shirakawa off waivers on March 3 and will make an “official signing announcement” on March 10 once the contract is finalized.

Jordan Balazovic, who was acquired after releasing Raul Alcantara, will arrive in the country at 5 p.m. on Aug. 8, one day before the start of the second half.

Doosan is expediting the process of obtaining a work visa for Balajovic.

Doosan, which started the 2024 season with two foreign pitchers in Alcantara and Brandon, has struggled to organize its starting rotation after both pitchers suffered at least one injury.

Brandon was diagnosed with a left subscapularis muscle strain, and Doosan placed him on the disabled list on June 28th.

This year, the Korean Professional Baseball Organization introduced a new system whereby if an existing foreign player is injured enough to require medical treatment for more than six weeks, the team can place the player on the rehabilitation list and use a substitute foreign player until the player returns.

While Brandon’s condition is improving, Doosan decided to bring in a “short-term substitute foreign player” because it was determined that he would not be able to pitch for the first team for more than six weeks “as of the end of June.

Eric Yokishi, a “former KBO player” who is currently without a team, responded to Doosan’s request for a tryout and pitched live at Icheon Bears Park twice.

Meanwhile, SSG Landers’ contract with Shirakawa, a short-term foreign player, expired, allowing Doosan to weigh Yokishi and Shirakawa.

Doosan’s final choice was Shirakawa.

The “timing of the pitch” played a role in Doosan’s decision.

Shirakawa was given a work visa when he signed with SSG, which gave him six weeks to acclimate to the KBO and take the mound upon signing.

Yokishi cannot pitch in a KBO game until he receives his work visa.

By choosing Shirakawa, the team would be able to make at least one more start per six-week contract than if they chose Yokishi.

KBO clubs other than SSG can claim Shirakawa in the reverse order of the three-day waiver wire rankings.

At the time, Doosan was in fourth place.

No other team could claim Shirakawa before Doosan because they don’t need a “short-term replacement foreign pitcher,” so there would be no obstacle to Shirakawa going to Doosan.

In five appearances for SSG, Shirakawa went 2-2 with a 5.09 ERA.

His sixth start in the KBO will likely be in a Doosan uniform.

Balajovic, who was acquired by Doosan as a “complete replacement” rather than a “short-term substitute,” will arrive on the 8th.

Doosan claimed Alcantara off waivers on April 4 and signed Balazovic for $250,000.

Balazovic made his big league debut in 2023, appearing in all 18 games in relief, going 1-0 with a 4.44 ERA (13 runs, 12 earned in 24 1/3 innings).

This year, he appeared in 24 games (one start) for Triple-A St. Paul Saints in Minnesota, going 5-4 with a 5.60 ERA in 35⅓ innings pitched.

According to the Doosan organization, “Balajovic is a hard-throwing pitcher with a fastball that comes out of the zone. His fastball reaches a maximum velocity of 156 kilometers per hour and an average of 150 kilometers per hour. He can put his changeup, including a splitter, curveball, and slider, in the strike zone and has excellent strikeout ability.”

However, Balajovic has only made one start this year, so he may need to go through a “build-up” process to increase his pitch count. 바카라사이트 추천

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