Eric dreams of returning to the KBO were ultimately dashed

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Eric Yokishi’s dreams of returning to the KBO were ultimately dashed by Keisho Shirakawa, but his passion was worthy of applause.

When the Doosan Bears were looking for a short-term replacement for the injured Brandon Waddell, Shirakawa, not Yokishi, was their choice.

“We decided to wait until tomorrow (Sept. 8) and choose Shirakawa when our turn comes,” Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop told reporters at the team’s second half preparations at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Sept. 9.

Doosan suffered a setback when the foreign pitcher suffered a partial tear of the subscapularis muscle in his left shoulder on March 23 against the Daegu Samsung Lions. After two medical examinations and a re-examination scheduled for three weeks later, Doosan turned to the short-term foreign pitching system introduced by the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) this year.

The KBO tweaked the system this season to allow teams to sign a replacement foreign player if a foreign player is sidelined with a long-term injury. If a foreign player suffers an injury that requires medical treatment for more than six weeks, the team can either terminate the contract and sign a new foreign player or place the player on the rehabilitation list and sign a substitute foreign player to play until the player returns, without using the number of substitutions. SSG Landers, KIA Tigers, and Hanwha Eagles have already utilized this system.

Doosan received an unexpected call while listing Brandon’s replacement.

Yokishi, a former KBO ace with the Kiwoom Heroes, announced his intention to return to the KBO. With one more option, Doosan offered Yokishi a tryout in exchange for airfare, lodging, and other expenses.

Yokishi last pitched in a Kiwoom uniform in 2019, going 56-36 with a 2.85 ERA in 130 games over five seasons through 2023. From his first year to 2022, he won 10 games in four consecutive years (13-12-16-10) and dominated the league with three consecutive years of double-digit ERAs (2.14-2.93-2.57) starting in 2020. Unfortunately, 해외 카지노 사이트 Yokishi was released by Kiwoom in June of last year after tearing a thigh muscle.

Yokishi held two tryouts at Icheon Bears Park, Doosan’s second team base camp. In his first tryout, he threw 45 pitches and topped out at 143 mph despite jet lag and long flight issues, and in his second tryout, he threw 45 pitches and topped out at 143 mph. “I got a report that it wasn’t bad,” Lee said at the time. It looks like he’s at about 90 percent,” Lee said at the time.


Yokishi’s enthusiasm didn’t translate into an acceptance, as SSG’s contract with Shirakawa, a former Japanese independent league ace who was brought in as a short-term foreign pitcher, expired on February 2. Doosan decided that Shirakawa, who hadn’t played in Korea for a year and needed a visa, was preferable to Yokishi, who had experience with recent Korean baseball trends and didn’t have visa issues.

Shirakawa’s record through six weeks was 2-2 with a 5.09 ERA in five games, with the exception of a rough outing on June 7 against the Sasak Lotte Giants (eight runs and seven earned in 1 1/3 innings). He throws a 150-kilometer-per-hour fastball with a slider, forkball, and curveball.

Based on his resume, Yokishi seemed like an obvious choice, but there was a chance he wouldn’t be able to utilize the full six weeks due to visa issues. Also, although he had been working out regularly without a team, there were concerns about his practicality.

“I think anyone who comes to our team can probably pitch four to six times, but Yokishi has visa problems and hasn’t had a team for a year. Of course, he has experience in Korea, but considering his practical sense, we decided that Shirakawa, who played in Korea until recently, was better. We will wait until the ninth and then choose Shirakawa when our turn comes,” he explained.

Yokishi left for his home country of the United States on the eighth of this month after a short two-year stay.

“Actually, I’m very grateful to Yokishi. He contacted me first and came within a day, and he pitched in the bullpen less than 24 hours after arriving. I could feel his nostalgia for Korean baseball and his desire to play here again. I’m really grateful,” he said, paying tribute to the passion.

“Of course, it shouldn’t happen, but if there is a chance next year or this year, it could be a good relationship. It’s hard to get rid of a relationship once you’ve made it, so I have a very good feeling about it, even if it’s only for a short time.”

Meanwhile, Shirakawa was placed on waivers by the KBO on March 3. Shirakawa will be available for selection for one week in the reverse order of the waiver wire standings, and Doosan’s standings as of the third day were fourth. In principle, they would have to wait for 10th-place Kiwoom, 9th-place Hanwha, 8th-place KT, 7th-place Lotte, 6th-place NC, and 5th-place SSG to make their selections, but of the five clubs except SSG, Doosan is the only one that actually needs a short-term foreign player. There is a chance that a foreigner from any of the five clubs could suffer an injury that would take six weeks or more to recover from on the 9th, but that is also a remote possibility.

Doosan plans to officially announce the signing of Shirakawa as early as the 10th.

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