“I think you’ll have to wait a little bit.”
That’s what NC Dinos manager Kang Myung-ho said when asked about the possibility of replacing foreign pitcher Taylor Widener, 29, who resigned from the Lotte Giants one day ago. Widener had started 11 games this year, posting a 4-2 record, 61⅔ innings pitched, and a 4.52 ERA. Six quality starts. He’s been pitching in a half-good, half-bad “ping-pong” pattern. NC, which is aiming for the top five, had to think about a more stable starting pitcher than Widener.
Coach Kang said, “Widener is doing ‘fondant fondant’. One day he’s good, the next day he’s unstable. This has been going on for a season. It’s unfortunate that he’s not as good as we expected. I don’t think he’s found his form yet. I think the biggest factor is that I had a back injury before the season. I think it’s affected his pitching form,” he said.
Widener’s fate was sealed on March 22. Widener started that day against the Hanwha Eagles in Daejeon and struggled, giving up three runs on five hits (one home run) in four innings with one walk and two strikeouts. His pitching has been up and down all season long, and after much discussion, NC manager Kang Myung-hwa and general manager Lim Sun-nam decided to make the switch.
The problem was the timing of the announcement. NC decided to sign left-hander Tanner Tully, 29, from a list of contingency players. In order to specifically sign Tanner and buy time for him to get to Korea, Widener needed to stay and contribute. Widener was given the opportunity to pitch two more games.
Taylor Widener ⓒ NC Dinos
Head coach Kang Myung-ho ⓒKyun Hye-mi Reporter
As fate would have it, Widener began to settle down after his release. He pitched six innings of five-hit ball with one walk and four strikeouts against the KT Wiz in Changwon on March 28, then followed that up with a quality start against the Sasik Lotte on March 3, pitching seven innings of four-hit ball with eight strikeouts and one walk. It was a farewell game for the 30-year-old, who finally pitched the one-two punch that was expected of him. A day after his best pitching performance since his KBO debut, NC said goodbye to Widener.
On the afternoon of the 4th, NC requested a waiver from the KBO for Widener and signed Tanner as a replacement foreign player. The terms of the contract are $150,000 in salary and $50,000 in options, totaling $200,000.
먹튀검증An NC official said, “After the July 22nd game against Daejeon Hanwha, the manager and general manager discussed and decided to make a replacement. We were worried because Widener did not meet our expectations and the performance he showed in spring training, so we prepared a list of foreign players separately, and we decided to sign Tanner.”
Tanner is a left-handed pitcher from Indiana, USA, with a physical build of 188 centimeters tall and 92 kilograms. He throws a fastball that sits between 144 and 148 kilometers per hour and mixes in a slider, changeup, and curveball. NC said, “He has been a starter for most of his career, so he has good stamina and has the ability to run a stable game.”
Tanner was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 2016 draft and made his major league debut last year. In his big league career, he has three starts, a no-decision, six innings pitched, and a 6.00 ERA. In the minor leagues, he went 44-51 with a 4.18 ERA in 159 games (131 starts). This year, he appeared in 19 games (19 starts) for the New York Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate, going 5-5 with a 5.64 ERA.
“He is a left-handed pitcher who has been a consistent starter,” said Lim. We expect him to be more stable as a starting pitcher.”
With 55 games remaining, NC made the decision to replace the foreign pitcher. NC is in fifth place with a season record of 45 wins, 43 losses, and one tie. Tanner will be given the opportunity to start around 10 games, and he’s hoping to bring more wins than Widener.
Tanner said via the club, “I’m very excited to join NC. I’m excited to play baseball in front of great fans on the other side of the world. I know about Korea and the KBO from my friend Drew Luchinski, who played in the KBO for many years. ESPN was broadcasting KBO games during the pandemic, and I enjoyed watching baseball with my family and realized that I wanted to throw a ball in the KBO someday. The cheers and energy of the KBO fans is something to look forward to,” he said.
Since he was drafted in a best-of-five matchup, he is determined to do his best. “My goal is to win the NC,” Tanner said. I want to make sure everyone on the team is healthy and giving it their all in every game. I’m excited to throw the ball in front of the NC fans. I can’t wait to see them on the field.”
Tanner is expected to arrive and join the team as soon as the necessary administrative processes, including the issuance of his visa, are finalized.