It flew 1.7 billion in the air, why did you release 20 wins ace…Lessons from the Miranda disaster two years ago

The Korean team is in danger of throwing 1.7 billion won (1.5 million U.S. dollars) into the air immediately after the wrong choice of a foreign pitcher. However, Doosan had to replace a foreign pitcher. It was because it believed in foreign pitchers two years ago and suffered a huge setback.

The Doosan Bears released ace Raul Alcantara (32) on the afternoon of the 4th. It asked KBO to disclose waivers for Alcantara, and at the same time, it newly recruited right-handed foreign pitcher Jordan Balazovic (26) for a total of 250,000 dollars (about 340 million won).

Alcantara played 198 ⅔ innings in 31 games for Doosan in the 2020 season, ranking the KBO league with 20 wins, 2 losses and a 2.54 182 strikeouts with a WHIP of 1.03. While achieving quality starts in 27 out of 31 games, he ranked first in multiple wins, winning percentage and quality starts, second in innings and strikeouts, third in WHIP and fourth in ERA.
Alcantara signed with the Hanshin Tigers of the Japanese professional baseball for $4 million for two years in the 2021 season, but was notified of his release after the end of the 2022 season. He then returned to Doosan for a total of $900,000 in the 2023 season, leading Doosan to return to the postseason stage for the first time in two years with 13 wins, 9 losses and a 2.67 ERA in 31 games (192 innings).

Doosan started renewing its contract with Alcantara early on after finishing its baseball league in fall last year. Doosan successfully secured the ace pitcher for the 2024 season for a total of 1.5 million U.S. dollars on Dec. 21. The team made special conditions of 500,000 dollars for down payment, 800,000 dollars for annual salary, and 200,000 dollars for incentives.

Alcantara, who has been confident about his health, was canceled after the Kiwoom Heroes match in Jamsil on April 21 due to discomfort in his right elbow. He was diagnosed with an outer elbow sprain at three domestic hospitals, but he did not trust it and was re-examined by his doctor in the U.S. The U.S. medical team also diagnosed the sprain, which is the same finding as the Korean medical team, and returned to the starting lineup at the end of May after a month of recovery.

Alcantara was reduced to a paper tiger after suffering an injury. His fastballs were still in the early to mid 150 kilometers, but strikes became his prey to batters, increasing the ball count. Due to massive losses, including five runs in three ⅓ innings against the Gwangju KIA Tigers on May 26, five runs in three ⅔ against the Daejeon Hanwha Eagles on June 26, and six runs in two innings against the Jamsil Lotte Giants on July 3, early replacement has increased in frequency.

Alcantara’s partner, Yang Eui-ji, the main catcher, said, “I can’t fight a lot for ball count because it’s different from last year. I’m having a hard time trying not to get hit because the result is not good. Looking back on last year, I always had an advantageous count, but this year I’m not good enough. I tried to use a slider and lead aggressively because folk ball is worse than I thought, but if it hits the center, the ball goes far.”

Doosan started the list of foreign players in May when Alcantara was recovering from his injury. A Doosan official told OSEN over the phone on the 4th that the team’s foreign player representative has selected candidates for the U.S. since May, and the contract accelerated in the middle of last month. Originally, he thought of recruiting a new foreign pitcher around mid-July, but he accelerated and agreed to a contract with Balazovic on the 4th.

Alcantara went to work at Jamsil Stadium at around 1 p.m. on Sunday as usual after the game against the Lotte Giants on Sunday. Then, she got the unexpected news that she would be released at 2 p.m. at the club’s office. Alcantara reportedly calmly accepted the reality.

If so, would Alcantara’s performance have been different if he had played well in the game against Lotte on Thursday? “We analyzed the contents and data of the game after Alcantara went to the U.S. doctor’s office and concluded with a substitute,” a Doosan official said. “Alcantara was already in the process of working behind the scenes. Even if he pitched well in the game on Thursday, he would have replaced it.”

With the release of Alcantara, Doosan added a down payment of 500,000 U.S. dollars and an annual salary of 800,000 dollars, effectively throwing 1.3 million dollars into the air. Doosan recognized this but made a quick decision because it experienced the so-called “Miranda disaster” two years ago.

Doosan picked Ariel Miranda as its leader in the rotation of starting pitchers for the 2022 season. Doosan set a new KBO league strikeout record over Choi Dong-won, the legendary player, for a total of 1.9 million U.S. dollars, expressing full expectations. At the time, Doosan built five strong starters, led by Miranda, followed by Robert Stock, Choi Won-joon, Lee Young-ha and Kwak Bin.

When I opened the lid, however, there were too many variables. What was most painful among them was the unexpected injury of the first team that I believed. Miranda had complained of shoulder pain all of a sudden during the spring camp, but disappeared from the first team for more than two months after the game against the LG Twins on April 23. After recovering, he returned to the game against the KIA Tigers in Jamsil on June 25, but suffered a tragedy in which he allowed two strikeouts and four runs in ⅔ innings, before eventually packing. Investment of 2.6 billion won (2.3 million U.S. dollars) led to the tragic end of the three-game ERA of 8.22.

When the ace pitcher’s team collapsed, the entire team was shaken. Doosan humiliatingly ranked ninth (60 wins, two draws and 82 losses) for the first time in its history as the starting pitcher’s baseball team, which had been the driving force behind the team’s advance to the Korean Series for seven consecutive years, collapsed. In addition, Doosan has produced no starting pitcher for the first time in 14 years since 2008. If Miranda had grabbed 10 wins, Doosan would have been able to enter the race for fifth place with 70 wins, two draws and 72 losses. As such, the departure of foreign ace was fatal.

Contrary to experts’ expectations, Doosan finished the first half of the 2024 season with 46 wins, two draws and 39 losses. In the second year of his inauguration, he is aiming to jump to the top of the list in the second half thanks to coach Lee Seung-yeop’s more experienced leadership and young bullpen’s good pitching. This is why Doosan responded quickly to foreign pitchers’ issues before the All Star games. 메이저놀이터

Meanwhile, Canadian Balazovic is a right-handed pitcher with a physical condition of 196 centimeters in height and 97 kilograms in weight, and made his major league debut in 2023 after being drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 2016 rookie draft, recording one win and an ERA of 4.44 in 24 ⅓ innings in 18 games.

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