Previous foreign players who dominated the KBO League are continuing their regrettable moves. MVP is cruel.
2019 KBO MVP Josh Lindblom (36) announced his retirement on his SNS on the 13th (Korean time). He said, “I have learned more than balls and strikes, hits and runs, wins and losses in baseball for 30 years. Baseball taught me life and made 바카라 me a person who can write this letter now.” Thank you to everyone who supported and helped.
Lindblom first stepped on the Korean stage wearing a Lotte Giants uniform in 2015. Although he briefly played for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the US Major League due to his daughter’s health problems, he played as Lotte’s ace for three seasons until 2017. In 2015, he showed his iron man side by reaching 210 innings.
After coming to Doosan in 2018, he grew into the best ace in the league. He won his first Golden Glove in 2018 with 15 wins and an earned run average of 2.88. Thanks to that, he was able to return to the stage of his dreams by signing a three-year, $9.125 million contract with the Milwaukee Brewers.
However, success in Korea did not easily lead to the big leagues. Lindblom pitched in 20 games (10 starts) for Milwaukee in 2020 and 2021, going 2-4 with a 6.39 ERA in 62 innings. Eventually, in May 2021, he became DFA (designated transfer player), and was transferred to the minor leagues. Last year, he tried to make a comeback by playing for a Milwaukee-affiliated Triple A team, but failed to re-enter the big leagues. Lindblom, who remained a free agent after last season, had to drop his uniform.
Even after Lindblom, foreign MVP brutality continued. 2020 MVP Mel Rojas Jr. (33) and 2021 MVP Ariel Miranda (34) both went downhill after taking the top spot in the KBO League.
Rojas signed a two-year, $5.5 million contract with the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) Hanshin Tigers ahead of the 2021 season. It was after boasting tremendous offensive power with 142 games, a batting average of 0.349 (192 hits in 550 at-bats), 47 homers and 135 RBIs in 2020 kt wiz. Not many doubted the home run king’s soft landing in Japan.
However, contrary to Lohas’s thoughts, the Japanese stage did not go smoothly. He left a poor record of batting average of 0.220, OPS of 0.697, 17 home runs and 48 RBIs in 149 games in two seasons. In the end, Hanshin did not renew the contract with Rojas, and Rojas is currently playing for Tigres del Reese in the Dominican Winter League.
Miranda hit the jackpot in the first year of her contract with Doosan in 2021, recording 14 wins, 173⅔ innings, 225 strikeouts, and an average ERA of 2.33. In 1984, which was regarded as an immortal record, Lotte Choi Dong-won’s single-season record of 223 strikeouts was replaced in 37 years, and he seemed to be enjoying his heyday. Doosan hoped for Ace to rise higher last year with a fully guaranteed contract of 1.9 million dollars, but cried at the bad news of his injury. In the aftermath of shoulder pain, the speed of the fastball, which had exceeded 150 km, fell to a level that barely exceeded or fell below 140 km, and was released after an average ERA of 8.22 in 7⅔ innings without a win or loss in only 3 games.
Lindblom, Rojas, and Miranda are all still in the memory of baseball fans as the best foreign players in the KBO, so the situation they are in now seems to come with a deeper regret.