‘149km → 143km collapse’ KBO 53-win express, can’t lie about age… The myth of reverse export fades away

Is Drew Luchinski (35), who has a career of 53 wins in the KBO, not allowed the ‘reverse export myth’?

Starting in 2019, Luchinski dominated the league, recording a record of 53 wins, 36 losses and an average ERA of 3.06 in 121 games while playing for the NC Dinos for four seasons. 

In the US Major League, he was an unimpressive pitcher, recording an average ERA of 5.33 with 4 wins and 4 losses in 41 games (1 start) while playing for 4 years from 2014. He has built his career as a bullpen pitcher. However, he continued to grow on the Korean stage. His velocity has increased, his pitches have increased, and his pitching has improved. 

Based on his performance in the KBO league, Luchinski rejected NC’s offer to renew his contract and challenged the major leagues. He then signed a 1+1 year, $8 million contract with the Oakland Athletics. However, there was a difference in the size of the contract compared to players who had been active in the KBO League before and made a ‘U-turn’ to the major league stage. Apparently, the age of 35 acted as a risk burden for major league clubs, and in fact, even at the time of signing with Luchinski, there were many expectations that Luchinski’s considerable age would be an obstacle to the myth of reverse export. 

In the end, Luczynski was unable to join the opening rotation due to a hamstring injury in spring training. And on the 29th (hereinafter Korean time), Luchinski’s comeback was held in a game against the Cincinnati Reds held at the Oakland Coliseum in California, USA. Luchinski’s major league appearance was about five years after the New York Mets on September 30, 2018. It was the first time in about 8 years since April 15, 2015 that the starting pitching was started. 

But Luchinski was beaten. He conceded a run from the first inning and an additional run in the second. He didn’t get help from fielders, such as defensive errors, but he couldn’t pass them properly. He tried to hold on until the 6th inning, but Luczynski could not fill the 6th. It was a thrilling comeback, but in the end, he couldn’t laugh. He pitched 5⅔ innings, giving up 11 hits (1 home run), 1 walk, 1 strikeout, and 5 runs (3 earned) before being demolished.메이저사이트

Was it simply a matter of the level difference between the KBO league stage and the major leagues? Looking at the contents, it wasn’t like that. It was a game in which concerns about Luczynski were fully revealed.

According to ‘Baseball Savant’, Luchinski used 33 four-seams, 22 sliders, 20 sinkers, 8 changeups, and 6 curveballs that day. He used a variety of pitches just like in his KBO league days. However, there was a big difference in restraint. Within a year, his restraints had collapsed. 

On this day, Luchinski’s four-seam fastball’s highest speed was 90.5 miles (145.6 km), and the average speed was only 88.9 miles (143.1 km). According to the pitch tracking system (PTS) provided by ‘Sports to I’, Luchinski’s average speed of four-seam fastballs last year was 148.7 km. That’s about 6km down. Since it was his first appearance since his injury, full redemption may not have come out.

However, the point of concern for Luchinski, who made a major league U-turn at a young age, appeared in restraint. Will the myth of reverse export from the ace of the KBO League fade away? I guess we’ll have to wait and see Luczynski’s next appearance /jhrae@osen.co.kr

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