Prior to the 2020 season, Lotte signed a new foreign pitcher in Dan Streeley. In his rookie season, Straylor appeared in 31 games and threw a whopping 194⅔ innings, striking out 205 batters and posting a 15-4 record with a 2.50 ERA. The descent of the ‘Ace’. Lotte unsurprisingly re-signed Staley the following year, and he went 10-12 with a 4.07 ERA in 31 games.
While his performance was noticeably down from his first year in the KBO, he still managed to harvest double-digit wins for the second straight year. However, after the season, Staley decided to end his stay with Lotte and return to the United States to pursue his dream of making it to the major leagues.
In the U.S., he didn’t have much success. After signing a minor league contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Straylor fought for a spot in the starting rotation in spring training. However, he came up short in the exhibition games and found himself bouncing around the minors after the regular season began.
Lotte, who were in a tight race for the fifth spot in the 2022 season and were struggling with a string of poor performances from their foreign pitchers, reconnected with Streeley and showed their “goodwill” by giving him a guaranteed contract through the 2022 and 2023 seasons. In his return to the KBO, Straylor was unable to help Lotte reach the postseason, but he was solid in 11 appearances, going 4-2 with a 2.31 ERA.
This year, however, Straylor’s form has been all too familiar. He struggled mightily in two exhibition games, going 1-0 with a 6.43 ERA, which carried over into the regular season. In April, Straily struggled to a 2-2 record with a 5.82 ERA, failing to record a single quality start (6 innings or less) in five appearances. His velocity had dropped significantly, leading some to wonder if a replacement should be considered.
Manager Larry Sutton cited “slow starter” and the fact that he was born in 1988 as reasons for Straylor’s repeated struggles, and expressed hope that he would improve. Straylor rebounded with a 2-2 record and a 2.31 ERA, including three quality starts in four appearances in May. In the first game of June, he also pitched his best game of the season, allowing two runs (two earned) in seven innings against the KIA Tigers.
However, the momentum was short-lived. Starting with his second start in June, Straily reverted to his early-season form, failing to record a quality start in six straight games. Of course, not every start has been a disappointment. In three of his last six outings, he has allowed two runs or less in five innings. However, this is not what Lotte is looking for from Straylor.
At the moment, she’s struggling to go beyond five innings. The man who is supposed to be the “ace” hasn’t even gone five innings. In 16 starts, he’s had just four quality starts. He has pitched six innings only five times. This lack of innings puts all the burden on the bullpen, which can be devastating in a 144-game race.
According to baseball stats site Statiz, Straily’s WAR (wins above replacement) is just 0.71. 59th among all pitchers. According to Sports2eye, his WAR is 0.83, which is slightly higher than that of Statistic, but it’s not even in the top 30. Despite being a favorable starter to accumulate WAR, he’s below Won-joong Kim, the long-hitting closer, on both stats sites.바카라사이트
Manager Larry Sutton told reporters after the “return point” that his goal for the remaining 72 games is to “reach the top three” and “advance to the Korean Series.” In other words, he wants to “win now”. However, unless something changes, it seems unlikely that they will be able to fulfill their dream. Lotte has lost all of its early-season momentum and is on the cusp of collapse with a 5 percent chance of winning. If Lotte truly wants to make it to the postseason for the first time in six years after 2017, it’s time to pull out the knives.
Of course, the situation in the foreign market is very bad right now. They have to import players from the independent leagues, the Mexican League, and the Taiwanese League. But rather than hoping for a resurgence of the elusive Straley, it’s more realistic to hope for a new, less analyzed player. It’s not uncommon for replacement players to succeed in a bad market every year.
In the KBO, substitute foreign players can earn up to $100,000 per month. Over time, the maximum salary you can pay a player will inevitably decrease. The likelihood of getting a good player for a low salary is not very high. We’ll see what Lotte decides to do as the first half of the season comes to a close.