This time, a former Hanwha pitcher… San Diego loves the KBO, what’s next?
San Diego is one of the 30 teams in Major League Baseball that follows the KBO closely. For years, the team has sent scouts to Korea to keep an eye on key players in the KBO, and in the case of Kim Ha-seong, they even managed to sign him.
As a result of watching Kim, the team has accumulated a wealth of data on players who are expected to be the next in line to enter the major leagues, such as Lee Jung-hoo, An Woo-jin, and Kim Hye-sung. But San Diego’s success is not limited to Korean players. The organization also evaluates foreign players who have played in Korea. It’s a sign that they’re looking at the KBO league broadly, not just a few players they’re interested in signing.
In fact, San Diego has been making waves by signing outfielder Preston Tucker, who played for KIA last year, right-hander Wilmer Font, who played for SSG, and right-hander Angel Sanchez, who played for SK and Yomiuri. Of course, the minor league contracts were mainly to secure the team’s player base, but in the case of Tucker and Font, their performance in the KBO was reportedly the main reason for their signing.
And as soon as the 2023-2024 Major League Baseball free agency market opened, the team added another KBO player. “San Diego has signed left-hander Ryan Carpenter, 33, to a minor league contract,” Evan Woodbury of MLive Media Group reported on Thursday. The foreign-born player played for Hanwha in 2021 and mid-2022.
Carpenter, a seventh-round pick of Tampa Bay in 2011, made his big league debut in 2018 with Detroit and played through 2019. But he failed to land, going just 2-8 with an 8.57 ERA in 15 games (14 starts) over two years. Quickly turning his attention elsewhere, Carpenter pitched in the Taiwanese League, where his performance was recognized and he joined the KBO as a foreign player for Hanwha in 2021.
In his first year, Carpenter went 5-12 in 31 games, but posted a 3.97 ERA in 170 innings pitched. It wasn’t a stellar performance, but the team’s weakness at the time meant that Hanwha had reason to be hopeful. He had his ups and downs, but on his good days, his pitches were top-notch. After re-signing, Carpenter seemed to live up to Hanwha’s expectations, posting a 2.50 ERA in his first four starts of 2022, but injuries set him back. 아톰카지노
Carpenter, who had previously had issues with his elbow, re-injured it again in 2022, and it became serious enough to warrant surgery. Hanwha didn’t want to wait any longer, so he was claimed off waivers in early June.
Carpenter’s elbow problems caused him to disappear from the minor leagues, and he seemed to fade from the minds of fans. His last appearance was a visit to the Hanwha squad in Arizona, where he greeted his former teammates. However, he signed a minor league contract with San Diego to resume his career. It means that his elbow rehabilitation has been successful. Of course, it remains to be seen if he’ll be able to make it to the major leagues, but it’s positive that he’s getting a chance.
The general consensus is that San Diego will now turn its attention to Lee Jung-hoo (25, Kiwoom), as they are still interested in players from the KBO. If Juan Soto is traded as rumored, they will need outfield reinforcements, and San Diego, along with San Francisco, is the team that has been watching Lee with the most interest. With Kim Ha-seong, who was his teammate when he was growing up, in place, it could be an easy transition. San Diego made a big splash with Ha-seong Kim, so there’s a chance they could make another big splash with Lee Jung-hoo.