Former KBO player Chris Flexen, 29, of the Seattle Mariners, is having a humiliating season. It’s pre-free agency season, and unless he turns it around, his prospects could be bleak after this season.
On Aug. 8 (ET), Flexen pitched two innings of three-hit ball, allowing two runs on three hits and one walk in the fifth inning of a 2023 Major League Baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park in San Diego, California. He did not record a win, loss, or hold. His season ERA is a whopping 7.23.
Flexen had major league experience with the New York Mets from 2017 to 2019, but he hadn’t won a game since 2017. In 2020, he pitched for the Doosan Bears in the KBO. He went 8-4 with a 3.01 ERA in 21 games, helping Doosan to a runner-up finish in the Korean Series.
Flexen was ambitious. Being in his mid-to-late 20s, it made sense to give the major leagues another shot. He signed a 2+1 year, $12.75 million contract with the Seattle Mariners. In 2021, he had the best year of his career, going 14-6 with a 3.61 ERA in 31 games.
In 2022, he went 8-9 with a 3.73 ERA in 33 games. Some of those games were out of the bullpen, and his power was down from a year ago, but he still pitched 316.1 innings over two years, earning him a +1 year option, so he’s playing this season.
But it’s a nightmare. Including this game, he’s 4-0 with a 7.23 ERA in 14 starts this season. His worst start since returning to the majors. He was pushed out of the starting lineup early. Four losses and a 10.38 ERA in four games. The bullpen hasn’t been good either. In 10 games, he has no losses and a 4.50 ERA.
Kim Ha-seong led off the seventh inning. The 메이저놀이터 first pitch was a 91.5 mph fastball on the borderline, but Ha-Sung Kim crushed it for a single to left. Alfonso Rivas was hit by a pitch to start the inning, but Trent Grisham flied out to left field. Fernando Tatis Jr. continued to struggle at the plate, drawing a walk. Tatis grounded out to shortstop on a cutter, scoring a run. Juan Soto followed with a changeup to center for an RBI double. Manny Machado grounded out to second base to end the inning.
In the eighth, he was hit by a changeup to Jake Cronenworth with one out, but induced Ha-Sung Kim to ground out to shortstop to end the inning. It’s been a rough start to Flexen’s pre-free agency season. Seattle’s 3-10 loss.