The possibility of another myth of ‘reverse export from Korea’ is rising. Drew Luchinski (35, Oakland) is expected to be in the starting rotation from the start of this season.
On the 12th (Korean time), MLB.com, the official website of the Major League Baseball (MLB), listed Luczynski as one of the five starting rotations while predicting Oakland’s opening 26-man roster.
The media listed Luczynski and Japanese pitcher Shintaro Fujinami (29) in the existing Auckland starting lineup. MLB.com projected that “they are likely to start the season in the starting rotation.”
Actually, this was to some extent expected. Last year, Oakland, the lowest-ranking team in the American League West, had a weak point in its starting lineup. Due to the circumstances of the small market team, many starting resources such as Frankie Montas (New York Yankees), Sean Mynaya (San Francisco), and Chris Bassett (Toronto) had to be sent.
In addition, at the end of January, left-hander Cole Irvin (29), the only regular innings pitcher on the team, was traded to Baltimore. Excluding Paul Blackburn (7-6, 4.28 ERA) or James Caprellian (5-9, 5.06 ERA), the remaining positions have become empty.
In this situation, although it is in the KBO league, the existence of Luchinski, who has consistently rotated the starting rotation for four years, is precious to Oakland. After appearing in 41 big league games, he moved to the NC Dinos in 2019 and entered the Asian stage. In Korea, he appeared in 121 games in four seasons until last year, recording 53 wins and 36 losses with an ERA of 3.06. 안전놀이터
The grades were good, but the details were also excellent. According to the baseball statistics site Statties, Luchinski’s average fastball speed in the 2022 season was 149.1 km per hour, which increased rather than 2019 (147.3 km). He further improved his perfection by refining the splitter and cutter.
Luczynski played more than 170 innings every year in Korea. Last year, he threw 193⅔ innings and showed off his innings eater properly. As he rises to the higher leagues, his innings will decrease, but his durability has been proven.
At the end of last year, Oakland signed a 1+1 year contract with Luchinski for up to $8 million (approximately 10.1 billion won). Luczynski himself rejected a strong team and chose Auckland, where he could receive a starting opportunity.
Over the past few years, there have been several players in the major leagues who have returned to the US after playing in the KBO. Among them, Merrill Kelly (Arizona) and Brooks Reilly (New York Mets) improved their position within the team with outstanding results. Coincidentally, Kelly, Rayleigh, and Luczynski were all born in 1988. It is said that Luchinski can also play an active role for 1-2 years.