The joy of returning to the major leagues did not last long. Left-handed pitcher Andrew Suarez (31), who was released in the United States following Japan, is continuing his difficult path after leaving Korea.
The St. Louis Cardinals excluded five players, including pitchers Suarez, Casey Lawrence, and Kyle Leahy, and infielders Irving Lopez and Juniel Cuerecuto, from the 40-man roster on the 27th (Korean time).
Among them, Lehi, Lorez, and Querecouto were transferred to Triple A Memphis Redbird under St. Louis, while Suarez and Lawrence were released as free agents. De facto release action. Through this roster move, St. Louis left five spots empty on the 40-man roster.
After signing a minor league contract with St. Louis last January, Suarez performed well in Triple A with 4 wins, 2 losses, and an average ERA of 4.08 in 28 games (3 starts, 64 innings), and received a major league call-up at the end of July. 스포츠토토
In 2020, he succeeded in returning to the major leagues for the first time in three years since his time with the San Francisco Giants, but he was nothing more or less than a losing pitcher. Suarez, who appeared in relief in all 13 games, had no wins or losses and had an ERA of only 7.16. He failed to show competitiveness with an OPS of .926, including hitting 7 home runs in 27⅔ innings.
Suarez is a player with ties to Korean baseball. In 2021, he wore the LG Twins uniform and played in the KBO League for a year. He performed at a high level in 23 games (115⅓ innings), with 10 wins, 2 losses, an ERA of 2.18, and 126 strikeouts. In the first half of the year, he was treated as LG’s No. 1 starter with results that surpassed Casey Kelly, but he has been absent frequently since July due to back and elbow injuries. His ability to digest innings also gradually decreased.
Unfortunately, we were unable to find contact with LG during the contract renewal process after the season ended. When LG did not accept Suarez’s high demands, he headed to Japan. He signed a one-year contract with Yakult Swallows for $800,000 (excluding incentives). However, due to the impact of COVID-19, the Japanese government restricted the entry of new foreign players, delaying their joining the team even before the season.
Although he debuted in the first team at the end of May, he failed to make it past the fifth inning in three out of five games. He pitched only 21⅔ innings in 6 first-team games (5 starts), ending with no wins or losses and an ERA of 6.23. He stayed in the second team longer than the first team, and the failure to renew his contract was natural. He returned to the United States this year after spending a year in Korea and Japan, but he realized the high walls of the major league and had to find a new team again.
For Suarez, who repeatedly performed poorly and was released in Japan and the United States, the decision to leave Korea two years ago was regrettable. Although it was consequential, it was a complete defeat. If he had remained a sufficiently competitive pitcher in the KBO League, he would have had a long run at LG and would have benefited financially, but now it is just a useless assumption. In order to return to Korea, LG must release the hold. LG holds the right to reserve Suarez until 2026.
Two years ago, LG prepared Plan B instead of being dragged around by Suarez. That player was right-hander Adam Plutko. Plutko performed well at LG for two years with 49 games (285 ⅓ innings), 26 wins, 8 losses, an ERA of 2.40, and 250 strikeouts, but the finish was not good. After suffering a bruise to his left pelvic bone while pitching in the game against Changwon NC on August 26, he had a conflict with the club during the rehabilitation process. He was out of the season after delaying rehabilitation based on the opinion of his personal doctor in the U.S., and was excluded from the Korean Series entry, so he returned home early on the 27th.