The Hanwha Eagles of the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) announced the departure of foreign pitcher Felix Peña (34) on the 26th. He was scheduled to start against SSG in Munhwa, but the game was canceled due to rain, and Peña’s farewell game was also canceled. The club explained the situation and apologized, but Peña took it in stride and expressed his gratitude. After landing in Daejeon, he said goodbye to the team and packed his bags. Hanwha formalized the parting of ways on the 27th by requesting a waiver from the KBO for Peña.

Hanwha, which hasn’t abandoned its top-five hopes, has been preparing to replace its pitching staff with a foreigner since late last month. They kept in touch with Jaime Barria, a 22-win right-hander they tried to sign last winter but fell through, and when Peña’s struggles deepened, they quickly decided to make a move. Peña’s numbers this season are nothing to write home about, going 3-5 with a 6.27 ERA, 29 strikeouts, a 1.63 WHIP, and a 2.07 K/BB ratio in nine games (37⅓ innings).

His fastball average velocity dropped from 144.8 mph last year to 143.1 mph this year, according to PTS. His changeup, which is the key to his fastball’s success, also dropped in power. He struggled with springtime pollen allergies, but he didn’t rebound after May, when the weather warmed up. He is in his mid-30s, which is the age of the aging curve. Sinking to the bottom of the standings and struggling to rebound, 스포츠토토 Hanwha couldn’t afford to wait long.

Although he left the team midway through the season, Peña left his mark on Hanwha’s foreign player history.

After joining Hanwha in June 2022 as a replacement for Nick Kingham, Peña went 5-4 with a 3.72 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 13 games (67⅔ innings). Last year, he played a full season, going 11-11 with a 3.60 ERA and 147 strikeouts in 32 games (177 1/3 innings) as the No. 1 starter. His 19 quality starts were the second-most in franchise history for a foreign pitcher, behind only Warwick Suffold (20) in 2019.

Without much depth, Hanwha’s starting rotation has always been thin. Injuries and poor performances have shuffled the lineup, but Peña has remained a steady presence in the rotation and fulfilled his innings-eating duties. He was responsible enough to keep pitching, even when his nails were chipped and bleeding, wiping the blood on his uniform pants.

This consistency and work ethic earned Peña a second consecutive contract with Hanwha. Peña is the fourth foreign player to play at least three years for Hanwha, joining outfielder Jay Davis (seven years) from 1999-2006 (excluding 2003), pitcher Denny Batista (three years) from 2011-2013, and outfielder Gerard Hoying (three years) from 2018-2020.

As a veteran with 15 wins in six major league seasons, Peña was a role model for younger players.

He had a special place in his heart for the sticky fireballer, even calling him out on Monday off days early last season. “If you’re a starter, you have to be ready on Mondays. Let’s work out together,” he told him, as they played catch and lifted weights at the baseball field, giving him the routine he needed to follow as a starter. Moon said, “I learned a lot from Peña, including his mindset as a professional athlete. He teaches me a lot because I’m inexperienced,” Moon said.

He also taught Ricardo Sanchez, another foreign pitcher on the same team and a potential competitor, how to use his changeup. 메이저사이트 Sanchez has been working on his changeup since spring training to improve its value and has seen his performance rise this season. “Peña has helped me a lot. I want to thank him for that,” he said.

Although Peña did not complete his third season, he left behind a legacy of a starting routine for Moon and a changeup for Sanchez. Although Peña is no longer a Hanwha player, his legacy will continue to help the team for years to come.

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