Former Oakland Athletics prospect Dan Straily has been dominant in the Korean Baseball Organization, boding well for a return to the majors.
When last we saw Dan Straily, he was getting shelled during his time with the Baltimore Orioles. Signed a week into the 2019 season, Straily seemed like he would be an excellent low cost option, the type of pitcher that the Orioles would be able to flip at the deadline.
Instead, he posted a horrific 9.82 ERA and a 1.993 WHiP in his 47.2 innings. Straily allowed 22 walks, and 22 homers in that span, an atrocious 4.2 home runs per nine innings. Even a demotion to the bullpen after his eight starts did not help – he posted an 11.77 ERA and a 2.000 WHiP in 13 relief innings, allowing 5.5 HR/9 before being banished to the minors.
Understandably, there were no major league teams interested in bringing Straily in, even with a minor league contract. Instead, he headed across the Pacific to the Korean Baseball Organization, hoping to resurrect his career with the Lotte Giants. Perhaps, with a strong enough showing, he would be able to find his way back stateside, showing his disastrous 2019 was not a sign that he was done as a quality pitcher.
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That move has paid dividends thus far. Straily has dominated in the KBO, his 1-2 record belying an excellent 2.10 ERA and a 1.006 WHiP. Over his 55.2 innings, Straily has struck out 62 batters with just 17 walks. Even more impressively, he has allowed just two home runs thus far, showing an incredible ability to keep the ball in the park.
Straily has made quite the impact thus far. His 55.2 innings and 62 strikeouts both lead the KBO. He ranks third in ERA and WHiP, while his .199 batting average against ranks second. At this point, the battle for the top pitcher in the KBO will come down to Straily and Chang-Mo Koo of the NC Dinos.
This move has certainly worked wonders for Straily. While the KBO is not the offensive driven league it once was, he has been utterly dominant. As Straily looks to prove that he can be a viable major league option once more, his performance in the KBO is doing exactly that.
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Dan Straily has dominated in the Korean Baseball Organization despite what his record may say. He may well be back in the majors next season if he keeps this up.