The challenge of Drew Luchinski (35‧ Oakland), a former NC ace and a foreign ace representing the KBO league, ended in vain. He struggled with frequent injuries, which ultimately ended his season. In various circumstances, the possibility that the ‘Major League Dream’ will not be caught has increased.
Oakland issued a press release and officially announced on the 10th (Korean time) that Luczynski had lumbar surgery on the 9th and that he would not play for the rest of the season. It is known that Luchinski successfully completed surgery 스포츠토토 under the supervision of Dr. Watkins Jr. in Los Angeles. In the end, it was said that there was a problem with his lumbar spine, and he had to spend a lot of time in rehabilitation.
The reason for the injury announced when Luczynski broke away from the line was an abdominal problem. He predicted that just looking at the name of the disease, it would not take that long to recover. However, it later turned out that the problem was more serious than expected, and he was eventually moved from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list on June 21. And with lumbar surgery on the 9th, the season officially ended.
It’s an empty season out. It was Luchinski who signed a two-year, up to $8 million contract (approximately 10.5 billion won), including a one-year guarantee of $3 million (approximately 3.95 billion won) and a team option for next year ahead of this season. With his brilliant career in the KBO league, he succeeded in returning to the major leagues. It was called another ‘reverse export myth’ of the KBO League. It was also a challenge for Auckland, which could not afford to recruit a starting pitcher with expensive money due to the team’s financial conditions, to ‘recruit cost-effectively’.
Auckland’s starting rotation was weak, so expectations for Luczynski were not small. Although he joined a losing team, a team like Oakland could have been better in terms of securing his chances. He was a decent 35-year-old, so the terms of a contract that could hopefully expand to two years and $8 million weren’t bad either. But his injury ruined everything. His body is too damaged, and he is in a situation where he cannot escape the stigma of ‘eating and running’.
From spring training, I had problems everywhere in my body. I couldn’t send a proper spring training, and my pitch was seldom revived, raising concerns. There was even a failure to properly adapt to the pitch clock introduced in the major leagues this year. Right before the start of the season, he was placed on the disabled list on the 15th due to a hamstring injury. It was a tardy opening.
It wasn’t until April 29 that he made his first appearance of the season, but pitching was poor. He failed to record a single quality start (less than 3 earned runs in 6 or more innings of start) in 4 games, losing all 4 games in 18 innings with an earned run average of 9.00. He had a 0.346 batting average and a 2.28 on-base per inning (WHIP), both failing. Eventually, after starting against Arizona on May 16 (3⅔innings, 5 runs), he disappeared from the major league stage. There was no place for Luchinski in the starting pitcher or the bullpen.
The conclusion from this contract, which ended in vain for both Auckland and Luczynski, is simple. Oakland is certain not to exercise Luczynski’s $5 million 2024 option. This is because it was confirmed that even if the surgery went well, the average speed and other pitches this year have significantly decreased. As for Luczynski’s data, Auckland knows best.
Luczynski now has to start from scratch. Getting him back to health is key ahead of the 2024 season, and he’ll have to work hard to get a chance to prove it. His major league guaranteed contract looks tough. There is a possibility that it will not be easy to sign a minor league contract because he has not shown anything this year and has been injured.
Considering that he is one year older, it is not certain whether a U-turn in the KBO League will be possible. Luchinski, who entered the KBO league by signing a contract with NC in 2019, won and won with a powerful sinker and strong pitch and game management skills. He played in the KBO League for four years from 2019 to 2022, recording 53 wins and 36 losses with an average ERA of 3.06, and was one of the best aces in the league during this period. His right to reserve is held by NC.
However, it is burdensome that his body has been confirmed to deteriorate rapidly this year, perhaps because he threw 732⅔ innings for four years. The average velocity of Luchinski’s four-seam fastball this season was 89 miles (approximately 143.2 km), which was significantly lower than last year when he played in the KBO League. It is highly probable that many clubs are not convinced here. In addition to the dropped four-seam and sinker velocity, the slider also lost power and recorded a hit rate of 0.375.
Oakland, which turned its attention to the Asian league because it could not recruit expensive players in the major leagues, also turned into a major failure. Ahead of this season, Oakland recruited Luchinski from the KBO League and Shintaro Fujinami from the Nippon Professional Baseball respectively. It was a recruitment that was expected to be low-cost and high-efficiency. Both players had an annual guarantee of around $3 million. As a starter, even if you play more than 100 innings, you could become a good business.
However, Luchinski ended this season after starting 4 major league games, and Fujinami lost his starting position amid anxiety about pitching, leaving the worst record of 5 wins, 8 losses and an ERA of 8.57 in 34 games (7 starts) in Oakland. Chae was traded to Baltimore. It is even more heartbreaking since he is doing well after moving to Baltimore (3.12 ERA in 8 games). One more dark history named Luchinski has been added to the 2023 history of Oakland, one of the worst teams in the league this season.