I thought my baseball life in Korea was over Confession of MLB Reverse Exporting Shinhwa
“There were dark days in Korea…”
Merrill Kelly (34, Arizona Diamondbacks), the top foreign pitcher the KBO League exported to the Major League, was selected as the National League pitcher of the month last month. He pitched 41이니 innings in six games in July, playing a special role with four wins, no losses, an ERA of 1.31 WHIP 0.77 strikeouts, and 33 strikeouts. His performance in 21 games (125 innings), 10 wins, 5 losses, and an ERA of 2.87 WHIP 1.13 strikeouts and 104 strikeouts. Since his big league debut in 2019, he has established himself as an Arizona ace in name and reality with his career high season.
In commemoration of the selection of this month’s pitcher, Kelly had an interview with the ‘MLB Network’ broadcast on the 4th (Korea Standard Time). In the interview, Kelly said, “I’m proud to have outdone others. I think the difference is the ability to throw strikes. I’ve done a good job of attacking batters, and I believe in my pitch.”
Kelly pitched seven innings, seven strikeouts and three hits or less in his last two games in July. It was the seventh Arizona pitcher in history and 18 years after ‘Big Unit’ Randy Johnson in 2004. In response, Kelly said, “It’s a record I didn’t know, but it’s meaningful. “I’m proud that I’m giving the bullpen a break by throwing as long as I can as a starter,” he said.
Kelly made his major league debut at the late age of 30. He stayed only in the minor leagues in the Tampa Bay Rays before moving to South Korea in 2015. After signing with SK Wyverns (now SSG Landers) at the young age of 26, he stayed for four years until 2018. In 119 KBO games (729 innings), 48 wins, 32 losses, and an ERA of 3.86 strikeouts and 641 strikeouts
He was scouted by Arizona in recognition of his steady performance in Korea. He made his major league debut by signing up to $14.5 million in 2+2 years. During the 2020 COVID-19 shortening season, he threw only five games for chest exit syndrome and underwent surgery, but played a full-time season after returning last year. Arizona also showed consistency as a starter for three years, and signed a two-year, $18 million extension contract ahead of this year’s opening.
After leaving Korea, the cumulative income alone exceeded 30 million dollars. Kelly, who achieved the greatest success in the major leagues among foreign players from the KBO League, also mentioned his Korean days in an interview. “It took me a long time to make my major league debut. When I was in Korea, Major League Baseball felt far away. There were days when I didn’t think I would step on the field as a big league player,” he recalled.
“There were dark days in Korea. When I allowed seven runs in a game, I thought my baseball career might end. I also thought about who would want a pitcher with a four-point ERA in Korea. It’s so nice to be able to talk about it like this now,” the corner of his mouth slightly went up. I enjoyed the present where I could recall the difficult times with a smile 토토사이트
Kelly had four games in Korea with more than seven runs. On July 4, 2017, against Munhak KIA, nine runs in two innings were the most lost games. He then collapsed on May 29, 2015, with 8 runs in 5이닝 innings against Munhak Nexen, 7 runs in 6 innings against Sajik Lotte on August 11, 2015, and 7 runs (6 earned runs) in 5 innings against Gwangju KIA on July 25, 2017