Two pitchers who once did not receive much attention in the major leagues grew up in the KBO league and returned to the major leagues, and were included in the national team list, which can be called ‘peak’. This is the story of Merrill Kelly (35, Arizona) and Brooks Rayleigh (35, New York Mets).
The U.S. national team announced the final roster for the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) to be held in March on the 10th (Korean time). Along with the Dominican Republic, the United States, which is recognized as the strongest candidate for the championship, will mobilize all its star players and go on a hunt for the championship.
Of course, there are players who do not go to the WBC for one reason or another. In particular, the pitcher side is evaluated as somewhat weaker than the fielder side, which is a luxury member. Still, pitchers with sufficient track record in the major leagues have been summoned, and the US plan is to challenge the championship by combining these players well.
Among the players on the pitching list, there are names that are familiar to us. It’s Kelly and Rayleigh. The two players are players who returned to the major leagues after playing for a long time in the KBO league. Before coming to the KBO League, it was an unimaginable call for a national team, but this has become a reality. It is the WBC that the two players will have a special feeling.
Kelly has already been confirmed to join the national team last year. Kelly, who had no major league career before coming to SK, is considered a solid starting pitcher, recording 36 wins, 35 losses and an average ERA of 3.96 in 97 games over four years after signing with Arizona in 2019. His inning digestibility exceeded expectations, and he recorded steady results without major ups and downs, making a leap forward as one of the starting pitchers in Arizona. 스포츠토토
Rayleigh, who returned to the United States in 2020 after playing for Lotte, also achieved good results with an average ERA of 3.89 with 3 wins, 6 losses and 9 saves in 139 games for 3 years after returning. In particular, last year, he played 60 games and posted an outstanding ERA of 2.68. He made a name for himself as a left-handed batsman, and is expected to carry out similar duties in the WBC this year.
While veterans such as Clayton Kershaw (LA Dodgers) and Adam Wainwright (St. Louis) are scheduled to lead the team mound, the fielding team is the United States, which is evaluated as one of the strongest in the tournament. Mike Trout (LA Angels), Pete Alonso (New York Mets), Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt (St. Louis), Mookie Betts (LA Dodgers), JT Realmuto, Trey Turner (Philadelphia), Kyle Tucker (Houston) , and Cedric Mullins (Baltimore).