Foreign pitcher William Cuevas, 33, is back in Korea after leading the KT Wiz to the 2021 championship. After stepping on Korean soil for the first time in a long time and meeting up with old teammates, Cuevas spoke about the differences between hitters in the KBO after traveling around the league.
Cuevas pitched out of the bullpen for the SSG Landers in the eighth game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League season at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on Thursday. After being reunited with his old teammates after his arrival on the 12th, he checked his pitching form in front of manager Lee Kang-cheol.
Cuevas threw a total of 32 pitches. He checked his fastball, two-seam, cutter, curve, and changeup. After watching him pitch, Lee said, “It’s the same. It’s fine. He looks solid. It would be good if he could be a part of the starting staff and lead us well.” “He told me, ‘Don’t worry,'” Lee said.
Cuevas is scheduled to start against the Samsung Lions in Suwon on the 17th. He was excited to meet the media at a KBO ballpark for the first time in a long time.
“It’s been a year since I’ve seen my KT teammates, but it’s like I’ve never left. I was able to adapt quickly. I’m ready to play. I can’t wait to play with my KT teammates,” he said.
Since making his KBO debut in 2019, Cuevas has compiled a 33-23 record with a 3.89 ERA in 82 games over four seasons. In 2021, he won the tiebreaker against the Samsung Lions in the KBO’s first championship in 35 years and pitched in the Korean Series to lead the franchise to its first overall title.
However, an injury sidelined him during the 2022 season. Cuevas shook off the elbow injury and started throwing again. His comeback was in the Mexican league. From there, he moved on to the American minor leagues before returning to South Korea.
He played for the Triple-A Oklahoma 메이저놀이터 City Dodgers of the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. In 11 games (nine starts) in the minors, he went 2-2 with a 6.14 ERA. In between, he played in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in March.
“After leaving KT last year, I went to the Mexican league,” Cuevas said. In March of this year, I represented Colombia in the WBC. Then I signed with the LA Dodgers and played in the American minor leagues, and now I’m here again. It’s been a roller coaster. I can’t believe I’m still here,” he said.
For about a year, he played in the Mexican league, the WBC international tournament, and the U.S. minor leagues, where he saw the differences in the KBO.
After more than three seasons of experience, Cuevas talked about the difficulties of traveling to Korea on short notice for a minor league schedule, taking seven flights in six days, and said, “There are players in the Mexican league who have experience in Triple-A and Major League Baseball. “I don’t know if I can give you an exact answer, but the hitters in the KBO are definitely making better contact.
Cuevas left the KBO with a 33-23 record and a 3.89 ERA in 82 games. It will be interesting to see what he has to offer when he takes the mound again on July 17.