The KT Wiz starting lineup is on the verge of a ‘complete’ rebuild. It’s up to the foreign duo to make it work.
KT made a foreign pitching change on the 9th. The team released Bo Schulcer (29), who had been struggling, and brought in right-hander William Cuevas (33).
Cuevas is a proven foreign pitcher with a record of 33 wins (23 losses) in 82 games over four seasons in a KT uniform in 2019. KT reacquired Cuevas to reduce the time for a replacement foreign pitcher to acclimate and prove himself in the league.
This gives KT a left-handed foreign 메이저놀이터 one-two punch of Wes Benjamin (30) and Cuevas. It’s a combination that KT has long dreamed of. When Cuevas was released last year due to a right elbow injury, KT chose Benjamin because of the lack of left-handed pitching in the starting rotation. KT hoped that if Cuevas returned healthy in the future, they would be able to form one of the strongest “left-right one-two punch” in the KBO.
With the reconstitution of the foreign duo, KT has built a stable starting lineup. With the recent stabilization of the homegrown starting lineup of Go Young-pyo, Uhm Sang-baek, and Bae Je-seong, expectations have grown. As long as the foreign pitchers survive, KT can recreate the glory of the ‘Starting Kingdom’.
But it’s not too soon to be confident. Benjamin hasn’t gotten back on track yet, and Cuevas has health issues.
In 12 starts this season, Benjamin is 6-3 with a 4.48 ERA. He has a high win total thanks to run support from his offense, but the quality of his work is poor. He hasn’t lived up to his pre-season hype of being “one of the best left-handed pitchers in the league”.
The reason for Benjamin’s struggles, according to his manager, is mental. He believes that Benjamin is struggling with impatience due to the pressure to pitch perfectly. Recently, KT manager Lee Kang-cheol has been working on Benjamin for a long time, and it will be interesting to see if it works.
Cuevas has a history of surgery. Last year, Cuevas went under the knife for right elbow pain after repeated rehabilitation, recovery training, and game preparation. “I feel completely fine now,” Cuevas said in an interview after his release last year. But his surgical history is a concern.
His poor performance in Triple-A (Oklahoma City) this year (6.14 ERA in 11 games) is also somewhat concerning. The pieces are there, but it remains to be seen if he can deliver.