Former NC ace and the KBO’s leading foreign ace, Drew Ruchinski (35, Oakland), has had a rough go of it. He struggled with frequent injuries, which eventually ended his season. A number of circumstances made it seem likely that the ‘Major League Dream’ would not come true.
The A’s released a press release and announced on Tuesday that Luchinski underwent lumbar surgery on the 9th and will miss the remainder of the season. Luchinski reportedly underwent a successful surgery in Los Angeles under the care of Dr Watkins Jr. The surgery was performed by Dr Watkins Jr in Los Angeles and was successful.
The injury announced at the time of Luchinski’s withdrawal was an abdominal condition. Based on the diagnosis, it was expected that his recovery would not take that long. However, it turned out that the problem was more serious, and on 21 June he was moved from the 15-day injured list to the 60-day injured list. On 9 June, he underwent back surgery, officially ending his season.
A wasted season. Prior to the season, Luchinski had signed a one-year, $3 million guaranteed contract with a team option for next year for a maximum of $8 million over two years. Luchinski was able to return to the major leagues after a stellar career in the KBO. It was another of the KBO’s “reverse export myths. Oakland’s financial situation meant that the team could not afford to sign a starting pitcher at a high price.
With Oakland’s weak starting rotation, expectations were high for Luchinski. Although he joined Ruzing, he might have been better off with a team like Oakland in terms of opportunity. At 35 years of age, the terms of his contract, which could be extended to two years and $8 million if all goes well, didn’t seem like a bad deal. But injuries ruined everything. His body is too damaged, and he’ll never be able to avoid the ‘gambling’ stigma.
From spring training, I had problems all over my body. He didn”t have a good spring training, and his pitches didn”t come alive, which raised concerns. He didn’t have a good spring training, and his pitches didn’t look like they were ready for the pitch clock that was introduced in the major leagues this year. Just before the start of the season, he was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring injury. It was a late start.
He didn’t make his first start of the season until 29 April, and it wasn’t pretty. He went 4-0 with a 9.00 ERA in 18 innings, including failing to record a single quality start (six or more innings of three earned runs or less) in four games. His .346 batting average and 2.28 WHIP were both abysmal, and after a start on 16 May against Arizona (five runs in 3⅔ innings), he disappeared from the major league scene. There was no place for Luchinski in the starting rotation or the bullpen.
The conclusion to this contract, which ended up being a bust for both Oakland and Luchinski, is simple. Oakland is almost certainly not going to exercise Luchinski’s $5 million option for 2024. That’s because even if the surgery went well, we’ve seen a significant decline in his velocity, including his average fastball this year. Oakland knows Luchinski’s data best.
Luchinski is now back to square one. He’ll need to be healthy in time for the 2024 season, and he’ll have to work hard to get a chance to prove it. A guaranteed major league contract seems unlikely. Even a minor league deal is likely to be a challenge, given what he hasn’t shown this year and his injuries.
Considering he’ll be a year older, it’s not clear if he’ll be able to make the switch to the KBO. Luchinski broke into the KBO in 2019 when he signed with the NC, and he quickly rose to prominence with a powerful sinker and strong command of his pitches and game management skills. He spent four years in the KBO from 2019 to 2022, posting a 53-36 record with a 3.06 ERA and was one of the league’s best aces during that time. NC holds the retention rights.
However, after throwing 732⅔ innings over four years, it’s troubling that his body has shown signs of rapid aging this year. Luchinski averaged 89 mph on his four-seam fastball this season, which is actually down significantly from last year when he was in the KBO. In addition to his declining fastball and sinker velocity, his slider has also lost power, leading to a .375 BABIP.
Oakland’s decision to turn to the Asian League after being unable to acquire expensive players from the major leagues also proved to be a disaster. Ahead of the season, Oakland acquired Luchinski from the KBO and Shintaro Fujinami from Nippon Professional Baseball. They were low-cost, high-impact signings. Both players were guaranteed around $3 million per year. They could make money if they pitched more than 100 innings as starters.온라인카지노
However, Luchinski was lost for the year after four major league appearances, and Fujinami lost his starting job amidst pitching anxiety and was traded to Baltimore after going 5-8 with an 8.57 ERA in 34 games (seven starts) in Oakland. It’s even more frustrating because he’s been doing well since the trade (3.12 ERA in eight games). Ruchinski is one more black mark in Oakland’s 20-year history as one of the league’s worst teams this season.