This is a second warning. If it doesn’t change, there’s nothing to look forward to.
I’m talking about KT Wiz’s new foreign pitcher, Bo Schuler. KT removed Schuler from the first team roster on the 29th.
Acquired in a trade for Odrisamer Despaigne, Schuler was expected to provide a foreign one-two punch alongside Wes Benjamin with a fastball over 150km/h and a variety of changeups.
However, his early results in the KBO have been abysmal. In nine games, he’s 1-7 with a 5.62 ERA. His strikeout-to-walk ratio is a whopping 3-for-3.
Schuler made his debut on April 11 against the NC Dinos, and although he took the loss, he raised expectations with seven innings of four-hit, one-run ball, and earned his first win on April 16 against the Hanwha Eagles with six innings of four-hit ball.
His nightmare began on the third day, when he gave up five runs (four earned) on 11 hits in seven innings against the Doosan Bears. He hasn’t won a game since, dropping six straight. On April 28 against the Samsung Lions, the only game without a win, he was on the verge of losing after giving up three runs in five innings, but a dramatic eight-run eighth inning tied the game at 8-8. That game was also a 9-10 loss for KT, meaning that in the nine games that Schuler has pitched, KT has gone 1-8.
There are many problems, but the first is that Schuler has not yet adapted to the KBO. He tends to stick to his own style. Against the LG Twins on April 17, Schuler asked the coaching staff if he could pitch with his lead, and manager Lee Kang-cheol agreed. In that game, Schuler pitched a scoreless third inning, but gave up five runs on four hits and two walks in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Lee has been working on a solution ever since. On Nov. 21, Lee noted a change in Schuler’s pitching style when he worked with him out of the bullpen. Usually, foreign pitchers prefer to pitch with a fastball. If the fastball is so good that the opponent knows it and can’t hit it properly, it doesn’t matter, but otherwise, they have to mix up their pitches and face Korean hitters. 메이저놀이터
“Korean hitters are good with fastballs,” Lee said, “but you need to mix it up and be more precise. She definitely has good stuff,” he said. “He doesn’t need more innings. He just needs to throw six good innings. You don’t need 100 in three or four innings,” he advised Schoeller, who was trying to pitch too well. It was advice, but it was also his first warning. The fact that the manager himself told him that he had to change is a sign of patience.
On the 23rd, against the Kiwoom Heroes, Schuler clearly showed improvement. He gave up two runs on six hits in 6⅓ innings, his first quality start in over a month. The offense didn’t get the support it needed in the 1-3 loss, leaving Schuler the losing pitcher, but there is hope.