William Cuevas (33-KT Wiz) is back in the KBO, and he’s been on a roll since his return, helping to fuel his team’s rise.
Cuevas made his debut in Korean baseball in the 2019 season in a KT uniform. He went 33-23 with a 3.89 ERA in 82 games and 486 1/3 innings before leaving the team with an elbow injury last May. In the 2021 season, he made his mark on the team’s history by playing a revolutionary role in the organization’s first ever unified championship.
Cuevas returned to KT on March 9. The team pulled out the replacement card when foreign pitcher Bo Schuler, 29, struggled and filled his spot with the “career” Cuevas.
As a career player, Cuevas took a long time to adjust. It didn’t. He’s been impressive right out of the gate, helping the team climb the table. In his first three appearances since his return, last month, he went 1-0 with a 3.24 ERA in 16⅔ innings with 14 hits, three walks, 13 strikeouts and six runs against the Suwon Samsung Lions on March 17 and the Suwon NC Dinos on March 30.
When Cuevas joined the team, KT manager Lee Kang-cheol said, “We’ll have to wait and see for two or three games,” but he praised him for exceeding expectations. In a recent manager’s briefing, he said, “I didn’t worry too much about acclimatization. The performance is the same, the pitching is the same, the mentality is the same. We’ve won all the games that Cuevas has pitched, so he makes the game (competitive),” he said, giving a thumbs-up.
KT has had its share of starting pitching woes since the start of the season. Foreign pitchers Wes Benjamin (30) and Schuler have been up and down, and neither has been able to fulfill their roles as starters. The team began to slip in the standings due to a combination of factors, including the poor performance of foreign pitchers, 메이저사이트 which is a major factor in the league, and made a change to turn things around. Cue the return of Cuevas.
The team’s performance has been on an upward curve since Cuevas’ return. The team finished first in the league last month (15-8, .652 winning percentage) and has continued to roll this month, winning both of its first two games.
“The reason for the upswing is the pitching,” Lee said. When the pitching staff is stable, we can perform well. “Cuevas is the lucky one. In three games, he won one game, and the team won all three games. (Cuevas) made it possible for us to win the game.”
The addition of Cuevas, a returning veteran, is the final piece of the puzzle in KT’s rise. The Wizards have climbed from the bottom of the table to seventh place in the league (33 wins, 2 draws, 37 losses). Will Cuevas be able to revitalize a team that is on the rise?