NC “Widener already confirmed out 2 weeks ago, need lefty in Koo Changmo void, sign Tanner”
The NC Dinos are going all out for their first postseason appearance in three years. The team has confirmed the replacement of a foreign pitcher early and is ready for fall baseball.
“We requested a waiver from the Korean Baseball Organization 메이저사이트(KBO) for Widener and signed pitcher Tanner Paul Tully (29) as a replacement foreign player,” the team announced on Thursday. The contract is worth a total of $200,000 ($262,000), with a $150,000 signing bonus and a $50,000 option.
Tanner, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound left-hander, throws a fastball that sits between 144 and 148 miles per hour and a mix of pitches including a slider, changeup, and curveball. “He has been a starter for the majority of his career and is recognized for his stamina and ability to stay in games,” the organization said.
His predecessor, Widener, signed a late signing bonus with NC ahead of spring training this season. He raised expectations with a good showing in camp, but his season started late due to a back injury. After making his return on May 30 against the Changwon Doosan, he went 4-2 with a 4.52 ERA in 11 games. His up-and-down pitches have been a problem for the bench.
NC general manager Lim Sun-nam told Star News on April 4, “Widener had a meeting with manager Kang Myung-ho after the end of the game against Hanwha (Daejeon) on the 22nd of last month. There was an opinion that a replacement was needed on the field, so after discussing it, we finally made the decision to replace him.” On that day, Widener pitched four innings and five hits, one walk, two strikeouts and three runs, which led to the club’s decision to release him. “If we sign a player after Aug. 15, we can’t register (for the postseason), so we decided that day as the deadline,” Lim said.
After deciding to replace the foreign player, NC quickly negotiated with Tanner’s club and finalized the deal within two weeks. In the meantime, Widener was in trouble after pitching seven innings and striking out eight against Sasik Lotte on March 3. “It took two weeks to negotiate with the club, and then he pitched well yesterday (March 3), so the timing was right,” Lim said.
Widener’s “roller coaster pitching” ultimately led to his removal. “We had high expectations for him because he looked good in camp,” Lim said. He came back after rehabilitation, but he didn’t consistently show what he did in camp and had ups and downs,” Lim explained. Widener’s inconsistency proved fatal, especially when the team was short on innings aside from Eric Peddie (30), who was the unchanged starter.
Tanner Tully in his major league days. /AFPBBNews=News1
Tanner, on the other hand, is a professional starter, having started 131 of his 159 career minor league games. In addition, he has maintained his feel for the game in Triple-A, making 26 starts in the last month. “We had a reason for replacing Widener, so we had to prioritize innings, and that’s why we signed Tanner, who has been a consistent starter in the minor leagues,” Lim said.
The fact that Tanner is a left-handed pitcher was also a selling point. NC has been using Koo Chang-mo (26), Choi Sung-young (26), and Jung Goo-beom (23) as left-handed starters this year. However, Koo has been sidelined with an injury since early June and has no timetable for his return, while Choi Sung-young has shown promise but was knocked down by a hit to the face and only recently made a rehab appearance.
NC’s Koo Chang-mo (right) walks off the mound after suffering an injury in the bottom of the first inning against the Jamsil LG on June 2. /Photo=NC Dinos
“We have a lot of holes in our starting lineup, and I thought it would be more balanced to have a left-handed pitcher,” Lim said. “Choi Sung-young’s return is not far off, but Koo Chang-mo is also taking time, and in the reality of the KBO league, it would be helpful to have a left-handed starter,” he said.
Meanwhile, Tanner will join the team as soon as the necessary administrative procedures are finalized, including the issuance of a visa. His absence is unlikely to be long, as he has been a consistent performer.
The NC Dinos are going all out for their first postseason appearance in three years. The team has confirmed the replacement of a foreign pitcher early and is ready for fall baseball. “We requested a waiver from the Korean Baseball Organization 메이저사이트(KBO) for Widener and signed pitcher Tanner Paul Tully (29) as a replacement foreign…