After becoming the first foreign pitcher in KBO history to win 20 games and strike out 200 batters in a single season, “Monster Pitcher” Eric Pedi (30-NC Dinos) will be wearing a different uniform next season.
Pedi made KBO history on Tuesday at Changwon NC Park. In a home game against the Hanwha Eagles, Peddie pitched six innings of seven-hit ball with one walk and six strikeouts to lead NC to a 2-0 victory. He threw 91 pitches and was very economical.
With the win, Peddie became the 20th pitcher to win 20 games and added six strikeouts to reach 200 strikeouts in a season.
In the history of the KBO, only five players have recorded 20 wins and 200 strikeouts in the same season. In 1983, Jang Myung-boo of the Sammi Superstars won 30 games and struck out 220 batters; in 1984, Choi Dong-won of the Lotte Giants won 27 games and struck out 223 batters; in 1985, Kim Si-jin of the Samsung Lions won 25 games and struck out 201 batters; and in 1986, Sun Dong-yeol of the Hattae Tigers won 24 games and struck out 214 batters. It would be 37 years before Pedi would be able to take over the baton, as the record was lost after Sun Dong-yeol in 1986.
Peddie’s 20 wins also changed NC franchise history. He became the first 20-win pitcher in NC history. NC, which was founded as the ninth team in the KBO in 2011 and entered the first team in 2013, is on track to become the first team to produce a 20-win pitcher. Previously, Eric Hacker in 2015 and Drew Luchinski in 2020 had won 19 games for the franchise.
Both Hacker and Luchinski had “longevity” with the organization, but there’s no guarantee that Peddy will be in an NC uniform next year. The regular season hasn’t even ended yet, and there’s already a lot of speculation about his future. That’s because Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball teams are already keeping tabs on him. Some believe that the NC will have a hard time paying Pedi’s sky-high price tag. Moreover, the KBO has a foreign player salary cap system, making it difficult for NC to go “all in” on just one player.
Eric Hacker ⓒKyun Hye-mi Reporter
Luchinski ⓒKyuk Hye-mi Reporter
NC is currently tied for third place with SSG Landers. They are one game behind the 5th place Doosan Bears. The third through fifth places are also in the midst of an epic battle. While NC is busy focusing on the battle for the top spot, they will soon have to deal with the issue of Pedi’s residency.
Pedi’s name has already started to appear in American media. MLB Trade Rumors (MLBTR), which covers major league news, mentioned Peddie’s name as a possible candidate for the San Diego Padres, who are in need of starting pitching reinforcements.
This year, left-hander Blake Snell has been the de facto ace for San Diego, going 14-9 with a 2.25 ERA in 180 innings pitched. He pitched so well that he was even mentioned as a candidate for the National League Cy Young Award. Right-hander Seth Lugo was a steady presence, going 8-7 with a 3.56 ERA in 146⅓ innings. The problem is that both pitchers are eligible for free agency after this season. It’s unclear if San Diego will be able to hold onto both Snell and Lugo.
The Padres already have Darvish Yu and Joe Musgrove under contract, but they’re both injury prone. Darvish went 8-10 with a 4.56 ERA in 136⅓ innings this year, while Musgrove went 10-3 with a 3.05 ERA, but only in 97⅓ innings. Right-hander Michael Wacka, who has a club option for next year, will have to wait to see what San Diego does with him. Waka has bounced back this year, going 14-4 with a 3.22 ERA in 134⅓ innings pitched.
If the Padres are to rebound next season, they’ll need to bolster their starting pitching. “The Padres need to bring in two or three starting pitchers,” said MLBTR, “with Michael Lorenzen, Lance Lynn, Kyle Gibson, James Paxton, Martin Perez, and Hyun-jin Ryu as lower-end options in free agency. Luis Severino is a candidate for a one-year deal,” he said of the starting options San Diego could pursue in free agency. It’s noteworthy that Hyun-jin Ryu was mentioned, as he underwent Tommy John surgery last year and returned in August of this year. Hyun-jin Ryu has been a revelation this year for the Toronto Blue Jays, going 3-3 with a 3.46 ERA in 52 innings pitched.
Here’s what MLBTR had to say about Pedi as a potential signing. “San Diego is a team that actively pursues players from the Asian baseball leagues,” MLBTR wrote, “and it’s likely they’ll make inquiries about Pedi, who plays in South Korea.”
As MLBTR notes, San Diego is a team that actively pursues players from Asian professional baseball. Kim Ha-seong came from the KBO, while Robert Suarez and Nick Martinez were acquired after watching them play in Nippon Professional Baseball. Pedi, which is currently dominating the KBO league, is also likely to be watched with interest.
Pedi ⓒKyun Hye-mi Reporter
Pedi ⓒReporter Byun Hye-mi
In fact, Pedi has been in the spotlight as an ‘ultra-premium foreigner’ since he joined the NC. After making his major league debut with the Washington Nationals in 2017, Peddie went 1-0 with a 9.39 ERA that year, but went 2-4 with a 5.54 ERA in 2018, 4-2 with a 4.50 ERA in 2019, and 2-4 with a 4.29 ERA in 202. In 2021, he went 7-9 with a 5.47 ERA in 133⅓ innings, and last year, he went 6-13 with a 5.81 ERA in 127 innings. In short, he’s been a full-time starter in the majors for the past two years.
Peddy was released as a non-tender at the end of last season and NC quickly made contact and landed the “big fish”. NC signed Pedi to a $200,000 signing bonus and $800,000 annual salary, bringing him in under the $1 million cap for new foreign players.
Since entering the Korean scene by accident, Pedi has continued to make a name for himself as an active big leaguer. With a 20-6 record with a 2.06 ERA and 204 strikeouts in 174⅔ innings pitched in 29 games this year, Pedi leads the league in ERA, wins, and strikeouts and is on pace to win the Triple Crown. With a two-seam fastball that reaches up to 153 kilometers, as well as a curveball, cutter, changeup, and sweeper, he has completely dominated the KBO.
Starting the opening game against Samsung on April 1,토토사이트 Pedi threw five innings of four-hit ball with three walks and six strikeouts to record his first win in the KBO, and on April 7, he threw eight innings of four-hit ball with 10 strikeouts against the Changwon Kiwoom, marking the arrival of the “monster pitcher”. After going 4-1 with a 0.47 ERA in the month of April, Pedi went on to go 14-2 with a 1.74 ERA through July.
After struggling in his first start of August, giving up five runs on nine hits in four innings against the Sasik Lotte on August 2, Peddie bounced back with a seven-inning, four-hit shutout against the Incheon SSG on August 8 to improve his ERA to 1.97. Pedi’s most disappointing game came on August 31 against the Gwangju KIA. He gave up seven runs on eight hits in three innings, raising his season ERA to 2.39, and he has yet to regain his sub-one ERA. However, he has lowered his ERA to 2.06, so there is still a chance that he can get back to a 1.00 ERA depending on his future results.
Pedi is now an integral part of the history of foreign pitchers in the KBO. Despite only playing one year in Korea and potentially moving on to the United States or Japan, Pedi has made a huge impact.
He’s already been featured in American media outlets, so we can’t wait to see how his career will turn out. The postseason hasn’t even started yet, but there will be plenty of stories about Pedi. It’s one of the biggest stories of the upcoming Stovrig.