CPBL TWiB Notes -- May 7

Source: tw.sports.appledaily.com

1) The story of the week is without a doubt the graphic shown above. The Chinatrust Brothers employed the league's most epic relief corp in the form of Mitch Lively, Zack Segovia, and Nick Additon. Or did they?

Call it unconventional, call it innovative. Call it what you want but it worked. And when you're 6-20 I guess it doesn't hurt to try. For the three games that Lively, Segovia, and Additon were scheduled to start, the Brothers instead started RP's Hung Chen-Yu twice and Yang Chih-Lung once (first career start) with the intention of letting them pitch just two innings. They then brought in the big guns to handle the rest of the game and go deeper into games to finish things up which has been a huge problem for not just the Brothers, but the entire league.

And the result? Lively finished a 2-1 win over the Guardians, pitching the final seven innings in relief, yielding just one run on five hits in his first CPBL-career win. Next up Segovia. He matched Lively's seven innings giving up two runs (two solo homers) on four hits to secure his second win of the season (thanks to this). Then on Saturday, Additon pitched five scoreless giving up just five hits en route to MVP honors and his second win of the year.

It's hard to argue against the strategy when you're 3-0 employing it. It's an interesting sports psychology case study and I don't know how long the Brothers plan to use this tactic but it sure was fun watching as a fan. Having a struggling relief corps start the game with less pressure and having your three imports pitching during higher-leverage late innings seems like a cunning move. Hung and Yang went a combined six innings pitched, giving up seven hits, three earned runs, and no walks while punching out seven. Add it all up and it equals a quality "start".

2) If you're looking for Mr. Quality then look no further than the Lions' SP Josh Roenicke, who rattled off his seventh consecutive quality start (second this past week in two starts) and third win this year since joining the league. Roenicke hurled seven innings of one-run ball, lowering his ERA to 2.93. He trails only Bruce Kerns in that department and is also second in strikeouts with 51 to Guardians' Mike Loree's 62.

Roenicke's teammate and fellow CPBL-newbie Ryan Verdugo pitched a dandy this past week as well, limiting the vaunted Monkeys lineup to six hits, one walk, and zero runs while whiffing eight across seven innings to improve his record to 3-0. The tandem is a big reason the Lions are sitting in second (18-13) as we pass the half-way mark of the first half.

3) Lions' 3B Kuo Fu-Lin had himself a week offensively. In last week's five games, the former Yankees farmhand went 10-for-20, clobbering home runs in three consecutive games (a league-leading eight bombs) and adding six runs scored and six RBI, raising his average to a robust .347.

Another third-basemen, the Guardians' Chiang Chih-Hsien, is putting up some offensive fireworks as well. For the second consecutive week, Chiang had a two-homer game against the Monkeys. Chiang finished the week with a flurry, going eight-for-11 while driving in eight and scoring four. His average sits at .314.

4) Only in the CPBL: Brothers RP Cheng Chi-Hung has a higher WHIP (1.84) than ERA (1.74).

5) Congratulations to Guardians' SP Mike Loree on his 700th CPBL-career strikeout. He then escaped some serious injury on a comeback line drive in the 4th inning. It's stuff that you hate to see. Reports are that he is OK and that he will make his next start, thank goodness.

6) After being sent down to the minors for the better part of three weeks, Brothers' OF Chan Tzu-Hsien returned to the lineup for their weekend series against the Lions. After a breakout season last year, Chan had been flirting with the Mendoza Line all season long. He notched four base hits (two of them doubles) by hitting safely in all three games, raising his average from .200 to .222. Getting Chan right and eventually adding Lin Chih-Sheng really lengthens that lineup. Better offense means less pressure for that young pitching staff.

7) Shh...don't tell anyone but the Monkeys lost four games last week! It was admittedly a rough go-around for the reigning champs as they lost four in a row before salvaging the rubber game against Fubon, 5-2, on the strength of their best starter so far, Bruce Kerns (4-1, 2.42 ERA). This one you can yell from the rooftops...THE BROTHERS WIN CONSECUTIVE GAMES FOR THE FIRST TIME THIS SEASON! And they won three games in a week for the first time this season. Snyder's job should be safe for a little while longer. The Lions also went 3-2 this week (gaining two games on the Monkeys in the standings) while the Guardians finished the week 2-3.

8) In a rare four-game week for each team coming up, all four teams are set for a rematch as the Lions and Brothers will play a three-game series in Tainan while the Monkeys play host to the Guardians in Taoyuan. I'll be curious to see if the Brothers continue to turn things around so that's the series I have circled on my calendar.
Source: sports.ltn.com.tw
9) Here are some notable happenings down in the minors:

Guardians RP Kuo Hung-Chih made his third relief appearance of the year, firing one inning while giving up two runs (one earned) on one hit and two walks. He struck out two in the inning. Speculation has Kuo returning to the first team some time this week.

Zeke Spruill made his second start of the year and it was a clunker. Spruill went three innings allowing nine hits, six earned runs, and two walks while striking out two. His minors ERA ballooned to 10.50 while his WHIP sits at 2.83. Maybe Spruill is still rounding into form. Maybe he is working on mechanics. Or maybe he's hurt? Check out his first start here and you be the judge but his velocity seems down and his command is erratic.

The highest paid player in the CPBL continues to be "hurt" down on the Brothers farm team. Slugger Lin Chih-Sheng went two-for-nine this past week with two RBI, three runs scored, and even a stolen base for good measure. He's hitting .349.

10) The BrotherZ had a fun promotional weekend as did the Guardians and Monkeys (last weekend).

Source: cpblstats.com


  1. The three pitchers CPBL teams signed out of the Mexican League this winter have all pitched well so far.

  2. For sure...the Mexican League is tough!


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