After a solid performance, he was not selected. Now back in a Doosan Bears uniform, Brandon Waddell (29) is making manager Lee Seung-yeop smile with his improved performance.
On the 11th, Brandon started the visiting 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League game at Daejeon’s Hanwha Life Eagles Park and threw 104 pitches over six innings, allowing one run on five hits and three walks while striking out four.
The team won 11-4 and Brandon improved to 5-2 on the season. It was his first win in just eight games since returning to the KBO on June 24. Despite not pitching a complete game, he also posted a 2.06 ERA, good for second overall behind Eric Peddy (NC-1.97).
He arrived in Korea last year as a replacement for Ariel Miranda, the 2021 Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the KBO, who broke the record for most strikeouts in a season (225). Despite having to adjust to the KBO on short notice, he performed well, going 5-3 with a 3.60 ERA in 11 games.
However, Doosan’s expectations were high, and Brandon was not re-signed and had to move to the Taiwanese Professional Baseball League. Brandon, who had been a consistent starter, was once again beckoned by Doosan. With Dylan Pyle struggling with a series of injuries, Doosan was looking for an alternative foreign pitcher.
When the lid was lifted, he exceeded expectations. From his first start back, he recorded a quality start (QS – 6+ innings pitched, 3 earned runs or less) and has been steady ever since.
He didn’t get into any trouble until the fifth inning. Even in the sixth inning, when his pitch count would have been higher and he would have struggled a bit, he was able to hold the Hanwha bats to one run despite facing four hits. He topped out at 151 mph and averaged 147 mph with a mix of fastballs (41), cut fastballs (32), sliders (22), and changeups (9), and the offense exploded early on.
His reliability has been overwhelming, as he has recorded a QS in six of his eight appearances. With the exception of a four-inning, eight-run outing against LG on March 30, he’s gone five innings or more in all of them.
Manager Lee Seung-yeop, who said before the game, “The more Brandon goes out, the more determined we will be to win,” praised him after the victory, saying, “Our starting pitcher Brandon perfected his role with a quality start and laid the foundation for our victory.”
He also has the character to always give credit to his teammates. “I’m glad I was able to help the team win,” Brandon said. “We were able to win this game because of the big scores early on,” said Brandon. “They helped us a lot on defense, too. I want to thank them for their focus in the offense.”
Despite the fact that he was pitching like he couldn’t get any better, he remained calm. “Personally, I was disappointed that I couldn’t go longer because I threw a lot of pitches,” he said. “I will do a better job of controlling my pitches in the next game and prepare better so that I can go longer.”
After reaching the Korean Series for the seventh consecutive year, Doosan finished ninth last year. The team used to be stronger when it had a fantastic foreign one-two punch like Dustin Nippert (22 wins) and Michael Bowden (18 wins) in 2016 and Josh Lindblom (20 wins) and Hurinkov (9 wins) in 2019, but that was not the case at all last year.
Robert Stock (9 wins) and Brandon (5 wins), who joined during the season, only combined for 14 wins. It was unrealistic to expect Doosan to do well. This season, however, first choice Raul Alcantara (10 wins) and Brandon (5 wins), who only joined the team in late June, have already combined for 15 wins, surpassing last year’s total.먹튀검증
Together, Doosan is in fifth place with 49 wins, 45 losses and one draw. With only one game separating them from third-place NC Dinos and KT Wiz, and four games separating them from second-place SSG Landers, they can certainly make a run for it.
He signed with Doosan again for a total of $280,000 (KRW 270 million), but with his performance so far and the fall baseball season ahead, he deserves more money.