Elias started against the LG Twins in Incheon on April 24, allowing three runs on five hits (one home run) in five innings with two walks and four strikeouts. It was his first start in the KBO.
SSG lost pitcher Ernie Romero, whom they signed last winter, to shoulder soreness late in spring training. He didn’t pitch a single game afterward and was eventually replaced. Moving early, SSG brought in another left-hander, Elias. While his big league career hasn’t been spectacular, he has been steadily gaining experience in the minors. He had an impressive performance for Team Cuba at the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in March.
After arriving in the country in early 메이저사이트 May and receiving a work visa, Elias first played in the Futures League. In a Futures League game against the Samsung Lions’ second team on May 18, Elias pitched 3⅔ innings, allowing one run on four hits with two walks and one strikeout. Initially, manager Kim Won-hyung said that he would give Elias plenty of time to build up his body, and his first-team debut was confirmed before the end of May.
Facing a tricky LG lineup, Elias ended his first appearance in disappointment. He struggled with his pitches. LG manager Yeom Kyung-yeop analyzed Elias’s pitches and said, “He has good control to throw in the strike zone, but his command is not perfect. He can make mistakes. How our batters cope with these pitches will be the key.”
LG’s batters picked their pitches calmly against Roenis. They put the pitcher in a bind with walks that would soon lead to runs. The top of the first inning was fruitless, but the team rallied from an 0-4 deficit to a 3-4 lead.
In the top of the second inning, Kim Min-seong drew a walk after a nine-pitch at-bat, and Lee Jae-won followed with a home run. It was a scoring formula that pinpointed Roenis’ weaknesses.
Roenis got out of the third inning with a strikeout, but he was in trouble again in the fourth. This time, a walk was the key. With one out, he gave up a straight ball to Oh Ji-hwan. He then gave up back-to-back singles to Moon Bo-kyung and Kim Min-sung. He got lucky on Kim Min-sung’s hit, trading an out for a run, but then made things difficult for the next batter, Lee Jae-won, by intentionally walking him on a four-pitch at the plate. He eventually struck out Kim Ki-yeon to end the inning, but his pitch count was up to 78 at the end of the fourth.
He continued to pitch in the fifth inning, but was in trouble again. With one out, he gave up back-to-back singles to Moon Sung-ju and Kim Hyun-soo. With runners on first and third, Kim Hyun-soo’s hit went over the height of first baseman Jeon Eui-san, putting runners in scoring position. That’s when the defense came to the rescue. Austin induced a grounder to third, shortstop, second baseman, and first baseman to end the fifth inning.
Even though his poor command of his pitches led to an unearned run, it’s encouraging that he was able to get through five innings in his first start. It remains to be seen if his analysis of Korean hitters and adjustment to the league’s atmosphere will have a positive effect on Elias.