“I want to play real baseball, compete and win.”
The Lotte Giants have high hopes for their new foreign pitcher, Aaron Wilkerson, 34. Wilkerson is also motivated by his experience in Asia. His ‘macho’ attitude is evident in every word he says, and he is motivated.
On the 18th, Lotte released foreign pitcher Dan Stratley and signed new foreign pitcher Aaron Wilkerson. The total amount is $350,000 ($250,000 salary, $100,000 incentive).
Wilkerson, an undrafted right-hander with a height of 188cm and weight of 104kg, signed an amateur free agency with the Boston Red Sox in 2014 and made his major league debut with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2017. He made 14 appearances in the big leagues and has a career minor league record of 58-31 with a 3.42 ERA in 158 games (783⅔ innings). Last year, he went 5-5 with a 4.08 ERA in 14 games (70⅔ innings) for the Hanshin Tigers. In the early part of the season, he was given a chance to fill in due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Hanshin and was named the Central League MVP in May. However, he struggled in the second half of the season and ended his season prematurely due to the pandemic and was not re-signed.
Wilkerson, who arrived in the country on the 19th, is expected to throw a live pitch on the 22nd and then go straight into a first-team game next week. Manager Larry Sutton said before the game against the Kiwoom Heroes at Busan Sajik Stadium on the 21st, “Wilkerson is a veteran pitcher and has experience in Japan. He’s a veteran pitcher, and he’s been coming in and settling in. I expect him to make good use of his various pitches.” “We have a live pitch tomorrow (22nd). I threw a live game about two weeks ago and also pitched in the bullpen before coming to Korea. I haven’t had much rest. If I finish the live pitching well, I will pitch next week.” Wilkerson is likely to make his debut next week against Doosan in Jamsil.
Wilkerson, who met with reporters at Sajik Stadium on the 21st, said, “I played in Japan, so I’m not unfamiliar with the Asian stage. I had a great experience in Japan and wanted to come to the KBO, so it’s great to be able to play ‘real baseball’ in Korea,” he said, adding that he is determined to help the team climb to a higher ranking. Below is a one-on-one interview with Wilkerson.
-How do you feel about coming to Korea?
Everything is good so far. I’m still adjusting to the time difference. I’m from Arizona, and in the US it’s 40 degrees and dry, but here it’s humid. I’m adjusting to make sure I’m in the best shape for the competition.
-You’re no stranger to the Asian stage, having competed in Japan.
I think it’s similar, and I’ve experienced similar weather in the US. I’m trying to make sure I’m as fit as possible for the game.
-Why did you accept the offer from the Lotte Giants of the KBO?
I had a great experience in Japan, and I originally wanted to come to the KBO League. I wanted to stay in Japan, but I was frustrated that it didn’t work out. In Japan, it was easy to approach everyone and the food was good. I found out last year that I like the Asian stage, so I don’t think I’ll have any problems in Korea. I also struggled with the new rules in Triple-A, such as robot umpires and automatic strikes. It’s great to be able to play real baseball in Korea now, and I want to compete and win here.카지노사이트
-Hanshin was also a favourite. How do you feel about Lotte and Sajik Stadium?
It’s better than I expected. I can’t wait to start playing. It’s a big ballpark. A big pitch is good for a pitcher. I’m a fastball pitcher, and I want to watch videos to see if Lotte is as passionate about keeping the ball inside and not over the fence.
-You played with Alcantara and Hanshin, what advice did they give you about the KBO?
I’ve talked to players who played in Korea, like Mel Rojas Jr. with Alcantara, and I’ve gotten advice from Brian Corey and Andy Burns. Brian Corey was the pitching coach for the Triple-A team this year and I’ve heard nothing but good things. He said Alcantara would be fine.
-How are you feeling right now?
It’s hard because of jet lag, long flights, and the weather, but my body is in good shape and I don’t have any problems.
-What was your experience like in Japan?
I loved it at the beginning, but the hardest part was that the club asked me to be ready to play at any time. As a competitive athlete, I had to put up with the discomfort, but later on it became difficult. I think you should always be ready to play whenever the team wants you to.
-How would you describe your strengths?
I’m a different person on the mound than I talk about. My strength is that I can throw strikes and I’ve been able to maintain that throughout my career, which is why I’ve been able to get major league experience. I love to compete and I hate giving up a walk more than a home run that flies 8,000 metres. I’m here for the upside.