NC Dinos’ foreign-born pitcher Taylor Widener will finally make his KBO debut.
Widener will start a home game against the Doosan Bears of the 2023 KBO on April 30 at Changwon NC Park.
Widener, who made his Major League Baseball (MLB) debut in 2020 with the Arizona Diamondbacks, is a right-hander with a four-seam fastball that reaches up to 155 kilometers per hour with good command. He pitched in Arizona until last year and has a career big league record of 2-3 with a 4.26 ERA in 49 games (107.2 innings).
After signing with NC in January, Widener had an ambitious start to the season, but was hampered by an unexpected injury. He was diagnosed with herniated disc neurosis during an exhibition game and was unable to make the opening day roster.
After recovering from his nagging injury, Widener recently made two appearances in the Futures (2nd Division) League to get his feel for the game. Against the Kiwoom Heroes Futures team on the 18th, he threw three innings of one-hit ball with three walks and six strikeouts, and against the Samsung Lions Futures team on the 23rd, he threw six innings of one-hit ball with two walks and three strikeouts. His total pitch count for Samsung was 76 pitches, and his fastball was measured at 148 kilometers.
After the Samsung Electronics game, Widener said on the club’s official SNS, “I’m happy that I was able to throw healthy on the mound after the last time (against Goyang on the 18th), and I was able to make a good game thanks to the in-depth management of the C team (NC Future Team) in the training part. I was happy with my three strikeouts against the batters I faced, and I look forward to performing in front of the fans soon.”
NC also needs Widener’s performance. Despite not having a single foreign pitcher, NC, which was in contention for the title at one point early in the season, has faltered as of late and sits in fifth place with 22 wins and 22 losses (through 29 games). In particular, there have been cracks in the starting lineup recently, with native left-handed ace Koo Chang-mo, Song Myung-ki, and Shin Min-hyuk dropping out of the first team roster. Under these circumstances, Widener’s arrival in the starting lineup would be a huge boost for NC. 먹튀검증
NC head coach Kang In-hwa said, “Widner definitely has good skills. I believe he will play as much of a role as we thought and expected. If he comes back in good shape, he will be a big help to the team.”
Meanwhile, Doosan will send right-handed sidearm Choi Won-jun to the mound. In eight appearances (46 innings) this season, he is 1-4 with a 4.30 ERA. This will be his first meeting with NC this year.