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Baseball club on verge of releasing ex-big league pitcher

All Headlines 11:54 June 24, 2016

SEOUL, June 24 (Yonhap) -- South Korean baseball club Hanwha Eagles appear close to releasing former big league pitcher Esmil Rogers, in the aftermath of a fiasco surrounding his injury status, sources said Friday.

Rogers, who joined the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) team last summer with 210 major league games under his belt, hasn't pitched since June 4 with an elbow injury. The Eagles had been preparing to make an announcement on Rogers' status, the pitcher revealed through his social media Friday that he would go under the knife.

Responding to a fan's question on whether he would have surgery, Rogers wrote, "Sorry Bro im out im going To get surgery."

Sources close to the club said the Eagles, the worst team in the KBO this season, are leaning toward waiving Rogers. The Dominican right-hander, the highest-paid foreign player in the KBO with a US$1.9 million salary, has appeared in only six games this year, going 2-3 with a 4.30 ERA in 37 2/3 innings.

Rogers left the game against the Samsung Lions on June 4 with one out in the third, complaining of elbow pain. An MRI revealed inflammation, and Rogers at the time said it wasn't a major injury.

The Eagles told him they would give him plenty of time to recover. Manager Kim Sung-keun told Rogers he wanted to keep him in the rotation, saying he was pleased with Rogers' contribution last season and he expected more of the same in 2016.

According to sources, Rogers informed the Eagles that he'd be better off getting surgery earlier this month.

Rogers was a second-half sensation for the Eagles last year. After replacing Shane Youman on Aug. 1, Rogers went 6-2 with a 2.97 ERA in 10 appearances, while throwing three complete game shutouts.

Rogers, who'd last played in the majors for the New York Yankees last year, parlayed his impressive run into that $1.9 million deal. Yet he experienced elbow pain at the start of spring training, and didn't make any preseason experience.

Rogers was also left off the Opening Day roster, and only made his season debut on May 8.

The KBO clubs are each allowed to have three foreign players on their active roster, with a maximum two pitchers. On Monday, the Eagles signed a career minor leaguer Fabio Castillo after releasing Alex Maestri.

The Eagles are last in the 10-club KBO at 26-38-2 (wins-losses-ties).

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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