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Slumping ball club releases two foreign players

Sports 14:34 July 03, 2019

SEOUL, July 3 (Yonhap) -- Looking for a shot in the arm after a dismal month of June in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), the NC Dinos have waived two of their three foreign players.

The Dinos announced Wednesday that they will replace right-hander Eddie Butler with former major league left-hander Christian Friedrich.

In this file photo from June 18, 2019, Eddie Butler of the NC Dinos throws a pitch against the Doosan Bears in a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Jamsil Stadium. (Yonhap)

In another move, the Dinos also waived utility player Christian Bethancourt, with his replacement to be named soon.

Butler went 3-6 with a 4.76 ERA in 13 starts in his first KBO season. He last pitched on June 18 and went down with a shoulder injury.

Friedrich, 31, has 124 big league games to his credit, including 42 starts, and has a 10-28 record with a 5.37 ERA. He's been pitching independent ball with the New Britain Bees this year, compiling a 5-1 record in 11 starts with a 3.00 ERA.

In this file photo from June 11, 2019, Christian Bethancourt of the NC Dinos (L) fans on a pitch against the Kiwoom Heroes in the bottom of the ninth inning of a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Changwon NC Park in Changwon, 400 kilometers southeast of Seoul. (Yonhap)

The Dinos said they liked Friedrich's ability to command all of his pitches.

Bethancourt was acquired for his ability to play multiple positions, but he struggled mightily at the plate. He homered in the first game of the season back on March 23, but it's been downhill from there. He was sent down to the Futures League, the KBO's minor leagues, with a .246/.308/.404 line, eight home runs and 29 RBIs in 53 games.

The Dinos are currently holding on to the fifth and the final playoff spot at 39-42, only two games up on the surging KT Wiz.

The Dinos were in third place at the end of May at 31-25, but they tied for the KBO's worst record in June at 8-16.

In this EPA file photo from May 14, 2012, Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Christian Friedrich releases a pitch against the San Francisco Giants during the bottom of the first inning of a Major League Baseball regular season game at AT&T Park in San Francisco. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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