By Yoo Jee-ho
SEOUL, June 9 (Yonhap) -- The KT Wiz announced Friday they have reunited with former staff ace William Cuevas, hoping the familiar right-hander can aid their postseason push.
Cuevas, who previously pitched for the Wiz from 2019 to 2022, will make US$450,000 for the rest of the season as a replacement for Beau Sulser.
Cuevas went 33-23 with a 3.89 ERA in 82 Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) regular season games in his first tour of duty, and the Venezuelan right-hander made his biggest impact while helping the Wiz win their first-ever Korean Series crown in 2021.
The Wiz and the Samsung Lions finished the 2021 regular season with an identical record, setting up a rare tiebreaker game. And pitching on just two days' rest, Cuevas tossed seven shutout innings and struck out eight for a 1-0 victory.
It sent the Wiz directly to the Korean Series, where they swept the Doosan Bears in four games. Cuevas was the winning pitcher in the opening game of that series, holding the Bears to a run over 7 2/3 innings.
Cuevas was let go in May last year after suffering an elbow injury and the Wiz replaced him with left-hander Wes Benjamin. And now Cuevas and Benjamin will be teammates.
Cuevas made 11 appearances for the Los Angeles Dodgers' Triple-A affiliate in Oklahoma City this season, going 2-2 with a 6.14 ERA.
Decimated by injuries to key players, the Wiz found themselves in last place in the 10-team KBO as recently as Sunday. However, a recent five-game winning streak has pushed them to eighth place. They sit six games out of the fifth and final playoff spot.
Sulser went 1-7 with a 5.62 ERA in nine starts in his first KBO season. The Wiz removed him from the active roster on May 29 and sent him to the Futures League, hoping the right-hander could find his groove in the minors.
Instead of waiting for Sulser to come around, the Wiz signed a familiar face to replace him.
"Cuevas helped us win the 2021 title, and he has a ton of KBO experience," Wiz general manager Na Do-hyun said. "He has no physical issues at all. Since he should have little trouble adjusting to the league here, we expect him to be the anchor of our starting rotation."
The Wiz said Cuevas is scheduled to join the team Monday.
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