The Korea Herald


SSG Landers sign new pitcher Roenis Elias

By Yonhap

Published : May 4, 2023 - 10:33

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New SSG Landers pitcher Roenis Elias makes the New SSG Landers pitcher Roenis Elias makes the "L" sign to form the logo of the Korea Baseball Organization club on Thursday. (SSG Landers)

The defending South Korean baseball champions SSG Landers announced their signing of former major league pitcher Roenis Elias on Thursday.

The acquisition comes less than 24 hours after Landers manager Kim Won-hyong acknowledged that the club was close to signing the former major league pitcher from Cuba.

Elias, 34, will make $540,000 for the rest of this Korea Baseball Organization season. He is replacing Enny Romero, who never pitched for the Landers, preseason or regular season, due to shoulder problems that emerged in spring training.

Elias has pitched in 133 major league games, 54 of them starts. He went 10-12 with a 3.85 ERA in 29 starts for the Seattle Mariners in 2014. But he wasn't able to match those numbers in following seasons, adding 12 more wins from 2015 to 2022 while also spending time with the Boston Red Sox and the Washington Nationals.

He did not pitch in a big league game this year. In four starts for the Iowa Cubs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, Elias has gone 2-0 with a 5.48 ERA. He also represented Cuba at the World Baseball Classic in March.

The Landers said the left-hander throws a good fastball and mixes it with a sharp curveball and changeup.

The Landers also said Trey Hillman, their former manager and now their consultant, ran a thorough check on Elias and came away impressed with the pitcher's makeup, on top of his pitching abilities.

With the Landers, Elias will reunite with his one-time Mariners teammate Guillermo Heredia, currently playing in his first KBO season.

Prior to Thursday's action, the Landers ranked seventh among 10 teams with a rotation ERA of 4.24.

The Landers were in second place at 16-10, trailing the Lotte Giants (15-9) in winning percentage, .625 to .615.

KBO teams can each carry a maximum two foreign pitchers. The Landers' other foreign pitcher, Kirk McCarty, is leading the club with a 2.70 ERA and a 2-1 record. (Yonhap)