It was the right choice to focus on recovering from an injury instead of WBC (World Baseball Classic).
Dane Dunning, a close friend of Yang Hyeon-jong, became the hope of the Texas Rangers. At the time Texas played a total of 48 games, Dunning digested 43 innings in 12 games (starting 4), recording a good record of 4 wins, no losses, and an average ERA of 1.67. Along with Nathan Eovaldi (6-2, 2.60) and Martin Perez (5-1, 4.01), he has risen to the position of leading the team.
Dunning’s mother is Korean. Dunning himself has expressed affection for Korean blood. When Yang Hyeon-jong played for Texas, she showed off her best friend chemistry and is a familiar face to domestic fans. She also said, “If I get a chance, I want to play for the Korean national team in the WBC. I want to play in the KBO league as well.” For this reason, he has been attracting attention as a major leaguer to join the WBC along with Tommy Hyeonsu Edman (St. Louis Cardinals) and Rob Lefsnyder (Boston Red Sox).메이저놀이터
He has been a starting pitcher since wearing a Texas uniform in 2021. In his first year, he went 5-10 with an ERA of 4.51, and last year he went 4-8 with a 4.46 ERA, showing off his decent skills.
Dane Dunning. USA Today Yonhap News
However, he underwent last-minute hip surgery last season and decided to focus on his recovery instead of competing at the 2023 WBC. It is regrettable considering that the Korean national team was eliminated in the first round of three consecutive tournaments after a struggle due to a lack of pitching staff.
It was a good choice for Dunning himself. After steadily recovering, he earned the trust of coach Bruce Bochy by playing as a long man whenever Jacob deGrom was injured this year and recording two relief wins.
From May, he was selected as a starter. He added two wins in four starts. He earned just 4 runs in 22⅔ total innings. Above all, he has not hit a single home run this season.
Dane Dunning. AFP Yonhap News
Coach Bochy said, “Dunning saved the team,” and after returning from deGrom, he is at the stage of contemplating the operation of six starting pitchers, including Dunning. Local media in Texas are also highly praised, saying, ‘He is playing the role of a real ace’.
In the game on the 23rd, he faced off against Korean major leaguer Bae Ji-hwan. He fought back with one run in 5⅔ innings, including one hit given to Bae Ji-hwan, but the bullpen collapsed and he could not record a victory.
Texas did not have a good relationship with Korean players after Park Chan-ho, Choo Shin-soo and Yang Hyeon-jong. Can we break the bad relationship through Dunning, who is of Korean descent?