He came into camp under the radar. After fifteen seasons in the KBO, Korea’s major league, in which he had won an MVP, Hyeon-jong Yang wanted to see what he could do in America.
So, he became a free agent, fielded offers for a major league contract, and was signed by the Rangers in February. It was a minor league offer.
Still, he believed in himself, believed he could succeed here, so he signed the minor league contract.
Lucky for him, the team he signed for has no pitching. And they had a bullpen in tatters. So, Yang was given the opportunity.
In two long relief roles, he pitched 8.2 innings, gave up only two runs, with a WHIP of 0.808. It was obvious Yang was not overmatched. In fact, he seemed to be the one overmatching hitters.
So, yesterday he was given his first start, of sorts. 3 and a third innings (which is shorter than his relief outings), but he allowed just one run, and struck out eight Minnesota Twins.
All in all, it was an impressive outing for the thirty-three-year old Korean left-hander. Certainly, one that warrants more starts.
Maybe the Rangers backed into a starter. They could use the luck. And they could use the help in the rotation.
Yang might just be that guy.