Adam Plutko (32), who signed with LG ahead of the 2022 season, has attracted great attention since the signing. Maybe Plutco had no relationship with LG or the KBO league. However, market conditions forced both sides.
At the time, LG was considering renewing contracts with both Casey Kelly, the team’s unrivaled foreign ace, and Andrew Suarez, who recorded an ERA of 2.18 in 28 games in 2021. Considering the performance and pitching level of both players, it was natural. However, there was a significant difference in opinion between both players and LG regarding the desired amount. In particular, Suarez was also considering entering Japan. At this time, LG boldly bet on Plutco.
He had good guts. I signed a contract with Plutco first. There is only one spot left for a foreign pitcher. Only one of Kelly and Suarez was able to sign a contract with LG. After a battle of wits, Kelly signed the contract first and remained at LG. In other words, LG bet with confidence that Plutko would be able to perform as well as Kelly or Suarez.
Plutco proved that LG’s choice was right. This is because he participated in 49 regular season games over two years last year and this year, pitching 285⅓ innings and recording ace-level results of 26 wins, 8 losses, and an ERA of 2.40. He adapted well to life in Korea. There was also a scene where he held up the Taegeukgi with his wife. But strangely, he had no connection with autumn.
Plutko started in the second game of the playoffs against Kiwoom last year, but suffered a whopping 8 hits in 1⅔ innings, gave up 6 runs (4 earned runs), and was kicked out. LG, which won the first game, was unable to handle Plutco’s poor performance and lost in the second game. After that, he gave momentum to Kiwoom and lost both games 3 and 4, becoming a victim of an upset. This had quite a big fallout, including the ruling that former coach Ryu Ji-hyun’s contract could not be renewed.
This year, it was good until the middle of the season. He had 11 wins, 3 losses, and a 2.41 earned run average in 21 games. In a situation where the team’s starting staff’s calculations were all messed up, LG was able to hold on thanks to Plutco’s hard work. However, Plutko began to show strange signs at the end of the season. He suffered a bone bruise in a game against NC on August 26th. He was initially expected to be able to pitch again after some rest. However, as the player showed difficulty with pitching, the timing of his return continued to be pushed back.
LG believed that Plutko’s injury was at a level where he could pitch. He hoped to finish the season by appearing at the end of the regular season and gaining practical experience. But Plutco’s idea was the opposite. After consulting with American medical staff, he responded that it would be difficult for him to pitch. As Plutko’s return continued to be delayed, this clash of different ideas was revealed to the outside world. In the end, LG coach Yeom Kyung-yeop declared, “We are going without Plutko,” making his appearance in the postseason uncertain.
Plutko had some pain in his shoulder at the end of last year’s season. He said he would skip the practice game and go straight to the playoffs, so the club accepted his intention, but the result was a failure. This year too, injuries were holding him back at the end of the season. He didn’t even have a chance to wash away his poor performance in last year’s playoffs. Fan sentiment also worsened.
According to the comments of baseball officials and players, he was not a player who had a very bad work ethic, as is commonly said. However, officials say that he was not a player who threw the ball with the fighting spirit to overcome mild pain. When the start of the game was delayed due to rain, it was difficult to pitch. It should be said that he was a player with a typical ‘mercenary’ mentality who cared about his own body. It is known that LG has also decided not to renew its contract with Plutco next year.
In the end, Plutco ended the season by leaving Korea on the 27th under an agreement with the club. He left for the United States at 4pm on the 27th. He added that there was a judgment that it would be difficult to pitch in the Korean series. He expected a dramatic 0.1% chance, but in the end there was no miracle. LG is already planning a starting rotation that excludes Plutko.
Plutco left a message of thanks to the fans. Plutko said, 먹튀검증“To the LG Twins fans, I am so grateful for being a haven for my family over the past two years. I cannot express my gratitude in words. My son went to school here, and my wife loves Korea so much. We all “Thank you very much for making a special time for us,” he said, expressing his affection for his fans and Korea.
Plutko, who also expressed his gratitude to his colleagues, continued, “I am so grateful that words cannot explain everything. The LG Twins will win the Korean Series, and the players also have a one-team mentality.” He added, “I will support the LG Twins for the rest of my life.” “I will do it, and I can’t explain in words what the LG Twins mean to me. The LG Twins will continue to move forward and win. LG Twins, fighting! Thank you,” he cheered.
Going forward, Plutko is expected to pursue his return to the major leagues as he progresses his rehabilitation. Plutko, who debuted in the major league in Cleveland in 2016, appeared in 88 games (37 starts) over a total of 5 seasons until 2021, recording 14 wins, 14 losses, and an average ERA of 5.39. In 2021, his final season, he appeared in 38 games (1 start) for Baltimore, pitching 56⅓ innings, recording 1 win, 2 losses, and an ERA of 6.71.
While his minor league contract itself does not seem difficult, it is questionable whether he will be able to secure a guaranteed major league contract. He doesn’t have enough velocity to be used in the bullpen, but using him as a starter will depend on his major league experience and injury history in the KBO League. It’s also a concern that teams might be interested in him as a long reliever.