NC Dinos bring in Smolinski to replace Bethancourt

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NC Dinos bring in Smolinski to replace Bethancourt

Korean baseball club NC Dinos have acquired former major league outfielder Jake Smolinski.

Smolinski will replace Christian Bethancourt in the Dinos’ lineup. Bethancourt was waived by the KBO club on Wednesday, after batting .246/.308/.404 with eight home runs and 29 RBIs in 53 games in his first season here.

KBO clubs can each carry up to two foreign pitchers and one foreign hitter. On Wednesday, the Dinos released Eddie Butler and brought in Christian Friedrich, who will join Drew Rucinski in the rotation.

Smolinski, 30, played in 234 big league games for the Texas Rangers and the Oakland Athletics between 2014 and 2018, putting up a .235/.299/.363 line with 16 homers and 67 RBIs.

This year, Smolinski has been playing in the Tampa Bay Rays’ Triple-A club, Durham Bulls, hitting 12 homers and knocking in 46 runs in 67 games with a .270/.360/.504 line.

The Dinos said they liked Smolinski’s on-base skills and his range in the outfield.

The Dinos are currently holding on to the fifth and final playoff spot at 40-42, only two games up on the surging KT Wiz, winners of seven straight games as of 6 p.m. on Thursday.

The Dinos were in third place at the end of May at 31-25, but they tied for the KBO’s worst record in June at 8-16.

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