Short-lived major league debut earns Yang an F
Yang Hyeon-jong's disappointing debut year with the Texas Rangers earned him an F from The Athletic on Monday, the lowest grade awarded in an article ranking the club's 2021 pitching staff.
Justifying the failing grade, The Athletic acknowledged that it wasn't all bad for Yang, who "did have one shining moment, striking out eight Twins in 3 1/3 innings back in May, when his ERA was a hopeful 2.25 and it appeared he might have a shot at sticking around."
Yang was unable to keep up that momentum, ending up optioned back to Triple A and designated for assignment twice throughout the season. Having joined the Rangers on a Minor League deal and failed to capitalize on his few chances in the majors, Yang's U.S. career could well be at an end.
Yang has had a rollercoaster year shuttling between the majors and minors. Yang was first called up in late April and then sent down again in June after a difficult few starts.
He bounced back up again in late August, appearing in a single game against the Houston Astros on Aug. 28, giving up three hits with one walk and one strikeout in two innings pitched.
He was briefly sent down again when the club reactivated Jonah Heim from the Covid-19 injured list, but returned within 24 hours when MLB rosters were expanded from 26 to 28 players.
Yang appeared in three games during his last stint and was sent down again in the middle of September. His 12 major league appearances leave him with a 5.60 ERA, three losses and an expired one-year contract.
As of press time, Yang was due to arrive back in Korea on Tuesday. He is expected to head home to Gwangju and begin talks to rejoin the Kia Tigers next season.
BY JIM BULLEY [firstname.lastname@example.org]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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