160km fireballer, former teammate of Choo Shin-soo, Kang Jeong-ho and Kim Ha-seong, released by Japan’s Yakult for ‘0 games in 1 team’

Former Major League Baseball fireballer Kioni Kela, 30, has been released from the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) organization without playing a single game for the first team.

“Yakult Swallows pitcher Kioni Kela will be released as a free agent,” the NPB announced on Wednesday.

Yakult signed Kela to a one-year, $1 million contract to fill the void left by the departure of closer Scott McGuff, 34, to the major leagues prior to the season. In seven seasons in the big leagues (2015-2021), Kela compiled a 23-13 record with 59 holds and 28 saves in 243 games, drawing attention as a fireballer who throws up to 160 km/h.

However, he never really made a mark in Japan. Kela hasn’t pitched a single first-team game this season. After appearing only in the second team, Kela was released with a dismal 7.71 ERA in 15 games 메이저놀이터순위.

Meanwhile, Kela has a long history with the Korean major leagues. He played alongside Shin-Soo Choo with the Texas Rangers from 2015 to 2018, and was teammates with Jung-ho Kang from 2018 to 2019. Then, in 2021, she teamed up with Kim Ha-seong, who was in his rookie season in the major leagues.

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