Around the Horn in the CPBL: Trades, Dingers, Signings, and Standings

A view of the Taiwan Series Game Two between Uni-Lions and CTBC Brothers at Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium on November 28, 2021 in Taichung, Taiwan. (Photo by Gene Wang/Getty Images)

By Conor Liguori
World Baseball Network

The Chinese Professional Baseball regular season will conclude on October 15, and the Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions (41-3-34) are in first place in the full-season standings among the five organizations. 

Looking ahead to the CPBL playoffs, there will be a Playoff Series if there are two different half-season champions. The half-season winner with the highest winning percentage receives an automatic bid to the Taiwan Series. The other half-season winner plays in the Playoff Series against the team with the next highest winning percentage. The winner of that series moves on to the Taiwan Series. 

As the CPBL season reaches its final few months, let’s look at the biggest news and storylines from the past week. 

Rakuten Monkeys Trade Four Players to TSG Hawks for Former MLB Infielder Lin Tzu-Wei

The Rakuten Monkeys have traded right-handed pitcher Weng Wei-Chun, left-handed pitcher Wang I-Chang, outfielder Lan Yin-Lun, and outfielder Wang Po-Jung to the TSG Hawks for infielder Lin Tzu-Wei. 

Tzu-Wei Lin spent five years in Major League Baseball with the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins. He played 36 games across three Minor League Baseball levels with the New York Mets in 2022, hitting three home runs with a .164 batting average. 

TSG Hawks manager Hong-I Chung is excited to see familiar faces on his roster. “Having these four players help our team tremendously,” he told ETtoday.Com. I coached all four of them during my time with the Lamigo Monkeys, and I wholeheartedly trust their on-field experience and attitudes towards the games.” 

Weng Wei-Chun began the year with the Auckland Tuatara in the Australian Baseball League. The 24-year-old had a 3.48 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 33.2 innings. 

The TSG Hawks were established as a part of the CPBL expansion in 2022. The team will play its inaugural season in 2024. 

Wei Chuan Dragons Sign 2023 Second Round Draft Pick Chang Jing-Yu

The Wei Chuan Dragons (38-4-35) have signed 2023 second-round draft pick Chang Jing-Yu to a two-and-a-half-year deal worth $84,000, with the opportunity to earn up to $27,000 in performance bonuses. The left-hander pitched in 14 games across three seasons in the Arizona Complex League with the Seattle Mariners and appeared in three games with the Auckland Tuatara last Australian Baseball League season. 

Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions Sign Right-Handed Pitcher Scott Blewett 

The Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions have signed right-handed pitcher Scott Blewett for the remainder of the season. Blewett appeared in a combined five games for the Kansas City Royals from 2020-21, recording a 3.38 ERA and eight strikeouts in eight innings. He was designated for assignment by the Royals in April of 2021. Blewett signed a minor league contract with the Atlanta Braves in March, and had a 4.21 ERA in 17 games with Double-A Mississippi. 

CTBC Brothers’ Center fielder Chang Chih-Hao Hits Three Home Runs Against Rakuten Monkeys 

CTBC Brothers’ Chang Chih-Hao hit three home runs on August 8 against the Rakuten Monkeys. He went four-for-five in the game with seven RBI and one stolen base. The Brothers won the contest 11-3. The right-handed hitter has 12 home runs and 41 RBI in 240 plate appearances this season. He was awarded Batter of the Month in June, batting .275 with six home runs and a 1.062 OPS. Chang has been a powerful hitter throughout his 14-year career, and hit a career-high 27 home runs in 2020 as a 33-year-old. 

2023 CPBL Second Half Standings 
Team (W-T-L)

1. Fubon Guardians (8-0-6) 
2. CTBC Brothers (8-0-7) 
3. Wei Chuan Dragons (8-1-8) 
4. Rakuten Monkeys (7-0-7) 
5. Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions (7-1-10) 

2023 CPBL Current Standings (Full Season)
Team (W-T-L) 

1. Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions (41-3-34) 
2. Wei Chuan Dragons (38-4-35)
3. Rakuten Monkeys (36-3-35)
4. CTBC Brothers (36-4-35) 
5. Fubon Guardians (29-4-41)

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