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Chinese Baseball (CPBL): News, Notes, and Where to Watch

 Conor Liguori - World Baseball Network  |    Jul 10th, 2024 1:39pm EDT

The second half of the 2024 Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) season is underway, and one team will attempt to finish with a higher winning percentage than the first-place Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions (.616) did in the first half-season to advance to the Taiwan Series automatically.   

As the second half of the CPBL progresses, here is a look at the top news and notes from the last week in Taiwan’s highest level of professional baseball.   

Un-Lions Sign First-Round Draft Pick   

The Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions have signed their first-round draft pick, Japanese starting pitcher Masaki Takashio, to a 2.5-year contract. According to CPBL Stats on X, Takashio is the first foreign pitcher in CPBL history to go through the mid-season draft and not take a foreign player slot on the roster.  

Takashio, 35, has just one registered professional baseball season on Baseball Reference for the Brisbane Bandits of the Australian Professional Baseball League in 2014-15. CPBL Stats reported on Wednesday that he will make a salary of 34,000 thousand United States dollars, with a 37,000-dollar bonus and 14,000 in incentives.  

According to CPBL Stats, Takashio was allowed to enter the CPBL mid-season draft as a foreigner and not take a foreign roster spot because he had lived in Taiwan for more than five years, a policy the CPBL put into effect in December 2021.   

Yu Chang to Make CPBL Debut Friday  

The Fubon Guardians, who selected former MLB utility man Yu Chang as the first pick in the 2024 CPBL mid-season draft, announced that the Taiwan native would debut with the team against the Uni-Lions on Friday.  

Additionally, the team announced they will hand out a certificate of attendance to fans who make the trip to the game to Xinzhuang Baseball Stadium in New Taipei City, Taiwan.   

Chang played five seasons in MLB with four organizations, most notably parts of four seasons with the Cleveland Guardians. He went 7-for-16 with two home runs and eight RBI for Chinese Taipei in the 2023 World Baseball Classic and was named Pool A MVP for his outstanding performance.  

MVPs of the Month for June  

Uni-Lions’ starting pitcher, Mario Sanchez, was named the pitcher of the month in the CPBL for June, and outfielder Chen Tzu-Hao of the CTBC Brothers was named batter of the month.  

Sanchez, a native of Venezuela, previously played in the KBO for the KIA Tigers and went 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 35 innings for the Uni-Lions during June. He leads all qualified CPBL pitchers with a 1.65 ERA this season.  

Chen Tzu-Hao is a 12-year veteran who missed the 2023 World Baseball Classic due to an injured right hand. In June, he hit an otherworldly .364 with six home runs and 18 RBI for the Brothers. He drew 14 walks in 70 plate appearances.  

This Day in Taiwanese Baseball History   

On July 10, 2010, Puerto Rican starting pitcher Orlando Roman threw a complete game on 130 pitches for the Brother Elephants in a 5-1 win against the Uni-Lions.  

Roman allowed just one earned run on six hits in the victory, improving his record to 6-4.   

Roman, then 31, finished the 2010 season 12-7 with a 3.03 ERA. He played his final season of professional baseball during the 2019-20 Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente winter season with the Criollos de Caguas.  

CPBL Standings as of Wednesday, July 10  

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

You can watch every CPBL game on DAZN

Photo Credit: Yu Chang #20 of the Boston Red Sox signs autographs for fans before a game against the Seattle Mariners. (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

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Conor Liguori - World Baseball Network