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Chinese Baseball: News, Notes, and Where to Watch

 Conor Liguori - World Baseball Network  |    Jun 12th, 2024 2:27pm EDT

Marcelo Martinez of Sultanes de Monterrey pitches. (Photo by Jos Alvarez/Jam Media/Getty Images)

As the CPBL season nears the end of the first half of the season, here is a look at the top news and notes from the past week in Taiwan’s highest level of professional baseball.  

Chen Sheng-Ping Granted Release From Arizona Diamondbacks – According to CPBL Stats on X, Arizona Diamondbacks’ minor league farmhand shortstop requested his release from the organization on Tuesday. Chen, born in New Taipei, Taiwan, was granted his release the same day.  

In the report made by CPBL Stats, Chen’s agency says the 23-year-old infielder will enter the 2024 CBPL mid-season draft in hopes of landing a contract with one of the six organizations in Taiwan.  

Before his release, Chen played in 25 games with the Amarillo Sod Poodles in 2024, the Double-A affiliate of the Diamondbacks. He posted a .480 OPS with one home run and eight RBI but struck out in 22 of his 90 plate appearances.  

Rakuten Monkeys Outfielder Fired for Drunk Driving – On Tuesday, the Rakuten Monkeys fired outfielder Chiu Tan after he was caught driving under the influence on Monday.  

The National Highway Police Bureau reported Chiu was found to be drunk following a breathalyzer test after he crashed his car into a guardrail. The Bureau says no person, including Chiu, was injured in the accident. The 23-year-old was in his sixth CPBL season but appeared in only four games in 2024.  

“As a professional baseball player, a husband and father, I’m sorry I let everyone down,” Chiu said on social media. In a statement made by the Monkey’s deputy leader, Shen Yu-chieh, on Tuesday, he said the team has zero tolerance for driving under the influence.  

Mexican LHP Martinez Shines for Monkeys – On Friday, Rakuten Monkeys starting pitcher Marcelo Martinez put together one of his best starts of the season, allowing one earned run and striking out seven in seven innings in a 3-1 win against the Fubon Guardians.  

Martinez was highly efficient, throwing 72 of his 106 pitches for strikes and allowing only four hits. He lowered his ERA to 1.83 and has 34 strikeouts in 44.1 innings pitched in 2024.  

Martinez previously pitched in Liga ARCO Mexicana del Pacifico for the Naranjeros de Hermosillo, Águilas de Mexicali, and the Liga Mexicana de Beisbol for the Sultanes de Monterrey.  

This Day in Taiwanese Baseball History   

On June 12, 2023, the Rakuten Monkeys announced their foreign pitcher, Brandon Waddell, was leaving the club to sign a contract with the KBO’s Doosan Bears.  

A CPBL columnist named Wang Yi-Husan reported the Bears paid the Monkeys approximately 100,000 United States dollars to purchase Waddell’s contract.   

Waddell went 5-5 with a 3.30 ERA in 12 games for the Monkeys in 2023 and is a member of the starting rotation for the Bears in 2024.  

CPBL Standings as of Wednesday, June 12  

  1. Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions (31-0-17) 
  2. Rakuten Monkeys (23-0-22) 
  3. CTBC Brothers (25-0-24) 
  4. Fubon Guardians (22-0-23) 
  5. Wei Chuan Dragons (24-0-26) 
  6. TSG Hawks (17-0-30) 
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Conor Liguori - World Baseball Network