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BASEBALL/Lin Yu-min invited to spring training by Arizona Diamondbacks

02/03/2024 04:02 PM
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Taiwanese pitcher Lin Yu-min adorns the Arizona Diamondbacks uniform. CNA file photo
Taiwanese pitcher Lin Yu-min adorns the Arizona Diamondbacks uniform. CNA file photo

Taipei, Feb. 3 (CNA) Taiwanese pitcher Lin Yu-min (林昱珉) has moved one step closer to Major League Baseball (MLB) after being invited to spring training by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Lin was among 26 nonroster invitees announced by the Diamondbacks on Thursday, the same day the ballclub unveiled its 40-man spring training roster.

According to the Diamondbacks' schedule, pitchers and catchers will report on Feb. 14, before their full squad workout starts on Feb. 19.

The invite is Lin's first call-up to spring training since signing for the Diamondbacks in 2022.

Known for his striking abilities, Lin kicked off the 2023 season at High-A and was promoted to Double-A in July, finishing the year with 140 strikeouts over 121 1/3 innings.

The left-hander started in all of his 11 games with the Amarillo Sod Poodles, the Diamondbacks' Double-A affiliate, recording a 5-2 record with a 4.28 ERA. He struck out 64 over 61 innings pitched while maintaining a .221 batting average against and a 1.23 WHIP.

Graphic: Arizona Diamondbacks
Graphic: Arizona Diamondbacks

The 20-year-old Lin is one of the two Taiwanese pitchers who could potentially appear in the majors next season, along with the San Francisco Giants' Teng Kai-wei (鄧愷威), who spent the second half of 2023 in Triple-A with the Sacramento River Cats.

In mid-January, a report on the MLB official website titled "Here are the Top 10 LFP prospects for 2024" by Sam Dykstra referred to Lin as one to "keep an eye on," although he did not make the top 10.

Despite standing only 180 centimeters tall and his fastball averaging around 90 miles per hour, Lin's "79-81 mph changeup can be especially deadly, while his low-80s slider and mid-70s curve can also look like at least above-average pitches," Dykstra noted.

Although Team Taiwan included Lin on its 2023 Asian Baseball Championship roster, the Diamondbacks declined to release him due to concerns about insufficient off-season rest.

If Lin takes to the mound in the 2024 MLB season, he will become the youngest Taiwanese player to ever play in the MLB, breaking the record of 21 years and 354 days old set by left-handed pitcher Wang Wei-chung (王維中).

The last start by a Taiwanese pitcher in an MLB game dates back to Sept. 28, 2018, when Chen Wei-yin (陳偉殷) took to the mound for the Miami Marlins against the Washington Nationals.

(By Hsieh Ching-wen, Yang Chi-fang and Chao Yen-hsiang)

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