Editor’s note: In recent days the CPBL has confirmed baseball in Taiwan will recommence on April 11th. Games will initially be closed to fans but this policy will be reversed as soon as government advice permits.
In the last five years they have made four Taiwan Series appearances, but have not a single championship to show for their efforts.
Can Taiwan’s most popular baseball team the Chinatrust Brothers finally win the Taiwan Series for the first time since 2012, in 2020?
The 2019 season brought about hope that they would end their championship drought as they had an excellent 2nd half of the season.
Brothers were the stand out team as they won 36 of their 60 remaining games. The home support was crucial in setting this record.
They went back to Taichung placed at 1-1 in the post-season Taiwan Series, where they were comprehensively beaten in all three home games.
And these games were not even close with the team losing 8-4, 15-8 and 20-3 to eventual Taiwan Series champs, the Lamigo Monkeys.
In part, as a result, at the end of 2019, the Brothers decided to part ways with American Scott Budner who was already accused of sexual harassment, and have promoted from within as first team bench coach Chiu Chang-Jung comes to the helm.
The Brothers’ legions of fans will hope he can take a talented team to a title….eventually.
This season – outfield
On the field, the Brothers have plenty of talent throughout the team.
In terms of hitting, three players Chiang Chih-Hao, Lin Chih-Sheng and Chan Tzu-Hsien all hit 26 homers last year.
Wang Wei-Chen is an ace at stealing bases and is useful with the bat too. In short, the Brothers can score runs at will.
On the mound
Their local starting pitchers can be a bit up and down at times, although Liao Yi-Zhong came to the fore last season, and is worth keeping an eye on.
The Brothers bullpen was strong last season too, and it included Cheng Kai-Wen who had an ERA of 2.96 over 65 games and CC Lee who pitched 50 innings giving up an absurd 1.26 ERA.
Fortunately for the Brothers, less so for their opponents in 2020, the team have retained Mitch Lively and he is joined by Ariel Miranda and Jose De Paula.
Expect the Brothers to be there or thereabouts come October.
- This is the third of four pieces by Tom introducing the CPBL teams ahead of the …. delayed …. action this season.