Although he is a replacement for Ace, his presence goes beyond that.
Instead of Jacob deGrom (34), a “glass body” who often suffers from big and small injuries, Korean-American pitcher Dane Dunning (29), who got a starting spot, became a “good fortune” leading Texas to lead the American League West division. Dunning, who started this season as a pitcher in the middle, is perfectly filling the gap left by first starter DeGrom’s injury in May.
As of the 18th, he went out three times as a starting pitcher and had an excellent record of 2 wins, no losses and an average ERA of 1.59. On the 6th, the first start of the season, against the Los Angeles Angels, he failed to become a winning pitcher even after pitching 5 scoreless innings, but won consecutively against Seattle on the 11th (6 innings, 2 runs) and Atlanta on the 17th (6 innings, 1 run). Even in the bullpen, his performance was good with 2 wins and an undefeated ERA of 1.77.
Born to John Dunning, a father who served in the US Army in Korea, and a Korean mother, Jeong Mi-soo, Dunning is exploding his potential this year. He has 4 wins, the most on the team after Nathan Ivaldi (5 wins), and his earned run average (1.69) is the lowest among pitchers with more than 30 innings pitched. His ball is not fast, but he cooks opponent batters with aggressive pitches and various pitches such as sinker, cutter, slider, changeup, and curveball.
Dunning, who debuted in the big leagues in 2020 and had an average ERA of 4.43 with 11 wins and 18 losses in 63 games until last year, cited a ‘healthy body’ as the secret to a reversal this season. After undergoing hip surgery in September of last year and recovering perfectly, he explained, “I can freely and consistently move my legs on the mound.”메이저놀이터
DeGrom’s unenviable performance left Texas manager Bruce Bochy in a happy state of mind. When deGrom, who was brought in for $185 million in free agency last winter, recovers from an injury, he will have to decide whether to keep Dunning in the starting five or rotate the six-man rotation. “Dunning is an incredibly valuable player anywhere,” Bochy said. “I can’t say what’s going to happen yet.”
Dunning has never been to Korea, but he has a special affection for his mother’s country, influenced by his family’s dedication to him. On the inside of her left arm, she has a tattoo that reads ‘same blood’ in Korean along with her older brother. “I’ve been away from my family for a long time,” Dunning said. “Every time I see the tattoo, it reminds me of my family and it feels like home.”
Dunning also expressed his desire to wear the Taegeuk mark. He was unable to join the Korean national team in the aftermath of hip surgery in the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC), where he can participate depending on his parent’s nationality, and looked forward to the 2026 WBC, saying, “It will be of great significance to me as well as my mother.”