Last month, the Rakuten Monkeys of the Chinese Professional Baseball League announced that right-hander Dylan Covey and left-hander Ryan Bollinger had signed new contracts with the team for the 2022 season. (Hat tip to CPBL Stats.) Both pitchers will be entering their second season with the Monkeys, and for Bollinger, 2022 will be his fourth year of CPBL action.
Covey posted a 6.57 ERA over 264 1/3 innings with the White Sox and Red Sox from 2017-20, officially beginning his MLB career after Chicago selected him away from the A’s in the 2016 Rule 5 Draft. The righty’s grounder-heavy arsenal didn’t translate well against Major League batters, as Covey had only a 15.4% career strikeout rate, and the long ball (18.4% home run rate) also plagued him.
While that strikeout rate only marginally improved in Covey’s first CPBL season, the overall numbers were much better, as he posted a 4.01 ERA over 58 1/3 innings with the Monkeys. As noted by CPBL Stats, Covey joined the Taoyuan-based team in midseason and got off to a slow start, but posted a minuscule 0.58 ERA over his final five outings of the season.
Though Bollinger has been pitching in the CPBL for three seasons, he has only seen action in two of those years, as foot injuries kept him from appearing in even a single game in 2020. Moving from the Fubon Guardians to the Monkeys last year, Bollinger had a nice rebound, posting a 2.80 ERA and 24.73% strikeout rate over 106 innings for the Rakuten squad.
Bollinger (who turns 31 in February) was a 47th-round pick for the Phillies back in 2009, drafted as a first baseman but quickly transitioning to pitching. He never actually played in Philadelphia’s farm system, as Bollinger moved onto a well-traveled pro career that has included stops with several independent teams, the Australian Baseball League, and the CPBL. The southpaw pitched in the affiliated minors with the White Sox from 2011-13 and with the Yankees in 2018, plus he signed a minor league deal with the Padres in the 2018-19 offseason but was released at the end of Spring Training.
Mark, a correction and some more info on Bollinger. He did suit up for the Phillies in his first season and was a 1B. He is also a “Phantom ballplayer” as he was actually recalled twice by the Yankees and never got into a game. He played in the German Professional Baseball league in 2017 and was pitcher of the year there. What a journey this guy has been on!
yeah, heck of a career, shame he never got into a game for the Yankees though.
BR left off that first season till you dig deeper and see those 4 games at first base his first pro year. Not the first time BR has left us incorrect. For some reason I thought we were talking Mark Bolsinger
it’s under the batting stats section.
Glad to see Covey succeed in Asia. I hope he is making more $ there, and is careful not to do or say anything not to the liking of the Chinese government.
“Covey posted a 6.57 ERA over 264 1/3 innings with the White Sox and Red Sox from 2017-2020” is just not enough to stick in the MLB here. I am surprised he was able to compile 264 1/3 innings here.
Just for the uninformed, the Chinese Professional Baseball League is not located in China. It is in Taiwan.
The same Taiwan that the Chinese think they own as a close friend who is Taiwanese often reminds me as he declares that he is glad he is no longer there! I would rather play in Korea or Japan!
Covey is a grad from the HS I’m currently attending
Bollinger has definitely a interesting career. The guy has played everywhere except the Mexican League.
There are not enough teams named after primates. Montreal Chimps has a nice ring to it. Maybe even The Las Vegas Baboons
“The first 10000 fans through the gates on Opening Night will be allowed to throw poo at each other during the 7th inning stretch”.
The late Howard Cosell would appreciate that
Long time White Sox fan, thought Carson Fulmer was the worst pitcher I’ve ever seen till Dylan Covey arrived, he’d get shelled, sent down to the minors and be starting for the Sox a week later, he’s awful
I understand that Covey had some difficult times, but I don’t know what you gain from being so disparaging. Those were some frustrating years. Dude went out there and gave an honest effort at the highest level of the sport. He was also always a friendly person who would take the time to talk with kids (like my son) regardless of whether he had a rough outing (which I understand was often the case). Anyway, after years of floating around mlbtr reading and never commenting, I figured I should provide Covey a little cover. Good luck Dylan