Last week, the Uni-President Lions of the Chinese Professional Baseball League announced the signings of right-handers Keury Mella and Logan Ondrusek (h/t to CPBL Stats). They join former Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario as one-time big leaguers who’ll be suiting up with the Lions in 2022.
Mella has appeared in each of the past five MLB seasons, although he’s never exceeded ten innings in a given year. The 28-year-old has made 21 appearances in relief, totaling 28 2/3 innings of 7.22 ERA ball. A former Giants prospect, he was traded to the Reds alongside Adam Duvall in the July 2015 Mike Leake deal. Mella spent parts of three years in Cincinnati and has pitched with the Diamondbacks in each of the last two years.
Last season, Mella made two MLB appearances but spent the bulk of the year in Triple-A, splitting the season between the top affiliates of the D-Backs and Pirates. The Dominican Republic native had a 5.44 ERA over 48 Triple-A innings, where he fanned 24.5% of opponents against a 9.9% walk rate. At the end of the season, he elected minor league free agency and will now embark on his first stint in an Asian professional league.
Ondrusek has a bit more experience in foreign leagues, but this will be his first stint in the CPBL. A frequently-utilized middle relief option with the Reds from 2010-14, he also appeared briefly with the 2016 Orioles. Altogether, the Texas native owns a 4.03 ERA across 277 MLB innings.
Since his time in Cincinnati, the 36-year-old (37 next month) logged some time with the Yakult Swallows of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball. He’s bounced between a few Triple-A clubs, independent ball and appeared in the Mexican League. Ondrusek hooked on with the Giants on a minor league deal late last season, ultimately making nine appearances (including eight starts) with their top affiliate in Sacramento. He posted a 4.78 ERA with a slightly below average 21.8% strikeout rate but a strong 6.9% walk percentage across 43 1/3 innings there.
Rosario must of stunk as a catcher bc he sure hit better than most mlb catchers.
Kinda cool that Ondrusek is a starting pitcher again at this point of his career. Hasn’t really been stretched out as a starter since ’07. Has to go far out to do it.
Mella needs a better agent. Thought at least KBO. Maybe he wants to start as well and cpl is better than Mexico. Not sure what the talent level of Mexican baseball league is considered to be now that they are pretty much independent, were rated a AAA league but was never near that level of talent. Mostly old washed out players with a talented glove first infielder or reliever that would get signed to a minor league deal.
Unfortunately, Rosario was a complete butcher defensively in almost every one of the games I saw him play as a visiting ball player during his last season as a Rockie.
Logan ondrusek baseball mercenary