Former Hanwha Eagles outfielder Mike Tuckman, 33, is hitting for his hometown Chicago Cubs in the KBO. He is making up for the loss of his childhood team with impressive performances.
Turkman batted sixth in the lineup against the New York Mets at Wrigley Field on Aug. 25 and went 2-for-4 with a home run and an RBI in the third inning to lead the Cubs to a 4-2 victory.
After leading off the second inning with a single to left off Mets’ Japanese right-hander Godai Senga, Turkman came through with an RBI single with two outs in the third with the score tied 2-2. He drove Senga’s two-pitch, low 95.7 mph fastball into left field, scoring pinch runner Seiya Suzuki with the game-winning run on the night.
The Cubs placed starting center fielder Cody Bellinger on the 20-day disabled list with an injured left knee and called up Tuckman from Triple-A Iowa. In five games since his callup, Turkman has performed above expectations, going 4-for-11 with a .500 on-base percentage, a .455 slugging percentage and a .955 OPS with one home run, three doubles, three triples and one stolen base.
He started his first two games off the bench, but has been increasing his role in the last three games. In his first start, he went 0-for-2 with a walk and two strikeouts against the Philadelphia Phillies on April 22, and then reached base multiple times with a double and a walk against the Mets on April 23. A two-hit game against the Mets on the 24th extended his multi-hit streak to three games. He hasn’t played many games yet, but it’s pretty impressive.
His current team is the Cubs. The Cubs are a hometown team for Tuckman, who hails from Palatine, a suburb northwest of Chicago. He played 257 games in five seasons with the Colorado Rockies, New York Yankees, and San Francisco Giants between 2017 and 2021, but never had the opportunity to play at Wrigley Field, the home of the Cubs.
According to the Daily Herald, a local Chicago publication, Tuckman said, “The Cubs were the team my family rooted for. We went to Wrigley Field occasionally, more so after high school. I even went to minor league games when I was younger. It’s always special to come here,” he said, reminiscing about his childhood memories with his family.
Tuckman is no stranger to Korean fans, having spent a year with Hanwha in the KBO last year. He started all 144 games and batted .575 (166-for-575) with 12 home runs, 43 RBI, 19 doubles, 64 walks, 104 strikeouts, a .366 on-base percentage, .430 slugging percentage, and a .796 OPS. He contributed well on defense and at the plate, but as a foreign hitter, his long ball power and decisiveness at the plate left something to be desired. 먹튀검증
After the season, he negotiated a new contract with Hanwha, but the talks fell apart due to differences of opinion, and Tuckman returned to the United States and signed a minor league contract with the Cubs. He was disappointed to leave Korea after only one year, but he was desperate and realized his dream of playing for his hometown team, the Cubs. When Bellinger returns, he could be sent back down to the minors, but he’s showing that he can compete in the big leagues after two years away, and he’s laying the groundwork to continue his career.