Hankins: "I know what the team wants"

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Each day we're seeing more and more news come out about the KBO's newest foreign pitcher, Derek Hankins of the Doosan Bears. The Sports Kyunghyang interviewed him at Doosan's game against Nexen last night, and published a short article with some of his quotes. Read the translation below. Keep in mind, everything written here is translated from a Korean news article. The quotes below are NOT his exact words, but should be a fairly close aproximation.

New foreign pitcher Hankins: "I know what the team wants"

“I know that the team brought me here to win.”

On July 24 Doosan’s new foreign pitcher Derek Hankins (30) had his first practice with the team before their game against Nexen. Hankins signed with the team during the All Star break and since then he has had a medical checkup, gone to Japan to get his work visa, and has done some basic bullpen pitching.

The practice was his first chance to mingle with his new teammates. “I’ve wanted to come to Korea for a long time and have been looking for an opportunity. I’m happy that Doosan has given me the chance. I would like to stay with Doosan as long as possible. I want to show the team that I have what it takes to pitch here.”

Since his debut in 2004 Hankins has spent his career in the minors, usually as a starter. He is a right hander with a career record of 55 wins, 68 losses, 8 saves and an ERA of 4.40. He said, “I’m not the type of pitcher that gets a lot of strikeouts.” He explained his style as, “I use my head and find ways to get outs. I hate walking batters.”

Hankins has played in winter leagues in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela before, but this is his first time playing in Asia. He is still unfamiliar with Korean baseball, but he has been introduced to it indirectly. Hankins has become close with former KIA player Mike Cervenak (2006) and former Lotte pitcher Ryan Sadowski (2010-2012).

“Sadowski and Cervenak gave me a lot of advice before I came to Korea. Sadowski and I talked a lot by email and telephone. He told me, as a foreign player, having a good relationship with teammates is very important.”

And then, as if he suddenly remembered something, “Sadowski told me it is especially important to acknowledge the special etiquette between older and younger players,” he laughed. Hankins also remembers former major leaguer and current Nexen pitcher Kim Byung-Hyun. “We played together back when I was with Pittsburgh. I remember his face.”

Hankins will not get any adjustment time and is expected to pitch this weekend against Jamsil rival LG. He said, “Baseball is more or less the same everywhere. I’ve been pitching in AAA and I think I am ready, but I don’t really know Korean batters very well, so I think I’m going to need to do a lot of studying.” “I know what Doosan expects from me. They want to win and they want to make the playoffs, and I’m going to do everything that I can to make that happen,” he said with determination.