WASHINGTON - Georgetown University baseball alum Tim Adleman (N’10) made his major league debut on May 1, 2016 for the Cincinnati Reds, becoming just the second Hoya to play in the major leagues in the past 50 years. He completed his second big league season in 2017 and, in November, signed a contract to play next season overseas for the Samsung Lions in the KBO League.
Recently, GUHoyas.com was able to catch up with him for a Q&A as he prepares to pitch next year in South Korea.
This season, Adleman’s fourth in the Reds’ organization, saw him start the season in triple-A, but was called up after just one start and spent the rest of the year in Cincinnati. He made 30 major league appearances, including 20 starts, and led the pitching staff in innings pitched (122.1) and strikeouts (108), while registering a 5-11 record and a 5.52 ERA.
What went into the decision to leave the Reds and sign a contract in South Korea?
Around the Monday before Thanksgiving, the Reds reached out to my agent, Kevin Hubbard, about my role for the upcoming season. They communicated to him that they viewed me as starter depth in AAA. Kevin then relayed to me that the Samsung Lions of the KBO were interested in purchasing my contract from the Reds. The Lions came to us with a contract offer that included guaranteed money, and the Reds agreed to sell me. Given that I did not want to risk spending the year in AAA and the guaranteed money that was a part of the deal with Samsung, I decided to join the Lions.
What are you looking forward to most over there? How does their style of play compare to Major League Baseball?
I am most looking forward to a fresh start with a new team and the opportunity to be in the starting rotation. My second half this year with the Reds left something to be desired and I feel like I have a lot to prove.
At this point, I don't know a whole lot about the style of play but hope to start checking out some video on some of the hitters in the KBO. Their schedule is a little bit different - I believe there are only 145 games as opposed the 162 in the Major Leagues. Also, every Monday is an off day and all rainouts during the season are added on to the end of the year.
How’s your Korean? When do you move to Korea for the long haul?
My Korean is bad. I hope to learn some words and phrases as the season goes on. Luckily, I’ll have a translator with me for all baseball related activities.
Spring training is in Okinawa, Japan. I’ll fly there at the end of December and I think the team travels over to South Korea around March 10.
Back to this past season. Was spring training any different than in past years now that you had some MLB time under your belt?
Spring training was definitely different this year. I was more comfortable with the day-to-day routine of spring training and had become a familiar face among most of the guys in the clubhouse. It was a nice feeling to know that people throughout the organization had been able to see me pitch a bunch of games the season prior.
You started 20-straight games and were leading the pitching staff in several statistical categories, but then moved to the bullpen for the final six weeks of the season. What was the reason for the role change?
I struggled a little bit in my first few starts after the all-star break and the organization has some young starters that they wanted to give some innings to. I was told the Reds saw value in me in a long/middle relief role.
Now that it was your second, almost-full season, was there any difference in feel when you took the mound?
The feel this year was for sure different than last year. The more times you face a team, the more they have an idea of what you feature and how you're going to use your arsenal to attack them. At that point, it’s just a race to adjustments, and that race presented a challenge that I hadn't faced before. This is due in large part to the amount of information each lineup has on you going into every game you face them.
Were there any moments from the season that stuck out to you as your favorite?
My favorite moment was on June 7, against St. Louis, when Scooter Gennett went 5-for-5 with four home runs. I happened to be the starting pitcher that game, and am grateful that I got to be a part of a historic night for Scooter as he became the first Red in the history of the franchise to hit four homers in a game.