In this undated photo provided by the Lotte Giants baseball club, Parker Markel prepares to make a pitch during the team's spring training. (Yonhap)
South Korean baseball club Lotte Giants on Monday released an American pitcher Parker Markel before he even threw a regular season pitch.
The Korea Baseball Organization team said Markel asked for the termination of his $525,000 contract, and the Giants agreed to place him on the voluntarily retired list.
Players on that list are ineligible to perform anywhere in the KBO without permission from their original club.
The Giants acquired Markel last December to replace right-hander Josh Lindblom, who left for the US minor leagues.
Markel, a career minor leaguer, was slated to be the club's No. 2 starter behind Brooks Raley, but made only one preseason appearance, giving up two runs on three hits and two walks in three innings.
The Giants said Markel had difficulty adjusting to the new league while dealing with some family issues.
Markel had a 34-26 record with a 3.99 ERA in 197 minor league appearances across seven seasons.
The KBO regular season starts on Friday. (Yonhap)