Gu Seung-min, Choi Jun-yong, and Kim Won-joong are likely to pitch
– Pil Seung-jo, Kim Sang-soo, Cha Woo-chan, and Kim Do-kyu are discussed
– Left-handed pitchers’ lack of immediate sense of power is their weak point
– Breaking ball, outstanding rookie Lee Tae-yeon, attention
‘4.86’. It was the average ERA of the Lotte 토토사이트Giants bullpen last season. This was the worst number among the 10 bullpen teams in the KBO League last year. Seung-jo Pil, the so-called ‘KCK’ line leading to Seung-min Koo, Jun-yong Choi, and Won-joong Kim, was equally uneasy. It is no exaggeration to say that the bullpen’s sluggish performance last year led to Lotte’s fall baseball failure. But this year, it’s worth putting your hopes on. Lotte opened its wallet after a long time in the last Stove League. The most outstanding thing was strengthening the ‘center line’ through the recruitment of three free agents. It is also noteworthy that they brought in five veteran pitchers (Kim Sang-soo, Yoon Myung-jun, Cha Woo-chan, Shin Jeong-rak, and Hyun Do-hoon) who were released from other teams, although they were covered by free agency. With their addition, Lotte is able to deepen the depth of the bullpen.
Of last year’s KCK line, only Koo Seung-min is evaluated as having done his part. Koo Seung-min set a new record for the most individuals in this category by raising 26 holds, and built a golden tower of 20 holds for three consecutive seasons. On the other hand, Choi Jun-yong felt sorry for the last minute. Choi Jun-yong, who replaced Kim Won-joong, who left due to injury at the beginning of the season, played 13 games in the opening month, recording 1 loss, 9 saves, and an average ERA of 1.23. However, in the middle of the season, his pace dropped sharply, and he finished the season with 3 wins, 4 losses, 5 holds and 14 saves. Compared to his early performances, his finishing was poor.
‘Express firefighter’ Kim Won-joong was injured in last year’s spring camp and joined during the season. Kim Won-joong recorded double-digit saves for three consecutive seasons with 17 saves, but he did not perform as well as the previous two seasons (25, 35 saves). However, this year, Kim Won-jung was active in the Korean baseball team of the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) and made expectations for the new season. Although the national team was eliminated in the first round, Kim Won-joong played the role of a ‘yardstick’ by throwing 41 balls in 3 and 1/3 innings on the mound for 5 consecutive games, starting with the official evaluation match against the Japanese professional club.
This season, it is noteworthy whether Lotte’s new Pil Seung-jo will be created along with the KCK line. Candidates for Pil Seung-jo include Kim Sang-soo, Cha Woo-chan and Kim Do-gyu. In addition, Han Hyun-hee, Kim Jin-wook, and Lee Min-seok, who are competing for the 5th starting pitcher, can also move to the bullpen depending on team circumstances.
First of all, Han Hyun-hee seems to play the role of ‘all-weather’, going back and forth between the selection and the bullpen. Among active pitchers, there are only 5 players who have exceeded 100 holds, and Han Hyun-hee tied for third place with a total of 105 holds, along with Ju Kwon (kt, 105 holds), following Jin Hae-soo (LG, 150 holds) and Jung Woo-ram (Hanwha, 137 holds). there is. The 5th place in this category is Kim Sang-soo of 102 Hold. Along with Han Hyun-hee and Kim Sang-soo, who ate rice in one pot at Kiwoom, they are likely to move to Lotte and take responsibility for the back door.
Kim Do-gyu and Cha Woo-chan are preparing for a revival. Kim Do-gyu saved the team several times by taking the mound as a relief pitcher despite an elbow injury when Pil Seung-jo was faltering in the second half of last season. He also complied with his final performance (51 innings, 45 strikeouts, 8 holds, ERA of 3.71). Kim Do-gyu, who underwent surgery to remove bone fragments and participated in this year’s spring camp, boasted an outstanding pitch and predicted an active performance this season. Cha Woo-chan completed verification as a bullpen pitcher by recording a total of 32 holds, including 21 holds in one season in 2014.
However, it seems that Lotte will suffer from a left-handed bullpen famine this season as well. Immediate sense of power The only left-handed bullpen is Kim Jin-wook. It was a painful power leak for Lotte to send away to LG as a compensation player for Kang-Nam Yoo, who recruited Yu-Young Kim of ‘Bokdeong’ as a free agent last year. Kim Yoo-young, who joined Lotte as the first nomination in 2014, recorded a ‘career high’ last season with 6 wins, 2 losses and 13 holds. Another left-hander, Kang Ri-ho (formerly known as Kang Yun-goo), declared free agency last year, but has yet to find a new nest.
It is a situation where Kim Jin-wook’s shoulders are bound to be heavy, but it is somewhat unreasonable to place high expectations on him. In his last season, he lowered his velocity and even modified his form for stable pitching, but he is still unable to overcome his chronic difficulty in pitching. This situation is all the more regrettable because Kim Jin-wook has a ball that no one can easily hit once he is caught.
In the midst of this, rookie left-hander Lee Tae-yeon is rapidly emerging as a ‘dark horse’. Lee Tae-yeon, who joined Lotte in the 53rd overall in the 6th round of the 2023 draft, played in 5 demonstration games and blocked 4.2 innings with no runs. Although his top speed is around 145 km, he is not a ‘fire bowler’, but he boasted stable control and aggressive pitching, such as turning 3 batters into a tripartite with 10 balls in an exhibition game against SSG. His thick guts, which are hard to find among rookies, are also a great weapon. Coach Larry Sutton also praised Lee Tae-yeon, saying, “Lee Tae-yeon’s pitching stood out during the spring camp and demonstration games,” and that “the breaking ball control was good, and most of all, the aggressive pitching was good.” If Lee Tae-yeon shows the same appearance as during the demonstration game, it is expected that Lotte’s problem of lack of a left-handed bullpen will be resolved.