The plan we laid out at camp in Arizona four months ago is about to be realized. Like most teams, we’ve been dealing with injuries and the World Baseball Classic (WBC) hangover, and we’ve executed plans A, B, and C. But we’ve held on, and we’ll soon have a near-100 percent squad. This is LG’s take on both stamina and sprinting.
Jamsil Big Boy is back. LG added Lee Jae-won to the roster on the 8th for the game against Gochuk Kiwoom. After suffering a side injury during camp and 메이저놀이터 another side injury during the exhibition game, Lee Jae-won felt discomfort in his hamstring while defending against Munhak SSG on the 24th. He traveled to Icheon, where his hamstring injury was not severe and he was able to play more quickly than before. After three trials and a Futures League match, he was named to the first team roster.
Lee’s return gives LG a right-handed bat that can play both first base and the corner outfield. Lee Jae-won could replace Austin Dean, who has been playing first base consistently. Lee Jae-won can also play the corner outfield in place of Hong Chang-ki, Moon Sung-joo, and Kim Hyun-soo. Manager Yoon Kyung-yeop’s planned rotation will be implemented.
The outfield of Kim Hyun-soo, Park Hae-min, Hong Chang-ki, and Moon Sung-joo may have already seemed saturated, but the pennant race was a case of poverty in abundance. Even when one player’s batting form bottomed out, they just pushed through.
“If we had the resources, we could have rested him earlier and let him regroup,” Yoon said of Kim Hyun-soo, whose May was 180 degrees different from April. Hyun-soo did not play in the three-game series the previous week, instead focusing on batting practice to break out of his slump.
There was good news on the mound, too. Pitcher Lee Jung-yong, who was removed from the roster on March 20 due to shoulder pain, is close to returning. When he returns, LG will have six pitchers in the rotation: Ko Woo-seok, Park Myung-geun, Ham Deok-ju, Baek Seung-hyun, Yoo Young-chan, and Lee Jung-yong.
This means they can now quickly win games with relatively weak homegrown starters. “If Jung Yong-yi comes, I think we can have a bullpen day once a week or so,” Yeom said, adding, “I plan to use (Lee) Ji-gang-i as a long relief pitcher and rotate him with the secondary pitchers when he goes long.”
In addition to the returnees, the team has backup. One of them is left-handed starter Lee Sang-young, who will be discharged from the military on April 12. Yeom plans to include him in the first-team rotation upon his retirement. If Sang-young can continue to perform the way he did in the Futures League for two years, the team will have a solution to its homegrown starting pitching problem.
“I watched Lee Sang-young pitch in the Futures League on the internet. I hope he can play the role of a fourth starter,” Yeom said, expressing his expectations for Lee Sang-young. With Kim Yoon-sik, who served as the native ace in the second half of last year, struggling in a 180-degree different way this season, Lee could step into Kim’s spot from next week.
With a full roster to fill, it’s a brief farewell to a promising youngster. Rookie Kim Bum-seok, who made a strong impression with his first hit in his first start, was sent down to the second team on the 8th. Lee Joo-hyung, who made his first first-team start since returning from military service on July 7, will also be dropped to the second team when Seo Gun-chang returns, according to Yeom.
The real starting line for Kim Bum-seok and Lee Ju-hyung is the post-season camp. Since neither of them has been finalized for their main positions, they will work hard to secure their positions in the final camp. Lee will try to play second base again, while Kim Bum-seok will put on a mask to become a future starting catcher. Yeom has a picture in his head of Lee Joo-hyung and Kim Bum-seok competing for the first team roster in 2024.