‘Without a left-hander’ Lotte, can Kang Ri-ho not regret giving up?
Lotte is a team that does not have a thick bullpen compared to a stable starter. There are quite a few resources on the right-handed side, but there is no player who catches the eye among left-handed pitchers.
Nevertheless, last winter, he said스포츠토토 goodbye to two left-handed bullpen pitchers.
Kim Yoo-young left LG as a compensation player for free agent Kang-nam Yoo, and Ri-ho Kang (formerly Kang Yun-gu) declared a free agency, but did not sign a contract. There were no negotiations like negotiations. In fact, it was the same as giving up Kang Ri-ho. Can Lotte not regret not catching Kang Ri-ho?
Kang Ri-ho is a veteran pitcher who recorded 31 wins, 29 losses, 2 years and 48 holds in 402 games in 13 seasons in the first team.
His performance last year was 5.48 with 21.1 innings pitched in 29 games. He didn’t have a single hold, so he didn’t do well.
It can be said that it is somewhat understandable that Lotte does not catch Kang Ri-ho. He is a player who has not shown great results compared to his talent.
However, it is also unavoidable that he seems anxious that there is no reliable left-handed bullpen. No one can guarantee that he won’t regret ‘wouldn’t the experienced Kang Ri-ho have been better’?
Current Lotte left-handed bullpen pitchers include three-year veteran Kim Jin-wook and rookie Lee Tae-yeon.
Kim Jin-wook is a pitcher who is always highly anticipated. He has a very powerful and heavy fastball. His velocity has its own weight, but it is evaluated that there is something more than that in his fastball.
However, anxiety always gets in the way. He was evaluated as having made a lot of progress in the spring camp. However, in the exhibition match, the old look is coming out again.
He appeared in four exhibition games and pitched 3.1 innings, with five walks. That means he gave up more than one walk per inning.
The power of his ball also went down. He also had five hits. His earned run average in exhibition games is 8.10.
No matter how insignificant the performance of the demonstration game is, Kim Jin-wook’s situation is different.
We need more memories of success because we have not been able to achieve results compared to expectations. You can reduce the number of walks only if you keep doing well and gain experience in winning matches against batters. I have never seen a pitcher who said he caught his first pitch without gaining confidence.
Because of this, the sluggishness in the exhibition match is bound to be very nerve-wracking.
Rather, rookie Lee Tae-yeon is showing a good pace. Currently, Lee Tae-yeon is more reliable pitcher than Kim Jin-wook.
He pitched in 4 exhibition games and recorded no runs in 4 innings. His earned run average is, of course, ‘0’.
One thing that stands out is that he recorded only one walk. It is proving that he is not a pitcher who throws the ball without hesitation or failure to catch a reception.
Lee Dae-hyeong, a former left-handed hitter and sports commentator, said, “Lee Tae-yeon’s angle at which the ball comes out is very good. He is a player who knows how to target the farthest strike zone in the eyes of a left-handed hitter. As soon as the ball enters, the power of the slider that changes there can be further doubled. He is the type of pitcher that left-handed hitters will be really picky about.”
During rookie training, he was noticed by the coaching staff and was the only rookie to go to the first-team spring camp along with Kim Min-seok. It is an internal evaluation that the speed of his skill development is extremely fast.
Although he is a relatively low-ranking player in the sixth round, the coaching staff’s judgment is that he is showing better skills than the players with higher nominations.
If Lee Tae-yeon endures as expected, it can be a much bigger force than Kang Ri-ho. You can see the effect of killing two birds with one stone by solving current problems and securing future resources.
From Lotte’s point of view, whether it be Kim Jin-wook or Lee Tae-yeon, one of the two must explode. Even if the so-called ‘left-right play’ is not the correct answer, it is unreasonable to expect good results without a reliable left-handed bullpen. This is even more so in the KBO league, where left-handed hitters are strong.
Can Lotte not regret giving up Kang Ri-ho at all?
Currently, one of Kim Jin-wook and Lee Tae-yeon must be able to survive in the first team.