“It’s about 30 percent of the pre-season plan.”
Although the LG Twins are in second place, manager Yeom Gyeong-yeop (55) had high ideals. It sounds like an overly harsh evaluation, even though he was evaluated as a candidate for the championship from before the season as the commanding tower that the second-place team in the regular league last year ambitiously brought in.
Of course, there are reasons for that. It’s because the starting lineup isn’t working as expected. Last year, LG ranked first with a team ERA of 3.33. With a solid starting lineup, I was able to occupy a high ranking.
They are competing for the lead this season as well, but the situation seems to be somewhat different. Team batting average (0.279) No. 1 is receiving a lot of help from the batting line. Team ERA is 3.63, and it seems to have lost some power in fourth place. Adam Plutko is alive and well and Lim Chan-gyu is looking forward to a career high season, but Casey Kelly, a foreigner in his fifth year, and Kim Yun-sik, who played a big role last year, are faltering. Kang Hyo-jong and Lee Ji-gang, who were given opportunities as starters, could not satisfy coach Yeom Gyeong-yeop. Lee Min-ho, who came back from injury, is still below expectations.
Manager Yeom, who met ahead of the Samsung Lions match at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on the 14th, confessed his concerns about the mound. When asked to compare with the concept before the season, he said, “It doesn’t go as planned. The selection is the same, and the winning team has been shaking a lot since April with blown saves. It was Ham Deok-joo, Park Myeong-geun, Yoo Young-chan, and Baek Seung-hyun who became the norm. Thanks to the creation of four, they were able to withstand adverse conditions. Here, even Chan-gyu. Chan-gyu holds 50%.”
Compared to the overall plan, it is still only 30%. Coach Yeom said, “(Jeong) Woo-young and (Lee) Jeong-yong were too lost in the early stages, and (high) Woo-seok was almost absent.” “Until then, the other four pitchers did everything. I also finished this hold,” he said.
Above all, the reconstruction of selection is important. Only when the starters regain their strength can the bullpen relieve the burden. Director Yeom said, “The key is held by Kelly and Sang-Young Lee. If the selection fails, the game ends early. If Kelly and Sang-Yeong do it, we can return to a certain degree of stability.” It can be long. Right now, I can’t win a streak. Four consecutive wins is the maximum. So far, I have to say that the rotation hasn’t been normal,” he said coldly.
Lee Sang-young, who was discharged from the Armed Forces Sports Unit (Sangmu) on the 12th, took the opportunity to be selected. Lee Sang-young, who joined in 2019, showed potential as a bullpen pitcher before enlisting, and in the Futures (second team) league, he raised expectations with 2.63 ERA of 8 wins and 1 loss in 9 games this season.
On this day, he threw 65 pitches in 4 innings, recording 4 hits, 3 walks, 1 strikeout and 2 runs. In the 1st and 2nd innings, he gave up no runs even after putting out runners and delivered impressive pitches. In the 3rd inning, his pitch was shaking, allowing a hit ball and a walk. In the 2nd out, he was hit with a double by Jose Pirella and allowed 2 runs, but he did not concede any more runs and blocked well in the 4th inning, and finished the mission. Director Yeom plans to give Lee Sang-young a chance for about a month and keep an eye on him.
Kelly’s role is also important here. Kelly is in his 5th season in Korea. As a foreigner whose report card every season is a measure of contract extension, the fact that he is a 5-year longevity foreigner is itself like a medal showing how good he has achieved.
However, this season is completely different from the previous Kelly. Kelly, who suffered ups and downs with 1-2 and ERA of 5.66 in 6 games in April, rebounded to 4-1 and 2.73 ERA in 5 games in May.
He also expressed regret about the ball judgment, but coach Yeom pointed out, “You have to overcome that much,” and “If it hits more than that, it was all right.”
When asked if Kelly could be replaced, he said, “It’s still… (premature),” and “I don’t know if there are good players, but Kelly can’t be easily replaced.” However, it was enough to guess that he was deeply concerned about Kelly.안전놀이터
The best thing is that Lee Sang-young, who has just entered the first team, and Kelly, who showed good performance in May, will put a clear eye on Yeom side by side. In this case, there is more room to utilize Kim Yun-sik and Lee Min-ho, who are shaking. Running the bullpen will also be easier.
Since LG is aiming to win the Korean Series for the first time in 29 years since 1994, the ideal is bound to be higher. It is June, when Kelly and Lee Sang-young have heavy shoulders for the stable mound operation that director Yeom Kyung-yeop thinks.