Lotte, which has become the most noteworthy team in the league this season, is running 3rd in the league with a record of 26 wins and 16 losses (.619) as of the 29th. 1st place is closer than 4th place. While the game difference with the leader LG is 2 games, the game difference with 4th place Doosan is 4.5 games.
It is clearly showing a more organized performance than last year. In addition to the overall performance of the players, the effect of recruiting a hot free agent (FA) is showing to some extent. It is also nice to see the performance of young players or players who have not been noticed in the meantime. This is because it is proof that the team’s player base is improving. Although it may not be the best in the league in defense or running, there are many areas where it has improved more than last year. Most of all, the number of ridiculously losing games has decreased.메이저사이트
Although it is said that there is a lot of experience in April and May, and there are many experiences that have fallen since June, it is said that it is forbidden to jump to conclusions, but the overall team indicator that Lotte is currently showing is more likely to maintain the current level to some extent than the possibility of falling in the future. there is. However, there is one worrying subject. It is a bullpen that is gradually showing fatigue, and the snowball of that fatigue is likely to grow.
It is clear that at the beginning of the season, starting pitchers were not able to digest solid innings, so bullpen pitchers made frequent appearances and had a lot of digested innings. In May, the starting pitchers are showing better performances than in April, but the batting line is somewhat sluggish. There are fewer games that are won hotly, and close matches are taking place every time. This is inevitably accompanied by frequent calls from the pitchers of Pilseungjo.
In fact, even in the match against Gocheok Kiwoom on the 28th, there was a lot of loss in the winning group in the previous two games, and in a situation where finisher Kim Won-joong was caught in a fight and was difficult to participate, he eventually allowed a reversal and suffered a painful one loss. It was a game that clearly showed what part Lotte needed to manage and supplement further. So, there are players with more expectations. Right-hander Choi Jun-yong (22).
Choi Jun-yong, who graduated from Gyeongnam High School and received Lotte’s first nomination in 2020, made an outstanding performance as a bullpen in 2021, his second year, and led the Rookie of the Year race in front. At that time, he threw 47⅓ innings in 44 games and was reborn as a key player in the Lotte bullpen with 4 wins, 2 losses, 1 save, and an average ERA of 2.85 with 20 holds. However, after that, he has not been able to show his position.
▲ Choi Jun-yong is expected to be able to join the first team in mid-June at the earliest after undergoing additional rehabilitation ⓒLotte Giants
Choi Jun-yong, who was delayed in joining the first team due to an injury this year, recorded a good ERA of 0 in 9 games, but there were many elements of anxiety in detail. His batting average was 0.333 and his on-base per inning (WHIP) was high at 1.57. He was not a reliable set-up man responsible for the 7th and 8th innings. In the end, inflammation in the back was discovered, and on May 17, it was canceled in Group 1, and it is still in the rehabilitation group.
His return is expected to take some time. An official from the Lotte club explained, “He will have to rehabilitate for another two weeks, and after that, he will pitch in the Futures League game.” He has to throw two or three games in the Futures League as well, or schedule a week or more as there may be a fight test. If so, it becomes a story that he can return in mid-June at the earliest.
But now, thorough rehabilitation is more important than rushing. If I come up to the 1st team again this time, at least there should be no going down to the 2nd team due to injury. It is clear that he has not yet found a pitch at the level of 2021, so he must take the time to look at the season long and raise it to the pitch.
According to the tally of ‘Trackman’, which provides tracking data to nine KBO league teams, there is a slight difference between Choi Jun-yong’s data in 2021 and Choi Jun-yong in 2023. At the time of 2021, the average speed of the four-seam fastball was 147.5 km, but this year it stayed at 146.0 km, perhaps because of the aftermath of the injury. His average velocity has dropped quite a bit in his two years. His fastball’s revolutions per minute (RPM) also fell from 2585 to 2469 in 2021. It symbolizes that Choi Jun-yong has yet to find a normal pitch.
However, as he is still a young player and his numbers are not at the level of a collapse, he is likely to quickly regain his strengths. Choi Jun-yong is also struggling with a different pitching form from last year. If Choi Joon-yong finds a clue, Lotte will have another powerful card that can be used in the 7th and 8th episodes along with Koo Seung-min, Kim Jin-wook, and Kim Sang-soo. It is a card that can even arrange the stamina of three players who have already thrown a lot. This is why it is not an exaggeration to say that Lotte has the results of the 2023 season