Unexpectedly ‘good luck’ to the unstable lower 3 teams in the 4th and 5th selection
Starting from January 29th, 10 teams left for the spring camp training ground one after another. As many as eight teams, including the Lotte Giants, which left for Guam, chose the United States, the home of baseball, while the Samsung Lions were close to Okinawa, Japan, and the Doosan Bears chose Sydney, Australia, which they had been frequenting since coach Kim Tae-hyung (SBS Sports commentator), as their spring camp locations. selected. Although the locations are different, each one has the same mindset to achieve good results this season by honing and polishing their skills at the spring camp.
However, even in February, when the spring camp began in earnest, there are still players who are still in Korea and are waiting anxiously for news of the contract. These are the four uncontracted free agents who have not been able to sign with any team for more than two months after applying for free agency. Outfielder Lee Myeong-gi and Kwon Hee-dong, left-hander bullpen Kang Ri-ho (formerly known as Kang Yun-goo), and right-hander starter Jeong Chan-heon have not found a team yet as 17 players who applied for free agents have found their team.
Among them, Jeong Chan-heon, who played an active role as a starting pitcher in the Kiwoom Heroes uniform last year and recorded an average ERA of 5.36 with 5 wins and 6 losses, said that the Kiwoom club signed and traded (a player who obtains FA qualification in the professional sports world renews a contract with the original team instead of a free transfer). to move to a new team immediately after signing the contract). Of course, since all clubs have already left the spring camp, it is a bit late, but if Jung Chan-heon builds up his body steadily in Korea, his value as a starting pitcher will still remain.
There are many candidates… but a verified selection is needed.
Hanwha has not been able to get out of the bottom for three consecutive years in the 2020s. Ahead of the 2021 season, coach Carlos Subero, who served as the Venezuelan national team coach, was appointed, but Hanwha recorded a win rate of 30% for two consecutive seasons even after taking over as manager Subero. Hanwha decided to keep coach Subero, who signed a three-year contract, this season as well, but if he fails to produce results this year, it is impossible to guarantee that coach Subero will complete the season.
Hanwha re-signed Felix Pena, a right-hander from the Dominican Republic, who recorded a respectable record of 5 wins, 4 losses and 3.72 with 5 quality starts in 13 games last year for a total of $850,000. And last year, the Japanese professional baseball Seibu Lions acquired Birch Smith for a total of 1 million dollars. Pena and Smith are expected to play an active role as a starting troika along with ‘local ace’ Kim Min-woo, who played 163 innings in 29 games last year.
However, it is still difficult to guarantee the 4th and 5th selection. Of course, not only Hanwha, but also top prospect Moon Dong-ju, who is called the future of Korean baseball, sidearm Kim Jae-young, who gained experience in Geelong Korea in Australia, Jang Min-jae, who had the best season after his professional debut last year, Nam Ji-min, a promising player born in 2001, and Lee Tae-yang, who was recruited as a free agent, were traded. There are many starting candidates, including Han Seung-hyuk, who was recruited. But there aren’t enough pitchers who can be trusted to be a full-time starter for a season.
Therefore, if Jeong Chan-heon, who has a relatively rich selection experience, is included in Hanwha’s current starting lineup, it is expected that he will be able to easily occupy a starting position. Of course, Jeong Chan-heon lacks the stamina to handle the rotation on the 5th, but if he alternates pitching with Moon Dong-ju, who has an innings limit, he can fully utilize both players at the same time. If Hanwha can bring in a proven starting pitcher named Jeong Chan-heon while minimizing bleeding, it will definitely be of great help to the team’s starting lineup.
[Doosan Bears] A harmony between promising Choi Seung-yong and veteran Jeong Chan-heon?
After setting a record of advancing to the Korean Series for 7 consecutive years from 2015 to 2021, the Doosan Bears fell to 9th place last season. Giving up on renewing the contract with head coach Kim Tae-hyung, who led the team for eight years, Doosan appointed Lee Seung-yeop, who has a record of 467 home runs in the KBO League and 626 home runs in Korea and Japan, as the new head coach. Of course, there is a weakness that he has no leadership experience after retirement, but considering the symbolism of the name Lee Seung-yeop, it is clear that Doosan made a fairly bold choice.
Doosan, which re-recruited Raul Alcantara, who won 20 wins in the 2020 season and was selected for the Golden Glove in the pitching category, recruited Dylan Pyle, who recorded a total of 34 wins, 29 losses, 3 saves, and 4.04 in the minor leagues under the Milwaukee Brewers, to form a foreign one-two punch. . In addition, right-handed orthodox Kwak Bin, who threw the most powerful ball in the team and was selected for the World Baseball Classic national team, and sidearm Choi Won-joon, who has won 30 victories over the past three years, are expected to play an active role as a native one-two punch.
However, Doosan also does not have enough resources for the 5th selection. Choi Seung-yong, a rookie left-hander who showed potential last year, has the upper hand in the competition for the 5th starting pitcher, but Choi Seung-yong has the weakness of losing his stamina when the number of pitches increases, as shown by his Quality Start, which he only had twice last year. Lee Young-ha, who emerged as Doosan’s next-generation ace with 17 wins in 2019, has not lived up to expectations over the past three years, but is currently on trial as a perpetrator of school violence, so it is unclear whether he will play this season.
If Jeong Chan-heon joins the Doosan starting lineup, it can be a great help. If Choi Seung-yong is fostered as a starter and experienced Jeong Chan-heon is put in every 10 days, he can pursue both rebuilding and performance. From Chan-Heon Jeong’s point of view, if Jamsil Baseball Stadium can be used again as a home stadium, the burden of allowing home runs and long hits can be greatly reduced. In addition, since Doosan has an abundance of promising players, the trade with Kiwoom can proceed smoothly if there is a will to recruit Jung Chan-heon.
[Lotte Giants] All-in strategy, should I catch Jeong Chan-heon too?
Lotte Giants and Busan baseball’s heart Lee Dae-ho signed a two-year contract with Lotte ahead of the 2021 season, revealing his hopes that he would like to step on the stage of the Korean series for the first and last time before retirement. However, in the last two years with ‘Chosun’s 4th hitter’, Lotte failed to advance even in the fall baseball, let alone the Korean Series. Now, Lotte must try to advance to the postseason in the final season of coach Larry Sutton’s contract period without Lee Dae-ho as the pillar of the team. 안전놀이터
Lotte’s winter strategy was, in a word, ‘all-in’. In the FA market, Lotte recruited catcher Yoo Kang-nam for 4 years and 8 billion won, infielder Roh Jin-hyeok for 4 years and 5 billion won, and submarine Han Hyun-hee for 4 years and 4 billion won, all of which filled the limit on recruiting outside free agents. In addition, from sidearm Shin Jeong-rak released from Hanwha, left-hander Cha Woo-chan with a total of 112 wins, pitchers Yoon Myeong-jun and Hyun Do-hun released from Doosan, and Korean-Japanese outfielder Ahn Kwon-soo, bringing in as many as eight players from other teams to expand the player base. thickened
However, Lotte also has not decided on the 4th and 5th starting resources, except for the starting troika leading to Dan Strayley, Charlie Barnes, and Park Se-woong. All-weather pitcher Han Hyeon-hee cannot help thinking about the team’s lack of submarine bullpen, and Lee In-bok, who recorded 9 victories last year, is unavoidable to miss the early season due to surgery to remove a bone fragment in his elbow. Na Kyun-an and Seo Jun-won, who do not have full-time selection experience, cannot yet be called ‘completed starting pitchers’.
Therefore, Jeong Chan-heon is regarded as a pitcher who can bring ‘experience’ to the Lotte mound where there are many young pitchers. Although he slowed down a bit last year, Jeong Chan-heon played more than 110 innings for two consecutive years in 2020 and 2021, posting 7 wins and 4 losses, 3.51 and 9 wins and 5 losses, 4.01, respectively. If it can be recruited through trade without major blood loss with a safety device with an appropriate contract period and option, Jeong Chan-heon could be a ‘hidden card’ that will lead Lotte to fall baseball for the first time in six years this season.