“If there is no injury, I will go all the way to the 5th starter. Even if Lee Min-ho and Kim Yun-sik come, there is no place.”
This is the answer to the selection plan for the rest of the season, revealed by LG coach Yeom Gyeong-yeop.
There were many changes in LG’s starting rotation this season. The foreign one-two punch was solid, but the domestic starters were a problem. In the end, different faces from last year appeared. It was completely different from the idea at the beginning of the season.
After many trials and errors, five starters were established: Casey Kelly, Adam Plutko, Lim Chan-gyu, Choi Won-tae, and Lee Jeong-yong. Lim Chan-gyu, who started this year with the bullpen, entered the 3rd starter, and Choi Won-tae, who was recruited through a trade, took one spot. And like Lim Chan-gyu, Lee Jung-yong, who changed his position from the bullpen to the starter, became the last puzzle.
Initially, the 3rd and 4th starting positions were reserved for Kim Yun-sik and Lee Min-ho, who had been in the starting rotation for the past 3 years. However, even in the second half, we cannot see their faces.
Kim Yun-sik and Lee Min-ho are classmates in the 2020 season. Kim Yun-sik wore the LG uniform in the 3rd place in the 2nd 1st round, and Lee Min-ho joined as the 1st nomination. Just looking at the high ranking nominations, we could get a glimpse of the club’s expectations for them.
In particular, Lee Min-ho earned 12 wins last year and established himself as a reliable starting pitcher. Yunsik Kim also played his part by winning 8 games.
But this year, I lost my place. Lee Min-ho was canceled from the roster due to an elbow injury at the beginning of the season. And he returned after about a month, but he did not recover as much as he used to, so on June 23, he went down to the second team again. He left 2 losses and an ERA of 5.03 without winning 5 games in the first team.
Kim Yun-shik was also sluggish. He played a big role in the second half of last year and even went to the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC), but lost his position in the season, perhaps because he built up his body quickly. He recorded an average ERA of 5.29 with 3 wins and 4 losses in 11 matches and was eliminated on July 9th.
Director Yeom Kyung-yeop announced that he would return in the second half, saying, “I’ll start over like spring camp. I build my body from the beginning.”스포츠토토
From July, it could be seen in the Futures League. Lee Min-ho marked 4 games, 12 innings, 1 win, and an average ERA of 2.25. Kim Yun-sik recorded an average ERA of 5.52 with 1 win and 1 loss in 4 games and 14⅔ innings.
According to director Yeom Gyeong-yeop, Lee Min-ho recovered his restraint up to 144-145 km.
Now, he is preparing to return to the first team by building up his body to some extent, but it is not easy. This is because there are hardly any gaps as a solid 5 starters have been made.
Director Yeom Kyung-yeop also plans not to unreasonably invite Kim Yun-sik and Lee Min-ho. In September, an expanded entry will be implemented, so five players can be called up to the first team, but it is unclear whether Kim Yun-sik and Lee Min-ho will be able to enter.
Coach Yeom Kyung-yeop emphasized, “If there is no injury, I will continue to be the 5th starter until the end of the season.” He went on to explain, “It won’t be possible until there’s a doubleheader or a Monday game. There won’t be a spot until then.”