Waiting for 73 million won free agent left pitcher… Lotte bullpen, is there no play left and right this year?

I am waiting for free agent (FA) Kang Ri-ho (previously known as Kang Yun-goo). Then, is there no ‘left-right play’ in the Lotte Giants’ bullpen plan this year?

Lotte will hold a spring camp from the 1st to Guam, an American territory, and Okinawa, Japan. The official start of the camp starts on the 1st, but most of the players in the pitching team have already departed for Guam and are conducting self-training. A mini squad of about 15 players, including key players from the pitching team such as Kim Won-joong, Na Kyun-an, Lee In-bok, and Choi Jun-yong, some of the fielders such as Kim Min-soo, Han Tae-yang, and new faces such as Noh Jin-hyeok, Shin Jeong-rak, and Yoon Myeong-jun, have already left the country and are preparing themselves. Although there is some support from the club, everyone is willing to train abroad at their own expense under the will to train in a warm place. 

This year’s club plan Right away, two left-handed pitchers who were active last year disappeared. Last year, Kim Yoo-young, who played a pivotal role by recording 6 wins, 2 losses, 13 holds, and an ERA of 5.65 in 68 games, 51 innings, wore an LG uniform as a compensation player for catcher Yoo Gang-nam, who joined as a free agent.

And Kang Ri-ho, another left-handed pitcher who posted an ERA of 5.48 in 21 1/3 innings in 29 games, declared free agency but has not yet signed. Although it is a free agent, there is no other option other than remaining in Lotte. Lotte made a proposal that was not much different from Kang Ri-ho’s annual salary of 73 million won last year and is waiting for Kang Ri-ho’s answer.  온라인바카라

Unless Kang Ri-ho signs a contract, there will be no left-handed pitchers in the bullpen. Jin-wook Kim, who is very confident in Australian professional baseball, is a starting resource, and veteran Cha Woo-chan, who was recruited during the off-season, should watch the progress of his shoulder injury. In the 2023 rookie draft, Lee Tae-yeon in the 6th round and Jang Se-jin in the 9th round were nominated, but left-handed pitchers were collected, but it is not easy to mobilize the first team right away.

In the end, the bullpen plan for this year should be done without a left-handed pitcher. Last year, the management of the Lotte bullpen had a strong tendency to play left and right. In the mid-to-late game, when left-handed batters came up, left-handed pitcher Kim Yoo-young usually took the mound. However, Kim Yoo-young did not show competitiveness against left-handed hitters with a batting average of .336 (.329 for right-handed hitters) and .879 OPS (.896 for right-handed hitters) against left-handed pitchers. Kang Ri-ho also had a batting average of .297 against left-handers and an OPPS of .713, higher than a batting average of .240 and OPPS of .681 against right-handed hitters. ‘Left-right play’ often resulted in failure. 

Looking at the team’s bullpen as a whole, it only recorded a batting average of .293 and an OPS of .809 against left-handed batters. Even so, Lotte has to find a solution against left-handed batters in a situation where there is no left-handed pitcher. For now, the option of ‘playing left and right’ should be put aside. Pitching coach Bae Young-soo is expected to deepen his thoughts and concerns.

Whether or not Kang Ri-ho joins can increase the options, but it may be difficult to become a solution. Will the Lotte bullpen be able to manage the season without a left-handed pitcher and without ‘left-right play’ this year? 

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