There is a clear look of exhaustion on the Lotte Giants mound right now. Recently, there have been changes in pitcher entries. Veteran right-hander Kim Sang-soo (35) has not been registered in the first team since being placed on the injured list on the 9th due to a ruptured adductor muscle. Koo Seung-min (33), who was complaining of shoulder pain, was also expunged from the first team entry on the 16th. These two were Lotte’s most competitive bullpen pitchers this season. This was a season in which the team was desperate to advance to the postseason (PS), so there were many cases where the sure-win team came out in close games, but the fatigue accumulated from throwing regardless of the lead or inferiority was significant.
There are currently 9 relievers in the pitcher entry, excluding starters and closers, but it is very rare for them to be used in close games. In a situation where there was no choice but to urgently find a pitcher to fill the void left by Pil Seung-jo, Jin Seung-hyeon (20) was given the opportunity. After being called up on the 1st, Jin Seung-hyun recorded 1 win, 1 loss, and an earned run average (ERA) of 4.05 in 7 games. He appeared on the mound for three consecutive days against the Daegu Samsung Lions on the 5th to 7th and pitched three scoreless innings. Acting Lotte manager Lee Jong-woon praised Jin Seung-hyeon, saying, “Thanks to what Jin Seung-hyun showed, he felt that there was hope for us too.”
But his performance did not last long. Jin Seung-hyeon was expunged from the first team entry due to fatigue ahead of the Daejeon Hanwha Eagles match, which was canceled due to rain on the 20th. Jin Seung-hyun pitched a total of 58.2 innings (27.2 first-team innings + 31 futures innings) last year, which was his debut season, and then pitched 24.1 innings (9 first-team innings + 15.1 futures innings) this season. Lotte still regrets not being able to play more innings, but they needed to fill one spot right away, so they filled the first team entry with Kim Do-gyu, who has experience playing in a sure-to-win team.
Preventing this vicious cycle is an urgent priority. Due to the ups and downs of the starting lineup at the beginning of this season, the burden was increased on the bullpen, where the thin player base was exposed as the winning team became tired. As a result, there has been a tendency to rely on specific pitchers. In the Sajik NC Dinos game on the 12th, Na Kyun-an threw 104 pitches through the 5th inning, but there was a situation where he threw 18 more pitches. The aftermath was that there was no suitable pitcher to take charge of the 6th inning.스포츠토토
Currently, Choi Jun-yong is the only player left in Lotte’s Pilseungjo team. Choi Jun-yong has been pitching stably, recording a monthly ERA in the 2-point range every month since last month. Choi Jun-yong is expected to pitch in more games in order to keep PS’s hopes alive, but management is essential for the remaining pitchers. If this continues, it could have a significant impact not only this season but also next season.