LG Twins manager Yeom Kyung-yeop is on the path of development again, this time in the bullpen.
Closer Ko Woo-seok suddenly left for the major leagues. After winning the championship last year, the major leagues suddenly asked for his identity, and he requested a post. Although he was eligible to be posted, he hadn’t expressed his desire to be posted, and the team hadn’t expected him to post because of his poor season. The club agreed to his request. There was no reason to deny his request since he had won the championship. They agreed with the caveat that the amount shouldn’t be too small. Ko had a month to negotiate with major league teams. In fact, there were very few offers. At the last minute, an offer from the San Diego Padres totaling $4.5 million over two years came in. It was too little for LG, but he wanted to go. LG decided to support his dream.
They needed to find a new finisher quickly.
Yeom chose Yoo Young-chan, a right-hander who had pitched well in the Korean Series last year, even in tense moments. The middle innings were strong and the team had gotten through a crisis last year when Ko Woo-seok went down with an injury with a collective closer system that included Ham Deok-ju, Kim Jin-sung, and Park Myung-geun, so even if Yoo had some early jitters, 토토사이트 the bullpen would be able to hold him in check. Yeom was only thinking of adding more pitchers to strengthen the middle.
But there was another unexpected departure: left-hander Ham Deok-ju, who had elbow surgery. Ham exercised his first free agency after last season and signed a four-year contract with LG for a total of 3.8 billion won. However, a medical examination revealed an abnormality: a microfracture of the olecranon bone in his left elbow. On the 16th, he underwent pin-fixation surgery for the left medial epicondyle. The rehabilitation period is about six months. I could return in June or July at the earliest. The first half of the season will be tough.
Ham Deok-ju appeared in 57 games last year, posting a 4-0 record, 4 saves, 16 holds, and a 1.62 ERA. As the only left-handed pitcher in an otherwise right-handed bullpen, he handled opposing lefties well and even served as a temporary closer when Ko Woo-seok was out.
Without Go Woo-seok and Ham Deok-ju, who are a big part of LG’s bullpen, LG will have to go through the 2024 season without them. This is especially true in the early stages of the season. The key will be how well Yeom develops his replacements during spring training and the exhibition games to minimize the gap.
For Yeom, it’s also about nurturing, and one of his biggest images is ‘nurturing’.
Nurturing naturally became his specialty as he had to nurture younger players whenever his mature players moved on from the Nexen Heroes.
When Kang Jung-ho left for the Pittsburgh Pirates after the 2014 season, Yeom turned to second-year player Kim Ha-seong as the starting shortstop in 2015, and after the 2015 season, when closer Son Seung-rak left for Lotte as a free agent and set-up man Han Hyun-hee, a candidate for the closer’s job, underwent elbow surgery, there was a big hole in the bullpen, but Yeom turned to Kim Se-hyun, who had a fastball but couldn’t find his place, as the closer and Lee Bo-geun as the set-up man, and made him the save and hold king in 2016. In 2019, when he was the manager of the SK Wyverns, he used Ha Jae-hoon, who had been converted from a hitter to a pitcher, as a closer, and he won the save title.
Last year, Yeom focused on strengthening the bullpen from spring training in preparation for the departure of Ko Woo-seok and Jung Woo-young to the Asian Games, and developed Yoo Young-chan and Baek Seung-hyun into first-team players to create the strongest bullpen. This year, 안전 토토사이트 the team will also focus on strengthening the bullpen in spring training. “The goal is to make two of Kim Yoo-young, Lee Sang-young, Yoon Ho-sol, Kim Dae-hyun, and Sung Dong-hyun into a must-win group,” said Yeom.
Yeom took 23 pitchers to last year’s Arizona camp, more than half of the 43 players. LG was the only one of the 10 teams to bring more than half of its pitchers. Yeom plans to bring more pitchers this year.