Lee Jong-woon takes over as acting manager, Koo Seung-min shoulder discomfort, Kim Sang-soo injured
- Miraculous rebound fails in nine-game series
- Protecting players and preparing for the future
The Lotte Giants of the Korean Baseball Organization have been embroiled in controversy. First, they were accused of playing “front baseball” due to the sudden resignation of manager Larry Sutton, and now they are being accused of “abusing” players. At the center of it all is acting manager Lee Jong-woon. The acting manager has been criticized by fans for similar incidents in the past.
Since he took over the reins on March 28, Lotte has won five games and lost five. It’s not a particularly bad record, but if you look closely, the players are taking a beating by running the game like there’s no tomorrow.
First, the starting pitchers are throwing more than 100 pitches a day, which is putting a lot of pressure on their shoulders. Aaron Wilkerson has thrown 315 pitches in three games. That’s more than any other pitcher in the KBO in three games. In two games, Se-woong Park has thrown 216 pitches, the second-most among players with the same number of appearances. Charlie Barnes also threw 204 pitches in two games. Na Kyun-ahn threw 113 in Game 1. He recently suffered a hamstring injury, but we haven’t seen him manage his pitch count in this system.
Compared to Toronto Blue Jays manager John Schneider’s strict management of Ryu Hyun-jin, who recently returned from injury and never threw more than 80 pitches.
The situation in the bullpen is even worse. Kim Sang-soo has appeared in 63 games in a Lotte uniform this season, tied with Kim Jin-sung (LG) for the most appearances as of August 8. He continued his strong streak in the acting system, but finally collapsed during the game against NC on April 8. Taking the mound in the seventh inning with a 3-2 lead, Kim threw nine pitches without recording a single strike, allowing two walks and a hit-by-pitch to load the bases with no outs. After throwing the ninth pitch, he grabbed his right thigh in pain and was helped off the mound. After a medical examination, he was diagnosed with a muscle tear, effectively ruling him out for the season. Lee allowed Kim to face three batters in a situation where he was visibly out of shape and over-pitching, which ultimately increased his anger.
Koo Seung-min, who has appeared in 61 games this season, was forced to leave the game early after feeling discomfort in his shoulder during the last four games due to frequent traveling. Second-year rookie Jin Seung-hyun also pitched in three straight games, adding to the bullpen’s load.
Lee has had his share of controversy in the past when he was in charge of Lotte. In 2015, the Lotte manager used Kang Min-ho as a pinch-hitter after he suffered a hamstring injury during a game, rather than remove him from the first team. Kim Min-ha, who was hit on the wrist by a sand dune, was also left in the defense without a substitute, but later withdrew from the game after the player himself announced his intention to be substituted. A medical examination revealed a fracture. Foreign batsman Jim Aduchi was also allowed to play despite being hit in the hand and bleeding.메이저놀이터
He was also criticized by fans for playing Son Ah-seop, whose father was in critical condition, instead of sending him to the hospital.
This season, Lotte is virtually out of the running for fall baseball. Instead of forcing players to play, Lotte should start taking care of their bodies now for next year.