Hanwha, struggling in the 4-5 spot, draws two new cards. Lee Tae-yang 메이저사이트(33) and rookie Kim Seo-hyun (19), who were brought in from the bullpen as all-arounders, will take over the 4-5 spot.
Hanwha manager Choi Won-ho said in an interview ahead of the team’s game against Doosan in Daejeon on Wednesday that Lee Tae-yang and Kim Seo-hyun will each start against the Changwon NC on the 16th and 17th. The two pitchers, who pitched side-by-side in relief the day before, will take the mound on four and five days’ rest, respectively. Lee has 102 career games (24-37, 5.26 ERA) as a starter. Kim Seo-hyun hasn’t made a start in the first team, but is 2-1 with a 4.37 ERA in six starts in the second-level Futures League.
Hanwha has struggled with four or five starters since June. Han Seung-hyuk has been given seven starts but has struggled with a 2-2 record and 7.06 ERA. He was removed from the first team on the 11th after giving up five runs (four earned) on five hits (one home run) and two walks in two innings against Doosan. Jang Min-jae was also sent back down to the second team just two games after returning to the first team, leaving Hanwha with two open spots in the starting line-up.
Choi Won-ho made a change after much deliberation, opting for Lee Tae-yang and Kim Seo-hyun in the fourth and fifth positions. “When I saw Han Seung-hyuk yesterday, I knew I had to change the starters, so I brought up Lee Tae-yang (in the third inning) and thought about it for about three innings. The coaches at the Futures Team said that the starting pitchers weren’t feeling well enough to make a confident recommendation, so I decided to start Lee Tae-yang.”
However, when Lee gave up two more runs in the third inning, she was pulled early and Kim Seo-hyun was brought in for the fourth inning. Kim Seo-hyun was expected to go three or four innings with 70-80 pitches, as he had received starting lessons in the second team, but his delivery was shaky with only eight pitches. After 2⅔ innings of three hits and six walks with two strikeouts and four runs, he was removed with 81 pitches.
Choi said, “I tried to keep Kim Seo-hyun in a comfortable situation. It was a Friday game, so I had to think about bullpen exhaustion, and I had to see how long he could go. I took him out early because he threw more pitches than I thought he would,” Choi said. “It’s true that he didn’t look good compared to what we saw from Futures and his record, but we have to give him a chance to get a proper (start). I told Kim Seo-hyun to prepare well so that the same thing doesn’t happen in his next start.”
On Kim Seo-hyun’s struggles with his pitches, Choi said, “It’s hard for young players to control themselves when things don’t go their way. Yesterday, when it wasn’t going well, I had to quickly come up with a concept, and I’m still not good at that. When I tried to throw hard, my body opened up and I lost my balance. Throwing hard is not a skill. Moon Dong-ju also had that when he was bad. Kim Seo-hyun also needs to learn it as he continues to experience games.”
Regarding Han Seung-hyuk, who was dropped to the second team, Choi said, “He’s been in the starting lineup for two months, but while he was raising his pitch count, his start was cancelled due to rain, and it would have been difficult for him to show what he had prepared. It’s a bit unfortunate, but it can’t be helped. “I’m going to go down to Futures and have a meeting with the coaching staff and see what they think. We’ll adjust what the Futures coaches saw and think and work on it.”
In Han Seung-hyuk’s absence, Hanwha rostered bullpen reliever Kang Jae-min. He will return to the first team as soon as he meets the 10-day re-enrolment deadline. Choi said of Kang, “It wasn’t a problem with the ball. I had to take a break mentally, but I think it came at a good time. We’ll see what happens.”