A grounder who can’t catch a ground ball…Lotte starting lineup changes again, “Lee In-bok advantage lost. Na Gyun-an return is Plan A”
“We lost our advantage.”
The Lotte Giants starting rotation is set to undergo another period of change. Lotte has designated pitcher Lee In-bok for assignment and recalled Kim Do-kyu for a game against the SSG Landers on Friday at Sajik Stadium in Busan.
Lee In-bok started the game the previous day (April 4) and was pulled after allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts in three innings. Lee, who returned in late June after undergoing surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow in January, had struggled to get back on track. He is 1-3 with a 5.63 ERA (15 earned runs in 24 innings) in seven games since returning, including the previous game. His strikeout rate is 3.36 and his walks allowed per inning (WHIP) is 1.83. He relies heavily on inducing slow groundballs to be competitive, but that hasn’t been the case since his return.
This year, he’s been inducing ground balls with a 1.61 ground ball-to-fly ratio, but he’s also been giving up more long balls. He went 3-for-6 with a .495 on-base percentage. It’s a sign that he’s generating a lot of hard-hit balls.
Sutton said, “He’s a groundball pitcher, which everybody knows. “He’s not a pitcher that’s going to get strikeouts with his stuff, he’s a pitcher that’s going to produce weak pitches and match them,” Sutton said. “But compared to last year, the trajectory of his slider and two-seamer has changed a lot. Because of this, he is getting more line drives and fly balls rather than inducing ground balls. You can say that Lee In-bok has lost his advantage,” he explained.
“Compared to last year, his slider and changeup pitches are showing different movements than last year, not only from the tracking data but also from the naked eye,” he said, explaining that Lee’s lackluster movement is the reason for his slump.
For now, Lee has been sent down to the second team in hopes of recapturing his form. That leaves one starting spot open. “Plan A is for Na Gyun-ahn to come in if everything goes positively with the schedule,” Sutton said. Right now, his rehabilitation is going well.”
Na Kyun-ahn was dropped from the first-team roster on the 30th of last month due to sudden hamstring pain. He was scheduled to start against the Gwangju KIA, but was unable to pitch due to the injury and has been rehabbing. In terms of the rotation, Lotte’s Plan A can only be realized if Na Gyun-ahn returns against Gochuk Kiwoom on the 10th.스포츠토토
Meanwhile, Kim Do-kyu was called up to bolster the bullpen in place of Lee In-bok. In the first team, Kim had a record of 3-3 with one save and one hold in 24 games with a 6.75 ERA. After being released from the first team on June 17 due to poor performance, he was reassigned to the second team.
In the second team, Kim was untouchable. He earned a call-up to the first team after appearing in 10 games and 10⅔ innings with seven hits, six walks, six strikeouts and two runs (unearned).