Three years ago, one month, four saves. The glittering Sugar Man’s return to the field. 151→148km less restraint. Why salinity is still OK.
One of the reasons the LG Twins were able to finish first this season was their second best pitcher.
Ham Deok-ju, Park Myung-geun, and Yoo Young-chan have provided a solid backstop when the original trio of Go Woo-seok, Jung Woo-young, and Lee Jung-yong were unable to perform due to injuries and poor performances. In May, Yeom Kyung-yup’s early decision to create a backup group in case Go Woo-seok, Jung Woo-young and others were unavailable at the Asian Games paid off.
Here’s another candidate for a must-win spot. Lee Sang-kyu. His name is no stranger to LG fans. He stepped in as a temporary closer in the 2020 season when Go Woo-seok went down with an injury. He made waves with his fastball, which was up to 151 kilometres at the time, and he used it to close games. In May, he appeared in 12 games, going 2-4 with one save and a 1.46 ERA.메이저놀이터
But it didn’t last long. In June, he struggled in five games with two losses and a 16.20 ERA, and was later sent down to the second team after trying to catch up. He hasn’t seen much of the first team since.
After pitching well in the Futures League this season, Yeom promoted him to the major leagues. The first-team coaching staff doesn’t get to see much of the second-team players, so if a player shows good skills, he is called up to the first team to train with them and test his skills.
On the 17th, Lee Sang-kyu was called up to the first team for a major tour and pitched in the bullpen in front of the coaching staff, including Yeom. “His mechanics are good and his delivery looks stable,” said Yeom, who expressed his intention to use him in the first team. And when Lee Jung-yong was withdrawn due to shoulder pain, Lee Sang-gyu took his place.
Lee came in as the last pitcher in the 12th inning of a 1-1 tie against Hanwha in Jamsil on the 20th and pitched a one-hit shutout, followed by one inning of two-hit ball against SSG on the 23rd and 1⅓ innings of two-hit ball against KIA in Gwangju on the 27th. Three games, 3⅓ innings of scoreless baseball with three hits and two walks.
“He has a two-seam fastball, a forkball that doesn’t leave the zone much and he tends to try to compete,” said Yeom. “He needs to improve his command, but looking at his throwing mechanics, I think he can improve his command.” “When I came to the first team, I made some changes to my forkball. If I can improve my curveball, I can be much better.”
His velocity has dropped a bit. “I’m throwing around 147-148km at the moment, and my average is around 143km,” said Yeom. “When I’m in command, I don’t need to have a fastball to win games. You just need to average around 145km,” he said, adding that the fastball doesn’t have to be fast.
If Lee develops a bit more and becomes a winning pitcher, LG will be able to use its abundant bullpen to operate a spare bullpen. It is a happy dream for LG, which has a lot of good resources.