After being a reliever since his professional debut, he suddenly switched to a starter midway through the season and is now performing as well as an ace pitcher. LG pitcher Lee Jung-yong (27) is the main character.
In the top-ranked LG starting rotation, Lee has been the most consistent pitcher over the past month.
Plutko is out with a pelvic bone bruise, and Choi Won-tae, who was traded for a “winning contract,” has struggled and been sent down to the second team. Kelly, the longtime foreigner, is finally coming around, and Lim Chan-kyu has seen his ERA skyrocket in the second half.
Lee, a 2019 first-round pick, pitched 165 games out of the bullpen until last year, posting a 10-7 record with 41 holds and one save. He has been the closer since 2021.
Earlier this season, when closer Ko Woo-seok went down with a shoulder injury, Lee took over as the interim closer. However, he struggled in 23 games with a 3-1 record, three saves, five blown saves, and a 5.57 ERA. He had more blown saves than successful ones.
In mid-June, manager Yoon Kyung-yup tried the risky move of converting Lee to a starting pitcher. It was an unfamiliar challenge for Lee, who kept failing in the bullpen.
“When I suggested to (Lee) that he switch to starting, I told him, ‘If it’s like this, you’ll be like this, I’ll be like this, there’s nothing left,'” Yeom said. Last winter, Jung Yong was set to enlist in the army, but Yeom postponed his enlistment when he took over the reins. If he continues to struggle in the bullpen and the season continues, neither the manager nor the player will have anything left.
He advised Lee, who had a fastball and slider as his two pitches, to learn a fork and curve and use them as his deciding pitches. If you’re in the bullpen for short innings, you can get by with two solid pitches, but if you’re a starter for long innings, you need three or four pitches to make a long run. Lee realized he needed pitches other than his fastball and slider when he started pitching himself.
4-1 with a 3.29 ERA in nine starts, and a 1.55 ERA in 29 innings over his last five.
Lee made his professional debut at the end of June against Lotte and has gradually increased his pitch count and innings pitched since then. On August 2, he pitched six scoreless innings against Kiwoom, and on August 9, he threw five scoreless innings against KIA for his first win. Since then, he has fully established himself as a starter. His three consecutive quality starts extended his winning streak to four starts.
In five games since August, Lee is 4-0 with a 1.55 ERA. In 29 innings pitched, he has allowed five runs on 25 hits with four walks and 17 strikeouts.
Among the league’s pitchers since August, Buchanan (Samsung) is 2-0 with a 1.72 ERA in six games (36.2 innings, seven earned runs). August MVP Cuevas (KT) is next with a 5-0 record and 1.80 ERA in seven games (9 earned runs in 45 innings). Barnes (Lotte) is 2-2 with a 1.85 ERA in seven games and Wilkerson (Lotte) is 3-2 with a 1.99 ERA in eight games. Lee is no match for them 메이저사이트.
Furthermore, all of the opposing starters Lee has faced are ace-level pitchers. In his nine starts, Lee has faced foreign pitchers six times, and he’s also faced some of the league’s best homegrown starters, including Ahn Woo-jin and Ko Young-pyo. Lee Jung-yong is 4-1 against them, and 8-1 in games where Lee Jung-yong has started. He’s now known as the Victory Fairy.
“It’s not easy, but (Lee) has done a really good job,” said Yeom about Lee’s incredible performance as a starter, “Coach Kim Kyung-tae and Coach Kim Kwang-sam had a hard time. Jung Yong-i did a good job of adding his forkball and curveball.”