“I don’t want them to think about protecting their starting rotation, I want them to think about every game as their last. Don’t think about the future, just think about the future.”
Doosan Bears manager Lee Seung-yeop announced on Sunday that he has selected Kim Dong-ju (21) as the pitcher to replace Kwak Bin (24), who will compete at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, prior to the game against the Gwangju KIA Tigers.
Kwak-bin will begin his Asian Games preparations with a start against the Gwangju KIA on the 18th. He was originally scheduled to pitch against the Gwangju KIA on the 17th and the Daegu Samsung Lions on the 22nd before joining the national team, but the schedule was disrupted when the 16th game was canceled due to rain. Doosan was forced to call up ace Raul Alcantara for the 17th game and reduce Kwak-Bin’s pitch count by one game.
Kwak-Bin has been the centerpiece of the Korean starting rotation this season. In 21 games, he went 10-7 with a 3.12 ERA in 115 innings pitched. Doosan will be without Kwak-Bin for the remainder of the season as it battles for a top-five finish, but the team will try to make do with what it has.
Lee plans to remove Kwak-bin from the first team roster as soon as he completes his 18th appearance. He will send out Kim Dong-ju against Samsung in Daegu on the 22nd, which was Kwak-bin’s scheduled start, and will use Choi Won-jun in his place. Choi has spent the last eight days on the disabled list with a blistered finger.
Kim Dong-ju was well-received enough to start the season as the fifth starter. He mixed in a heavy fastball with a slider that he threw at various angles to cook hitters. However, his inexperience showed up more and more, and his stamina waned, so he spent more time in the second team midseason rebuilding.
Lee said, “Kim Dong-ju pitched very well at the beginning of the season, but his strength dropped because it was his first time pitching full-time. His pitches weren’t bad, but he was facing a lot of balls, which made it harder on himself. I kept fighting with myself before fighting with the opponent,” he said.
“After June, I was in and out of the second team, and I’m sure he felt it too. It’s a crucial time, so I want us to give it our all as if it’s the last game rather than thinking about protecting the starting rotation. Don’t look back, just look ahead,” he added.
Choi Won-jun prepares to pitch against the Jamsil NC Dinos on the 19th. The starting pitcher is preparing for Jang Won-jun to take the mound, and the team is planning a 1+1 strategy to have Choi right behind him if Jang Won-jun runs out of steam. 스포츠토토
Lee said, “There is a high probability that when Jang Won-jun pitches the day after tomorrow (the 19th), Choi Won-jun will follow him out. Since it’s his comeback game, I think he should stay behind him rather than start and see how he’s doing.”