Choi Won-tae, the ‘winning contractor’ ambitiously recruited by the LG Twins, was excluded from the first team with an unexpected ERA of 8.27 in 7 games after his transfer.
It is unclear how much leeway LG will be able to give Choi Won-tae, but with his current performance, it seems meaningless for him to remain in the first team. As the regular season nears its end, there is a 5.5-game gap with second-place KT Wiz, so there is a possibility that Choi Won-tae will be given a very long time.
On the 11th, LG decided to exclude Choi Won-tae from the first team entry. In fact, Choi Won-tae’s performance was slowly declining after his transfer to LG. In the first game of his transfer, against Doosan in Jamsil on July 30, he finished his debut brilliantly with 6 innings, 2 hits, 5 strikeouts, and no runs.
However, in the very next game, on August 5th, against Samsung, he was battered by allowing 6 runs in 5 innings, and although he became the winning pitcher in the match against Kiwoom on the 12th, he left behind an average performance of 2 runs in 5 innings. His last three games have gone less than five innings. There was a shocking game against NC on August 25th, giving up as many as 12 hits in 4 innings, and the slump was repeated this month with 2 runs in 3 innings against KT on the 5th and 7 runs in 2⅔ innings against KIA on the 10th.먹튀검증
Because of this situation, LG manager Yeom Kyung-yeop began to express concern that Choi Won-tae’s innings pitched exceeded last year’s. Choi Won-tae pitched 135 innings this year. Last year, he was responsible for a total of 115 innings, including 105⅔ innings in the regular season and 9⅓ innings in the postseason. He already surpassed the number of innings he pitched from March to November last year in August this year. This is why coach Yeom Kyung-yeop began to gradually widen the interval between Choi Won-tae’s pitches.
However, this short, if short, break did not bring any rebound to Choi Won-tae’s performance. Now Choi Won-tae is starting to recharge after being left out of the first team lineup. It may not have been an easy decision to exclude a winning contractor acquired through a trade from the first team. Still, LG decided to prepare for late fall with a long pause.
LG has already made a similar decision at the beginning of the season. Based on the judgment that Lee Min-ho and Kim Yun-sik’s physical condition was not normal, a ‘summer camp’ was promoted after the first team was expunged. The two players did not participate in Futures League games and focused on getting in shape. In the meantime, Lee Jeong-yong settled into the starting rotation and Choi Won-tae joined, allowing the team to last two months without Lee Min-ho and Kim Yun-sik.
Results are coming slowly. Kim Yun-sik allowed 1 run in 5 innings in his return game against Hanwha on September 2nd. Then, in the game against KIA on the 8th, he pitched close to a quality start, allowing 1 run in 5⅔ innings. Lee Min-ho narrowed the distance from the first-team mound, which seemed far away, by allowing 2 runs and 1 earned run in 17⅔ innings in the last three games of the Futures League. He was a performance worth keeping an eye on as a potential replacement starter.
Choi Won-tae can also follow the same path. LG happened to have some time to spare. As of the 11th, they are in first place with 70 wins, 2 draws, 47 losses, and a winning percentage of 0.598. They recently failed to maintain their 60% win rate with 3 consecutive losses, but the difference in games is not small, with 5.5 games against 2nd place KT and 6.0 games against 3rd place NC. Moreover, with LG having 25 games left, KT having 23 games left, and NC having 27 games remaining, there is not much room to narrow the gap.
It is also a realistic decision, not a leisurely decision. Rather than allowing Choi Won-tae, who recorded an ERA of 8 points in 7 games, to remain in the rotation, giving a replacement starter a chance may lead to better results. Giving Choi Won-tae a long period of time is a better decision for now.