Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop was explaining his decision to demote Jose Rojas (30) to the second team before the team’s game against KIA in Jamsil on Nov. 11. His expression showed both regret and embarrassment.
Rojas, the team’s newest signing, had hit 10 home runs in 49 games this season, but was batting just .205 with a .286 on-base percentage and a .728 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage). These numbers are far below what you’d expect from a foreign hitter. While he had the power to hit, he was often unable to get the ball to come off the bat. On the 9th and 10th, against the Jamsil KIA, he started the game from the bench.
Lee saw no point in having a foreign player on the bench. The foreigner would be a solid starter, and the pinch-hitting duties Rojas had performed in the last two games were better suited to the younger players who needed experience. “We’ll make adjustments and when he’s perfect, when we think he can start, then we’ll call him,” Lee added. A return to the first team is not on the horizon.
Lee, who took the reins at Doosan this year, is arguably the best “legendary” hitter in KBO history. There was a lot of buzz about what kind 메이저놀이터 of baseball he could bring to the table, coming straight from a coaching background. With a wealth of experience in Korea and Japan, and a long history as a commentator, there were high expectations that he would bring a different kind of baseball to the table. Lee is a great asset to Korean baseball, so it was a great start.
However, the baseball world believes that Lee has not yet shown his true colors. It’s still unclear what the biggest identity of “Lee Seung-yup Baseball” is. However, considering that it’s been more than two months since he started the season as manager, some say he needs time, while others say he has an excuse. There’s a good reason for this: we haven’t played at 100% from the start of the season until now.
Of course, none of the 10 teams are playing with a roster that matches their pre-season plans. Over the course of a season, there will be injuries and players who don’t perform as well as expected, but Doosan is unique in that it has never had its best players together.
It’s frustrating to see the typical missing piece pattern of one player returning and another missing. Players who were key to Lee’s plan for the season are now missing due to injury and underperformance. The trusty axe has already been stamped pretty hard on his backside. He’s been busy filling in the gaps without getting a chance to show his baseball colors. The fact that they have a winning percentage of over 5 percent is a testament to the strength of Lee and Doosan.
The foreign players are a prime example. Only ace Raul Alcantara has been a consistent performer. Rojas has had a long slump, and new foreign player Dylan Pyle started off with an unfortunate injury that kept him out of the game for various reasons before he was eventually released after only two games. Choi Won-joon Kwak-bin was also out of the rotation due to nagging injuries. Lee Young-ha was a late addition. Lee has been busy moving the pieces on the mound throughout the season so far.
In the batting order, veteran players who should be anchoring the lineup have been unable to do so, resulting in a chaotic situation with lineup changes on a daily basis. Through 11 games, Doosan has played 55 games of the season and used 54 different lineups. This is due to the lack of players who have a solid place in the lineup, no matter who they are facing or what their pitches or arms are. The use of Kim Dae-hyun and Lee Yoo-chan as table-setters against the KIA in Jamsil on Tuesday is a sobering reminder of the current state of affairs. There was no “umbrella” to put the younger players in more comfortable situations.
It’s hard to see Lee’s aggressive tendencies when the lineup changes like this. He just had to take it day by day and play to the situation. They were among the league’s most prolific offenses in terms of walks per game, and were about average in terms of pinch-hitters, pinch-runners, and pinch-runners. We have a lot of stolen base attempts, but fewer sacrifice bunts. It’s not clear from the record whether the offense is big-ball or small-ball.
Even with Kwak-Bin’s return on the 11th, we’re still a long way from the arrival of new foreign player Brandon Waddell. He is close to signing a contract, but hasn’t finalized it. He won’t be in the rotation until late June at the earliest. Rojas is in the second team, and Kim Jae-hwan hasn’t even been called up yet. So until June, it’s going to be a game-by-game situation. Many people say that the rookie manager doesn’t look like a rookie, but it’s inevitable that his heart is burning. When will ‘Seung-chan’s’ baseball start?