One of the staples of the LG Twins’ bullpen, Jung Woo-young, is out, and he has exactly 10 days to do so.
On the 14th, LG removed Jung from the first team roster. Instead, Park Myung-keun “Gojoluki” was called up the next day. With Ham Deok-ju, Yoo Young-chan, Baek Seung-hyun, and other young pitchers in the bullpen, the loss of Jung Woo-young won’t leave much of a void.안전놀이터
This season, Jung is having a somewhat sluggish season compared to previous years, with a 4-4 record and a 4.43 ERA in 50 games and 42⅔ innings pitched. Even after the All-Star break, he couldn’t seem to settle down, allowing a run in every game, and was eventually sent down.
That doesn’t mean that the decision was a negative one. “I had a meeting with Jung Woo-young (before the expungement),” LG manager Yoon Kyung-yeop said before the team’s Game 13 against the Samsung Lions of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Samsung Lions Park in Daegu on Friday.
“It’s not just about now, but the rest of the season and the Asian Games, so I think he has his own feelings. It’s a little difficult for me to test him because I have to play in the first team, so I wanted to test him (in the second team), and the timing was right. I was thinking about it, and Jung Woo-young was talking to me about it.”
“We’re going to check a lot of things, but he needs to get his slide step quicker, and he also wants to try throwing some curves and changeups because he’s not getting results by throwing only two-seamers,” Yoon said.
In the end, it’s the pitches other than the two-seam that hold the key to Jung’s rebound. “It’s not that his fastball isn’t working, it’s just that it’s up to 153km/h, and he might be able to do it for another year or two, but the hitters have adapted to it, and in a way, he needs to have a curveball or a changeup to reach his goals in the future. That’s how you cook hitters, and when you’re throwing close to 25 pitches an inning, you’re going to have a lower strikeout rate. You’re making a lot of contact, you’re getting a lot of foul balls, and you’re getting a lot of pitches in the count.”
“If you have a curveball or a changeup, your two-seam is much more effective, and you have to throw a four-seam. Why would you throw away a fastball that can reach 154 to 155 km/h? If you throw a high fastball in a favorable count, it’s effective, but you’re throwing it away,” he said. “You can’t catch it, so if the batter hits it and you’re lucky, it’s going straight up, and if it gets away, it’s bad, and you start to get walks, and if you’re walking a lot, your ERA is going to go up.”
Manager Yoon Kyung-yeop, who wants to see the setup man rebound more than anyone else, said, “I have 10 more years to go, and there are more days to go than what I’ve done so far. One game is not important. It’s the coaching staff’s job to look at not only me, but also the player and the team and give us direction on how to go for the next 10 years, and I’ve been struggling a lot with Coach Kim Kyung-tae. I’ve been working hard, so I’m confident that if I go to the second team and test myself, I can improve quickly.”
Unless there are any major problems, Jung Woo-young will be back in the first team after 10 days. “He’ll be up in 10 days, and he’ll be ready by then,” said Yeom Kyung-yup, expressing his faith in Jung Woo-young, saying, “If he changes his mind because of what he’s done, and if he feels what he feels through the test, I think he can do it.” Now it’s up to the player to live up to his coach’s expectations.