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‘ERA 1.86’ Ham Deok-joo, it was not a failed trade

LG defeated Hanwha in the homeroom and won 3 consecutive wins, rising to second place.

The LG Twins,안전놀이터 led by coach Yeom Gyeong-yeop, won 3-1 with 7 hits in a home game against the Hanwha Eagles in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League held at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on the 19th. LG, who allowed Chae Eun-seong a solo home run in the first inning, succeeded in reversing by scoring 2 points in the 3rd inning and 1 point in the 5th inning, and kept the victory without allowing any more points. LG pushed SSG Landers, who lost 5-7 to Lotte Giants that day, to 3rd place and jumped to 2nd place (25-14).

In the third inning, foreign batter Austin Dean hit a timely double in the final that overturned the game, and Kim Hyun-soo scored a timely hit in the fifth inning. On the mound, starter Casey Kelly won his 4th win of the season with 7 innings, 6 hits, 4 strikeouts, and 1 run. LG’s left-hander Deok-Joo Ham is the main character, who is being reevaluated for the trade that took place two years ago due to his outstanding performance this season.

Trade with Doosan, which was not much fun

LG and Doosan, which have shared the Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul since 1985, have refrained from trading with each other since the predecessors, MBC Blue Dragon and OB Bears. It is because there is no need to take the risk of trading when it is obvious that if you fail, you will receive huge criticism from the fans. In particular, in the case of LG, I did not have a very good memory in the trade with the Bears from the days of MBC Blue Dragon. This is the reason why the trade between the two teams could not help but shrink even more.

LG, which took over MBC Blue Dragon in 1990, sent Kim Sang-ho, a young infielder who had not been able to explode his potential after joining, to OB to strengthen the mound, and recruited Korean-Japanese pitcher Choi Il-eon (LG pitching instructor), who recorded 19 wins in 1986. However, Choi Il-eon, who had passed his heyday, moved to Samsung Lions after recording 3 wins in one year at LG, while Kim Sang-ho started his heyday at OB and won the home run king (25), RBI king (101) and regular league MVP in 1995. swept

In 2008, the interests of Doosan, which was in a hurry to catch, and LG, which aimed at reinforcing the bullpen, coincided. Doosan bullpen pitcher Lee Jae-young and infielder Kim Yong-eui transferred to LG, while LG catcher Choi Seung-hwan (Incheon High School coach) and giant gun prospect Lee Seong-yeol (kt Wiz training/rehabilitation batting coach) wore Doosan uniforms. At the time of the trade, there were many evaluations that it was an acceptable trade that did not include star players, but again, Doosan had a slight advantage when it came to winning and losing.

After moving to Doosan, Choi Seung-hwan played in 63 games in 2008 and 84 games in 2009, and kept Doosan’s home until Yang Eui-ji appeared, and Lee Seong-yeol also played an active role as a right fielder in 2010 with 24 home runs and 86 RBIs. On the other hand, Lee Jae-young worked for LG for two years before transferring to SK Wyverns through a trade in 2010. At least, the existence of Kim Yong-eui, who played an active role until 2021 as a multiplayer in the infield and outfield, was a comfort for LG.

Since 2008, LG and Doosan have not traded with each other for over 10 years. However, after Oh Jae-il (Samsung) left the team at the end of the 2020 season, Doosan needed a first baseman with long hitting power, and LG was in a hurry for a proven left-handed reliever pitcher who could play the role of veteran Jin Hae-soo, who is well past his mid-30s. So LG and Doosan carried out a 2:2 trade on March 25, right before the start of the 2021 season, in which Deok-joo Ham and Ji-sun Chae, wearing LG uniforms, transferred Seok-hwan Yang and Nam-ho, left-hander, to Doosan.

Ham Deok-ju, seeing the light after 3 years of trade Ham Deok-

ju, who graduated from Wonju High School and joined Doosan with the 43rd overall pick in the 5th round in the 2013 rookie draft, is evaluated as a left-handed bullpen prospect and has a steady opportunity in the first team. received And in 2015, when manager Kim Tae-hyung took over, Ham Deok-joo appeared in 68 games and recorded an average ERA of 3.65 with 7 wins, 2 losses, 2 saves, and 16 holds, growing into a pillar of the Doosan bullpen. In 2017, he served as Doosan’s 5th starter and also won 9 wins of the season.

Ham Deok-joo transformed into a finisher responsible for Doosan’s back door in 2018 and recorded double-digit saves for three consecutive years. However, Ham Deok-joo, who had 27 saves in 2018, had 16 saves in 2019 and 10 saves in 2020, and the number of saves gradually decreased and the average ERA gradually increased, leaving regret. In the end, in 2020, a good bullpen pitcher named Hong Kun-hee joined the team by trade, and Doosan used left-hander Deok-ju Ham, who had been stagnant in growth, as a trade card to recruit Yang Seok-hwan, a right-hander.

Looking at the results of the past two years alone, the trade between the two teams in 2021 was a complete victory for Doosan. While Yang Seok-hwan played an active role as a first baseman with 28 homers and 96 RBIs in 2021 and 20 homers last year, Ham Deok-ju did not take a place in the LG bullpen at all. Ham Deok-joo, who was sluggish with 1 win, 2 losses, 1 hold and 4.29 in 16 games in the first year of transfer, recorded an average ERA of 2.13 in 13 games last year, but failed to post a win, loss, save, or hold and was completely excluded from LG’s winning group.

Ham Deok-joo, who did not show his presence at all for two years after transferring to LG, is going to ‘play a grudge’ through an outstanding performance this season. Ham Deok-joo, who has already pitched in 21 games this season, is active as a league-leading bullpen pitcher with 2 wins, 3 saves, 5 holds, and 1.86. He pitches flawlessly, as his .154 batting average and 0.83 on-base allowed per inning suggest, and he hasn’t hit a single home run in 19.1 innings. In particular, he continued his streak of 6.1 scoreless innings in 6 games in May.

This year’s LG bullpen, last year’s save king Woo-seok Ko left due to shoulder pain, hold king Jung Woo-yeong, military enlistment Lee Jeong-yong, and free agency contract veteran Kim Jin-seong did not perform as well as last year. Nevertheless, the secret to LG’s ability to maintain its top spot from the start of the season until 39 games was played by Ham Deok-ju, who perfectly revived this season, was decisive. If the outstanding performance in the early stages is maintained until the second half of the season, Deok-Joo Ham is very likely to emerge as a ‘dark horse’ in the FA market this year.

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