2 February 2024

Lotte’s No. 1 starter, but he couldn’t even come to the camp… How much longer do we have to wait for the success of the trade

By pestfood.com

Lotte’s strength can be attributed to its starting pitching staff. Along with proven foreign left-hander Charlie Barnes (29), who marks his third year in the KBO league this year, Lotte has solid first to fourth starters including Aaron Wilkerson (35) who joined Lotte last summer and displayed impressive pitching, national team and Lotte’s “native ace” Park Se-woong (29), and right-hander Na Kyun-an (26), who made a splash by winning the MVP award in the KBO in April last year.

Lotte manager Kim Tae-hyung also confirmed the first to fourth starters early on. There is only one puzzle left. He is the fifth starter.

Actually, there was the most likely candidate as the fifth starter. It is Shim Jae-min (30), a left-handed pitcher. Lotte acquired Shim Jae-min in May last year. The team lacked left-handed pitchers, and secured a one-on-one trade by giving up infielder Lee Ho-yeon, who was ranked first in batting average in the Futures League at the time.

Shim Jae-min pitched in 33 games between starting and reliever last year, and pitched 47 ⅔, leaving him with three wins, one loss and six holds with an earned run average of 3.78. Shim was a successful move in his own right. Notably, he pitched well with four hits, two walks and one run in five ⅓ at the game against LG in Jamsil on Oct. 9, the end of the regular season last year, and became a winning pitcher, while he pitched well with four hits, one walk and one run (not earned) in four innings at the game against Hanwha in Daejeon on Oct. 16, the last game of the regular season.

Shim Jae-min cannot be seen at Lotte’s spring camp at the moment, however. He failed to join the camp due to his shoulder injury. “It will be difficult for Shim to join the second spring camp that will take place in Okinawa,” a Lotte official said. Does Lotte still need time to wait for the team to conclude the trade with a “success”.

Manager Kim Tae-hyung also mentioned starting pitchers Han Hyun-hee, Lee In-bok, and Choi Yi-jun, saying, “I don’t think I can start the starting rotation early on because Shim Jae-min has some inflammation in his shoulder. I think we need to prepare about four starting pitchers.” Left-hander Kim Jin-wook, who played in the bullpen last year, also plans to conduct a test on starting pitchers. “I think it would be much easier if Kim Jin-wook started the game,” manager Kim Tae-hyung said. “I think we should prepare as starting pitchers first.” 꽁머니지급

Lotte pitching coach Joo Hyung-kwang said, “Shim Jae-min, who was a strong candidate in the fifth round, couldn’t join the spring camp because he was not in good condition right now. For now, we will focus on players with stamina such as Han Hyun-hee, Jung Sung-jong, Lee In-bok and Choi Yi-jun,” adding, “I don’t think it will be easy to conclude who it is now.”

In the end, the owner of Lotte’s 5th selection is likely to be determined through the spring camp. If Shim Jae-min is unable to enter the starting rotation even at the beginning of the opening, someone should enter the position.