Monday, 22nd April 2024

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Lee Min-seok started his comeback with a bang

On a day when the first-team mound was bombed, Lotte Giants pitcher Lee Min-seok (21) started his comeback with a bang.

The Lotte Giants’ first-team mound was bombed in an exhibition game against the Hanwha Eagles on April 17. They gave up 14 runs on 19 hits. The team suffered a 2-14 loss. In the game on the 16th, they gave up eight runs on 17 hits. In two games on April 16-17, the Lotte mound gave up 36 hits and 22 runs.

While the first-team mound was taking a beating, the second-team’s hidden card on the mound began its comeback in earnest. Lee Min-seok threw 24 live pitches at the Sangdong Stadium in Gimhae on the 17th. According to club officials, Lee threw his first live pitch with 100 percent power, and his fastball reached a maximum velocity of 150.4 kilometers per hour. His average velocity was 148.6 kilometers.

As it was his first live pitching session, the result itself cannot be considered satisfactory.

However, the fact that he was on the mound and threw the ball in a realistic situation means that his return to the field is just around the corner.

Lee Min-seok, who was drafted in the first round in 2022 after graduating from Kaesong High School, was an unpolished raw material. He didn’t turn to pitching until high school, but his mid-to-high 150-kilometer fastball made for a promising start. After joining Lotte, Won-seok began to refine his pitches and made his first-team debut in July 2022, 카지노사이트 showing promise with a 5.88 ERA in 27 games with a 1-1 record and five holds.

Last year, Lee prepared for the season as a closer, but before he could show what he was capable of, he went down with an injury. After suffering a torn elbow ligament in the opening game against Doosan at Jamsil Stadium on April 1, he underwent surgery to reconstruct his elbow’s collateral ligament (Tommy John surgery) and remove bone chips, and entered a long rehabilitation tunnel. He carefully managed his elbow before the season. He took the most cautious approach possible and was ready to go, but the ligament tore on the opening day.

Lee rehabbed steadily and made it to spring training in Guam.

He continued his rehabilitation in a warmer place and reached the stage of bullpen pitching. He completed three bullpen pitches without pain. He increased his bullpen pitch count to 50 pitches. Instead of traveling to the Okinawa camp in Japan, where the team will play in live games, Lee returned to Busan for the final stage of his rehabilitation.

At the end of the Guam spring training, Lee said, “I was throwing at about 90 percent strength. When you’re pitching in the bullpen with other players, you get stronger without realizing it. It was my homework in Guam to control it, and I finished well without getting hurt. I’d love to pitch in a game, but there’s nothing wrong with it,” he explained.

“I’m going to go back to the drawing board and throw up to 70 bullpen pitches, then I’m going to ramp it up again and throw about 30 pitches like I’m pounding the ball, and then I’m going to be pitching at 100 percent by the middle of March,” he said, “and then I’m scheduled to pitch live and throw in games if I feel good.”

“We’re now in the middle of March, and I’m at 100 percent strength, and I’m in the live pitching phase. If the final phase of his rehab continues at this pace and he shows results in his second rehab start, the team is targeting a May return to the first team. And they’re thinking starting pitcher. As a rookie in 2022, Lee was initially being taught to be a starter. He was building up to being a starter who could pitch five innings, but he has only pitched out of the bullpen since his call-up to the first team in early July.

After the injury,

The club’s management and pitching staff, including pitching coach Joo Hyung-kwang, have been considering Lee Min-seok as a starting option. “I hope Lee Min-seok can come in as a starter later,” Joo said, hinting at his intention to prepare him as a starter. “I think we should think more about the starting pitcher,” Kim Tae-hyung said during the Guam spring training. However, he also said, “He can be used in the middle because of the way he throws the ball, his changeup, etc.” and said he would consider various possibilities.

Lee Min-seok’s return to the first team is still a long way off. The first-team pitching staff, which is currently on trial, is also less organized. But it’s a good sign that the fastest power pitcher in the organization is healthy and ready to return.

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