After struggling in each of his last three matches, Choi looks to ‘buffer’ with a break

Won-jun Choi (29, Doosan Bears) will be looking for his second win of the season after a difficult start.

Doosan head coach Lee Seung-yeop rearranged his weekly starting order after the team’s home game against SSG Landers at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul was cancelled on 28 April. Originally, Doosan had planned for Choi Won-jun to start on Saturday and Kwak Bin to return from injury on Sunday.

However, both games were cancelled. When only Saturday was cancelled, Lee Seung-yeop’s plan was to keep Kwak-bin’s start date and move Choi Won-jun’s start to a later date, but Sunday’s game was also cancelled. If he kept the order as it was, Kwak-Bin would pitch on Tuesday and Choi Won-Joon on Wednesday.메이저놀이터

However, Lee opted for Choi Won-jun on Tuesday and Kwak-bin on Wednesday to avoid overworking Kwak-bin, who was just making his comeback. If Kwak-Bin pitched on Tuesday, he would have only had four days of rest before he had to pitch again on Sunday.

The team also hoped that Choi Won-jun would benefit from the rest day. “Choi Won-jun’s pitches tend to come alive when he gets a lot of rest,” said Lee Seung-yeop, who spoke to reporters on the 28th. “In the last game, he pitched on four days’ rest and his strength dropped quickly. This time, he’s throwing after nine days of rest. I think the rain cancellation will have a positive effect (on the team).”

Indeed, Choi has had a taste of rest this season. In two games on four days’ rest, he allowed six earned runs in 10 innings (5.40 ERA), and in three games on five days’ rest, he allowed 11 earned runs in 15 innings (6.60 ERA). His batting averages were also high at 0.317 and 0.305.

On the other hand, with more than six days of rest (including his first start of the season on 2 April), he was a completely different pitcher, allowing five earned runs in three games and 21 innings (2.14 ERA). His strikeouts didn’t increase, but his batting average plummeted to .178.

It’s time for Won-jun Choi to get back to his strong suit: reliability. Until last year, he was a guaranteed 10-win pitcher with a total of 30 wins in three seasons, but this season he’s given up more than one run in every three games. He pitched well against the KIA Tigers on 8 April (5 runs in 5 innings), then against the Hanwha Eagles on 18 April (7 innings) and against the KT Wiz on 23 April (1 run in 6 innings). He then collapsed against the SSG Landers on the 29th (6 runs in 4 innings), but bounced back in the next two games before giving up 5 runs in 4 innings against KT on the 21st of this month. It’s a far cry from the ‘guarantee cheque’ he’s been for the past three years.

The team also needs a strong performance from Choi Won-jun. Manager Lee Seung-yeop said on 28 May, “May was actually a period of strength. However, we passed the month in a lull,” he said. “There are still two games left in May. We need to reflect on the things that didn’t go well in the games, and we will prepare to show another Doosan in June.”

Choi Won-jun and returning April ace Kwak Bin (3-1 with a 0.88 ERA in April) will close out May. Choi is also the leader of the Doosan starting rotation, with Kwak saying, “Won-jun is our ace.” Now it’s time for him to spearhead Doosan’s comeback.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.