Lee Jung-yong of the LG Twins has received a lot of attention since he was an amateur enough to join the team as the first designation in 2019. After 꽁머니entering the professional league, he became a key bullpen pitcher for LG, and his share of the team increased to the point where he played more than 60 games for the second consecutive year in 2021 and last year.

However, Lee Jung-yong’s start this season was tough. He was sluggish in April with two wins, one hold, three saves and a 5.93 ERA in 13⅔ innings in 15 games, and failed to change the trend until May. On top of that, on May 20, he was out of the lineup due to a right shoulder injury and failed to take the mound for nearly a month.

Shortly after returning from injury, Lee Jung-yong took on a new challenge of “starting.” He made his first start against the Lotte Giants in Jamsil on June 25, and played all three appearances last month as a starter, not as a bullpen. Naturally, he entered the fifth selection competition with Lee Ji-gang and others.

Lee Jung-yong did not rest even during the All-Star break. He went to the second division and played a practice game, and on days when there was no game, he checked the pitch type through training. Thanks to this, he played the most four innings since his debut against Suwon KT Wiz on July 27, and achieved his first quality start in his debut with three hits, no outs, and two strikeouts in six innings against Kiwoom Heroes on the 2nd.

In particular, in the game on the 2nd, forkballs (27), which were more than fastballs (22), stood out, and the power of curves (9), which took away the timing of batters, was also formidable. Turns out there was help from seniors. Veteran pitcher Kim Jin-sung, who uses forkballs, and Lim Chan-kyu, who is having fun with curves, reached out to Lee Jung-yong.

After the game, Lee Jung-yong said, “Honestly, I practiced during the break, but I found out because (Lim) Chan-kyu played catch ball himself on the last day of the break.” So I used it well in the second division game, and it helped a lot,” he said, adding, “Kim Jin-sung told me about the forkball, but honestly, just because you tell me, it doesn’t mean you can do it right away.” So I practiced, but it’s so nice to have results. “I think I somehow found the feeling,” he said with a smile.

In addition, injury served as an opportunity for Lee Jung-yong to change his mind. He said, “Honestly, I gave up my greed after I got sick. “I started the second half with the thought that I would do the bad things, so I want the team to win, and I still feel the same,” he said. “The team won four games in five games that I started, and I’m so happy that the team won regardless of the winning pitcher.”

If Kim Yoon-sik returns within this month, he may have to return to his original position, the bullpen, but Lee Jung-yong stressed that he has no greed for the position, saying, “I think what I need to do is throw the ball on the mound, so I’m still thinking I’m doing bad things.”

At the end of this season, Lee Jung-yong will be away for a while due to his enlistment in the Sangmu Baseball Team (National Military Sports Unit). He said, “I hope I don’t get hurt and that time will be a turning point,” adding, “It’s a season where I’m a little restless, and I’m trying to enjoy it a lot.” I’ve been a little disappointed that I haven’t been able to produce results, but I think I can’t go straight up and fall like this. In the long run, I think it’s a ‘experiencing season’,” he said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.