The Doosan Bears haven’t had a week with a “full” roster since the start of the regular season on April 1. Even now, on the mound, foreign pitcher Dylan Pyle and right-hander Young-gun Kwak-bin are sidelined with injuries, while native ace Choi Won-joon remains on the second team due to declining command.
On the outfield, top prospect Kim Dae-hyun made the first team roster for the first time since the start of the season on March 31, but veteran left-hander Kim In-tae is still rehabbing from a shoulder injury.
The biggest headache is the starting rotation. With Dillon, Choi Won-jun, and Kwak Bin all out, the team is struggling to find a temporary starter. For now, 38-year-old Jang Won-jun will start against the Hanwha Eagles in Jamsil on April 6.
Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop initially confirmed the four starters of Dillon, Choi Won-jun and Kwak Bin, including ace Raul Alcantara during the Australian spring training in February. For the fifth spot, there was a happy medium between left-hander Choi Seung-yong and right-hander Kim Dong-joo.
However, Alcantara is the only one who has been in the starting rotation since the start of the season. In the case of Choi Seung-yong and Kim Dong-joo, their lack of experience and decline in fitness since May is evident.
Coach Lee Seung-yup was asked about his options before the game against the Suwon KT Wiz on April 4 and replied, “I think they are tired. I’m not sleeping well at night,” he joked in a self-deprecating tone.
“What we as a coaching staff can do is find resources to fill in the gaps. “That’s why we have the Futures League,” he said, adding, “Just like Jang Won-jun recently became a winning pitcher for the first time in years, these players are coming up and giving the first team a boost and holding on.
As for Kim Dong-ju, “I think he’s a little tired. If the team had (starting pitchers) to spare, we should have made it easier for him to adjust his 메이저놀이터 condition instead of skipping one rotation, but it wasn’t the case,” he said, adding, “Recently, I could see that his arm angle was definitely coming down. But I don’t have an alternative. There is no other option.”
Lee believes that if they can hold on to their current form in June, they could be in the mix for the title at the end of the first half. The challenge for Doosan is to “hold on” while maintaining its 5 percent win rate.
“I also want to see what kind of power we have when the players who are out with injuries are fully back,” Lee said, “Injuries are unavoidable and can’t be helped. Everyone is trying to do their best for the team and may get injured or have a slump. I think Doosan will be stronger after this tough period,” he emphasized.
He added, “We’ve been losing 5 percent of our games for almost two months since the start of the season, and we need to get over this hump. “I also told the veterans that the good days are coming, so let’s be a little stronger,” he added.