In effect, one less pitcher and one more bat. Why the team is belatedly going all-in on bolstering its batting lineup.
The Hangzhou Asian Games baseball team, led by head coach Ryu Joong-il, made a major roster change on Feb. 22, just one day before the team was to convene.바카라 KIA Tigers pitcher Lee Yi-ri was dropped, and Lotte Giants outfielder Yoon Dong-hee was selected as his replacement.
In previous roster changes, the national team selected teammate Kim Young-gyu in place of NC Dinos pitcher Koo Chang-mo and Samsung Lions outfielder Kim Sung-yoon in place of Kiwoom Heroes outfielder Lee Jung-hoo.
We took out two pitchers and one outfielder, and added one pitcher and two outfielders. In other words, one less pitcher and one more bat.
The exclusions of Lee Jung-hoo and Koo Chang-mo, who were both expected to miss the team due to major injuries, were expected, but Lee Yi-ri was a bit of a surprise. While there were many voices lamenting Lee’s absence from the team, and some debate over the extent of his injury, the strength and conditioning committee and coaching staff decided that he was not in perfect condition.
With Lee’s exclusion, the team had to give up one pitcher. At the same time, they bolstered their batting lineup with an infield addition.
Even before the team announced the roster changes, there were rumors that the team would be dropping one pitcher and adding one more outfielder.
Why did the team cut a pitcher and add an outfielder?
The first reason is that there were only three outfielders and Lee Jung-hoo was injured.
When the final roster was announced, the national team had only three outfielders, Lee Jung-hoo, Choi Ji-hoon, and Choi Won-jun. Although there were alternatives among the infielders who could play outfield defense, there was a lack of specialized outfielders. Add to that the loss of offensive nucleus Lee Jung-hoo to ankle surgery, and you have a huge hole.
The second reason is the “dark horse” Taiwanese pitching, which is stronger than expected.
The Chinese Taipei squad for the Asian Games included a number of promising players from the American minor leagues. Five out of 10 pitchers are overseas, including four double-minors players. The problem is that they’re still playing at the upper levels of Double-A and Single-A, but they’re “core prospects” that clubs are investing in.
They’re pitchers with fastballs in excess of 150 kilometers and good strikeout rates. That means they can pitch. Pitchers who are carefully nurtured by major league clubs can be competitive in international competitions.
This is where Liu is most nervous. The Chinese Taipei team has plenty of motivation for the Asian Games, which will be held in mainland China.
Japan, with a roster filled with players from its rural baseball team, also has a strong pitching staff. The team’s coaching staff, who have been watching the key pitchers in Japan, said, “There are several pitchers with great fastballs. I think Japan’s power will be much stronger than in previous tournaments,” he said.
Ultimately, the Korean team will have to go “all in” on both Japan and Chinese Taipei to achieve their goal of gold.
Both teams have better pitching compared to their offense, so Korea will have to ‘hit’ to win. They’ll need to break down their pitchers to increase their chances of winning. A shaky batting lineup and an anemic outfield ultimately led to the decision to add bats instead of pitchers.