The Lotte Giants made the second cut-off 안전놀이터 ahead of the second spring camp held in Ishigaki, Japan.
The Lotte team announced on the 18th, “Pitcher Cha Woo-chan, Choi Jun-yong, Kim Do-gyu, Kim Do-kyu, Lee Min-seok, Jung Sung-jong, Jin Seung-hyun, and Choi Lee-jun, and fielders Kang Tae-yul, Kim Se-min, Kim Joo-hyun, and Choi Min-jae will return home.” They will join Futures Spring Camp, which is being held at Sangdong Stadium in Gimhae from the 21st.
The Lotte club previously returned five players, including Cho Se-jin, Han Tae-yang, Jang Doo-seong, Na Won-tak, and Lee Tae-yeon, to Korea. Originally, the 1st camp in Guam started with a total of 47 players. However, at the second camp held in Ishigaki, Japan, 16 of these 16 people will be left out, and Koo Seung-min will join the training camp with a total of 32 people. Then, during the 3rd camp in Okinawa, Jeong Tae-seung, playing coach, and 4 pitchers joined, preparing for the season opening in earnest.
Among the return list, Cha Woo-chan, Kim Do-gyu, Lee Min-seok, and Jin Seung-hyun are players who have suffered injuries or are currently in progress. Cha Woo-chan has been training hard with the goal of joining the first team around July, and Kim Do-gyu underwent elbow surgery after the end of last season. Lee Min-seok and Jin Seung-hyun are also at the level of physical condition management.
However, the reason for Choi Jun-yong’s return to Korea is different. An official from Lotte explained, “The 2nd list was made up of players who will compete in the actual battle in consideration of conditions, etc. as in the 1st round.” “There is no particular problem with Choi Jun-yong’s physical condition. Choi Jun-yong was only omitted from the list for the practice match against the Chiba Lotte Marines 2nd team held in Ishigaki.”
After taking a short break, Choi Jun-yong will rejoin the 3rd camp in Okinawa on the 27th. In Okinawa, KBO league teams such as SSG Landers and Samsung Lions will hold practice matches.
Choi Jun-yong is Lotte’s winning team, who has led the fight for the top 5 by firmly guarding Lotte’s back door along with Koo Seung-min and Kim Won-joong for the past three years. Last year, he went 3-4 with 14 saves and an earned run average of 4.06 in 68 games and 71 innings. At the beginning of the season, he played a good role as a finisher when Kim Won-joong was injured, but after that, he suffered sluggishness as his stamina declined.
As this was actually his first full-time season, Choi Jun-yong has been focusing on physical training in Guam, shouting ‘this year is different’. Among pitchers, the ability to run for a long time is by far the best along with Kim Jin-wook and Yun Seong-bin.
Lotte head coach Larry Sutton said, “I am very happy to be able to successfully wrap up the spring camp in Guam. The physical preparation of the players has been completed prior to the match schedule in Japan. We trained with a focus on details for each part.” We will focus on our team’s strengths in training and continue to improve as we improve our performance.”