Showing limitations in pitching and hitting capabilities, and finishing eighth in the final.

Even just a slight turn of the clock, however, Samsung had the highest rank in the league. In the 2021 season, two years ago, Samsung tied for first place (0.563) in the regular league win rate, and had the first-ever playoff against KT Wiz.

What is the difference between Samsung at that time and Samsung this season? After all, the weight of starting pitchers is the biggest difference. In the 2021 season, Samsung established the best 1-3 starting pitchers in the league, with foreign ace Buchanan, Won Tae-in, and Baek Jung-hyun combining 44 wins. At that time, Samsung’s starting pitchers were so solid that foreign pitcher Montgomery started as the fifth starting pitcher.

In order for Samsung to escape from the bottom ranks in the upcoming 2024 season, building a solid starting lineup like the 2021 season is the top priority. The current situation is positive. Foreign ace Buchanan, who is likely to renew his contract, is still at the highest level in the league. Won Tae-in, the national team’s starter, can continue to play without a gap because he has benefited from military service through the Asian Games.

If there are only domestic starting pitchers who can support Won Tae-in like Baek Jung-hyun, who won 14 games in 2021, Samsung can build a solid starting lineup that can aim for more than fall baseball.

Choi Chae-heung, who will join his seventh professional career, is a pitcher who must live up to those expectations. There are young prospects like Lee Ho-seong, but it may be greed to expect a stable starting role from them. Baek Jung-hyun, who showed good performance two years ago, is now in his late 30s. It is much more realistic to expect a rebound of Choi, who has a history of double-digit wins before joining the military in Sangmu and whose strength is stable ball control.

In fact, Samsung had expected Choi to join the starting lineup again last season. However, Choi, who returned to the main league on June 13, failed to fulfill his role as a starting pitcher, finishing below expectations with one win, seven losses and an earned run average of 6.68.

If Choi remains sluggish in the 2024 season, his excuse that he returned to the first division immediately after being discharged from the military and failed a soft landing no longer works. The team and the player themselves can laugh only when they recover the ball power of the team when it had 11 wins in 2020 and regain the starting pitcher’s form.

Choi Chae-heung, who has grown into a 10-win pitcher in his third year of joining the professional league based on his stable ball control and powerful changeup, is a pitcher who was considered the best performance in college baseball. Attention is focusing on whether Choi Chae-heung, who left hope with a starting win (zero earned runs in six innings) in his last appearance in the 2023 season, will return as a strong pillar of Samsung’s starting lineup.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *