Another native ace has appeared in the LG Twins. In the second half of the season, he is showing the most stability on the twin mound. This is the story of Lee Jeong-yong (27)안전놀이터.
Lee Jeong-yong started the 11th game between the Hanwha Eagles and the Hanwha Eagles in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League held at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on the 1st and earned his 6th win of the season with a pitching pitch of 6 innings, 5 hits, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts, and no runs.
Lee Jeong-yong, who wore the LG uniform as a first round pick in 2019, was a key bullpen member from 2020 to last year and posted a total of 165 games, 163 innings, 10 wins, 7 losses, 1 save, and 41 holds with an ERA of 3.20.
He started the season as a bullpen pitcher again this year. But he suffered from slump. Before he switched to starting, he wasn’t very good, with 3 wins, 1 hold, 3 saves in 23 games and an ERA of 5.57.
Then Manager Yeom Kyung-yeop decided to change Lee Jeong-yong into a starting pitcher. He had an interview with Lee Jeong-yong, and he too accepted.
It is not easy to change positions from bullpen to starter during the season. Lee Jeong-yong gradually increased his pitch count and developed into a starting pitcher.
On June 25th, at the end of the first half of the season, he finished his first debut as a starter by allowing 3 hits and 1 run in 2 innings against Lotte.
Lee Jeong-yong, who went through a three-game adaptation period, recorded a surprising quality start against Kiwoom on the 2nd of last month, allowing 3 hits and no runs in 6 innings, marking the beginning of his career as a native ace. A week later, he pitched well in 3 consecutive games, allowing 5 scoreless innings against Gwangju KIA on the 9th and allowing 2 runs in 6 innings against Samsung in Daegu on August 16. He won 2 wins.
In fact, there was a situation where I had to return to the bullpen at the end of the Gwangju KIA game. With Choi Won-tae acquired through a trade, the starting lineup was filled, and it was decided that Lee Jeong-yong would be pushed out and go to the bullpen. However, director Yeom Kyung-yeop changed his mind. It was decided that Lee Ji-gang would go to long relief and Lee Jeong-yong would remain in the starting rotation.
LG is comprised of Casey Kelly, Adam Plutko, Won-tae Choi, Chan-gyu Lim, and Jeong-yong Lee.
However, Lee Jeong-yong could not be seen after the Samsung game. This is because the starting pitches have been continuously postponed due to rain. On this day, it was the first appearance against Hanwha in 16 days. Nevertheless, he courageously went through 6 innings and completed the task without allowing any runs. It’s a 3-game winning streak.
Now, I think we can call him a decent starting pitcher. In particular, Adam Plutko left due to injury, and Choi Won-tae and Lim Chan-gyu are performing poorly. Lee Jeong-yong is steadfast. Looking at the current momentum, Lee Jeong-yong is the ace. He has swept 3 wins in the last 4 games, and his earned run average is 0.78. It is untouchable.
After the game, Lee Jeong-yong said, “When I go to a game, I always win. So I wanted to give more of that energy to the team. I just want to give good energy.” He continued, “I want to spread the thought among my teammates that ‘If Jeongyong throws, we will win.’ That’s why I think I’m trying to do my best even if I can’t throw.”
He is equipped with a forkball and is becoming a perfect starting pitcher. There was a clear winning shot. He expressed his gratitude, saying, “I feel more comfortable when I throw, but I think (Park) Dong-won owes a lot to my older brother. We work well together and we talk to each other a lot.”
Lee Jeong-yong is scheduled to enlist as a managing director in December. Since he once withdrew his enlistment, he must enter military service this time.
Lee Jeong-yong dreamed of a bright future, saying, “Because I have to go to the military, I really want to achieve great results. There is nothing better than wearing a (championship) ring.”