During the Arizona camp, LG coach Yoon Kyung-yup emphasized the need to create a “second must-win group. The calculation was that if a second lineup was created in addition to the existing top three of Lee Jung-yong, Jung Woo-young, and Go Woo-seok, the existing top three would be able to finish the season with their health intact.
That’s why left-hander Ham Deok-ju, 28, was the player Yoon focused on the most at the Arizona camp. “Is he feeling okay?” he would often ask 꽁머니사이트 during training sessions. At the time, Yeom emphasized that “if he plays well, we can have another must-win lineup,” and said, “I think he’ll be fine this year.” Maybe this year’s performance will exceed Yeom’s expectations. Yeom doesn’t deny it either.
In 36 games this season, Ham Deok-ju has pitched 35⅓ innings, compiling an impressive 3-3 record with 11 saves and a 1.02 ERA. With a batting average of just 0.127 and a WHIP of 0.76, he’s averaging less than one base runner per inning, sometimes in multi-inning stints, sometimes in short bursts to support the team’s bullpen.
Before the Incheon SSG game on the 27th, Yeom recalled how he had been concerned about Ham Deok-ju’s physical condition since his appointment. “I thought that Deok-ju shouldn’t be sick,” he said, “so I checked whether he was sick or not from the final training, and he said he wasn’t sick. If it doesn’t hurt, he has enough experience to a certain extent. He’s not too old, and I thought his speed would increase a little more if he played. As expected, he played well,” he said with a smile.
In fact, it’s dizzying to think about the LG bullpen without a normalized Ham Deok-ju. The bullpen was on the verge of collapse when Go Woo-seok, Jung Woo-young, and Lee Jung-yong were all injured or underperforming. The presence of Ham Deok-ju in the middle of a bad stretch was a crucial reason why LG is now in the lead. “We talk about it every day, but if it wasn’t for Ham Deok-ju, Yoo Young-chan, Park Myung-geun, and Baek Seung-hyun, we wouldn’t be here,” Yeom said.
In fact, the tracking data doesn’t show a huge number of changes. The number of revolutions is similar, and the release point is not that different for vertical and horizontal 메이저도메인 movements. My velocity is up a little bit, but it’s nothing dramatic, about a kilometer per hour. Eventually, as he regained his form, his pitching balance stabilized, which is the most important factor in the decline in strikeouts.
Last year, Ham walked 7.82 batters per nine innings. He had a good fastball, but he wasn’t throwing it where he wanted to, and he wasn’t confident. This year, however, as he gained confidence in his borderline fastball, he struck out fewer batters and gained confidence in his changeup. His innings have also been better, with his pitch count dropping from an average of 17-18 pitches per inning to 15.5 this year.
By exceeding expectations, we mean exceeding the expectations of baseball insiders, which could lead to higher valuations in free agency later this season. He’s been one of the best left-handed relievers in the game this season, and with a ‘C’ compensation grade, he’s bound to attract interest from other teams. If he stays healthy, LG and Ham could have a lot to trade for each other this year.