SSG nears completion as McCarty joins starting lineup, final puzzle is 5 starters
The SSG Landers are close to full strength, but still have one last puzzle to solve.
For SSG manager Kim Won-hyung, one spot in the starting lineup is a concern. With the return of foreign pitcher Kirk McCarty from a left forearm dystonia, the team now has four options. The team initially envisioned a starting lineup of McCarty, Ronis Elias, Kim Kwang-hyun, Oh Won-seok, and Park Jong-hoon, but hasn’t been able to find a solid number since Jong-hoon was removed from the first-team roster on June 6 after a poor performance.메이저사이트
With a fifth starter urgently needed, even the current four can’t make a full rotation in the last week of July. McCarty is scheduled to start against the Samsung Lions in Daegu on the 26th, but his pitch count may be limited. He was scheduled to make his comeback with 45 pitches in relief against the LG Twins in Jamsil on July 23, but that game was canceled due to rain.
In addition, the starters are going longer between appearances due to the rainy season. Two of the first three games of the second half, against the LG Twins in Jamsil on July 21-23, were rained out. Elias, who was scheduled to pitch after Kim Kwang-hyun, prepared to pitch on both the 22nd and 23rd, which were canceled due to rain. “If you keep putting it off, it affects the pitchers who are next in line,” Kim said. “Elias was also affected because he prepared twice, so he postponed his start to Friday (28th) against the Incheon Hanwha Eagles.”
Even if the current starting lineup pitches as much as possible, one game is still a problem. As a result, there are several options for the 29th, including an opener, a substitute, or a bullpen day. Rookie Lee In-roon and Jeong Seong-gon, who has started for KT Wiz, could be used as openers or alternatives.
The best-case scenario for SSG is if Park Jong-hoon finds his groove. Jong-hoon has struggled this season with a 1-6 record and a 6.31 ERA in 13 games, but he was comfortable with double-digit wins before undergoing elbow ligament reconstruction surgery in 2021. There’s a reason SSG gave him a multi-year, non-free agent contract (five years) early on while he was still rehabbing.