The Hanwha Eagles finished last for three consecutive years until last year. After last season, the team made a number of changes. They changed the manager, strengthened the front line, and reorganized the coaching staff. This season, the team’s goal is to get out of the bottom of the table. They were labeled as the last place team in early May, but as of the 29th, they are half a game behind the ninth-place KT Wiz. The gap has narrowed to 2.5 games.
It was regrettable that they missed the games they could have caught right after the opening day due to a lack of ‘details’. The early departure of Butch Smith, who was expected to bat first, and the underperformance of Brian O’Grady, who was brought in to bat at No. 4, were particularly painful.
There is no excuse for the club’s front office, no matter how much of a ‘lotto’ foreign player he is. There is primary responsibility.
The batting struggles are ongoing. However, there are some positives.
Newcomer Ricardo has appeared in three games with one win and a 0.64 ERA. He joined the team in early May and has been pitching well, including a five-inning, three-hit shutout against the KIA Tigers on April 23. With Felix Peña on the rise as of late, the team will be looking for a foreign “one-two punch.
Outside free agents who joined the team this year continue to perform well.
Right-hander Tae-Yang Lee, 33, appeared in 16 games and pitched 24⅔ innings. He has two holds and a 1.82 ERA. Capable of both starting and relieving, Lee has been more reliable in May. In seven games, he has pitched 11⅓ innings with one earned run and a 0.79 ERA.
He had a nine-game scoreless streak from April 23 against the LG Twins to May 24 against the KIA Tigers before giving up one run in two innings against the NC Dinos on May 26. Ita-Yang hasn’t fallen apart. He is the centerpiece of the bullpen.
All-weather infielder Oh Seon-jin, 34, batted 2-for-4 (20-for-82) with seven RBIs and 10 runs scored in 36 games. On offense, his slugging percentage (3-for-6) and on-base percentage (3-for-4) stand out. His on-base percentage is second only to Choi Jae-hoon and Noh Si-hwan, and his batting average in scoring position is second only to Chae Eun-sung.
Most importantly, he contributes a lot on defense. Playing primarily at shortstop, Oh has made “0” errors in 169⅔ innings across 27 games. He shows why veterans are needed.
Chae Eun-sung (33) is a beacon in a fragile batting lineup. As of Sept. 29, she is batting 2-for-8 in 43 games (168 at-bats).
48 hits), eight home runs, and 32 RBIs. After hitting 3-for-1 in April, she dropped to 2-for-4 in May. Despite the slowdown in his batting pace, he continues to perform solidly as the centerpiece of the weakest Hanwha lineup. 스포츠토토
He’s tied for the team lead in hits with Roh Si-hwan, second in home runs, and first in RBIs. It’s hard to imagine a batting lineup without her.
Along with Choi Jae-hoon, Oh Seon-jin Chae Eun-sung is the best of the bunch. Lee Tae-yang, who started his professional career with Hanwha, is the big brother and leader of the pitching staff.
When Hanwha signed three outside free agents last November, they sent a clear message. It was a signal to add experience to a young team and get results. The expectation was that the veterans would anchor the rotation, and they did.
After last season, Hanwha signed Lee Tae-yang for 4 years and 2.5 billion won, Oh Sun-jin for 1+1 year and 4 billion won, and Chae Eun-sung for 6 years and 9 billion won. In total, the team invested 11.9 billion won to bolster the team. The strategic investments are paying off.