17 Mar

LG General Manager Cha Myeong-seok "Ryu Hyun-jin is here, And Hanwha is a Candidate for the Semifinals Right Away"

On the 6th, I asked general manager Cha Myeong-seok, who made a remarkable contribution to the combined championship of the LG Twins in professional baseball last year, about this year's outlook, and the answer was, "We calculated it without Ryu Hyun-jin (Hanwha Eagles), so we need to try again."

Director Cha returned to Korea on the 4th with the team that underwent winter training in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA.

The LG team's power evaluation simulation is quite accurate. 

Last year's regular league ranked 1st to 3rd in that order: LG, KT Wiz, and SSG Landers.

Director Cha said immediately after last year's win, "I gained confidence from the simulation results showing that our team ranked first in the regular league and advanced directly to the Korean Series."

Once the 10 clubs complete strengthening their strength, including foreign player contracts, free agent (FA) recruitment, second drafts, and trades, LG will run a simulation of the expected rankings accordingly before the start of the season.

Manager Cha said, “I tried it once and it turned out that LG, KT, and KIA Tigers will form the top three.”

KIA has 80 to 82 wins, KT has 83 to 84 wins, and LG is said to have produced more wins than KT.

However, this figure was evaluated before Ryu Hyun-jin signed a contract with Hanwha.

Director Cha said, “Now that Ryu Hyun-jin has arrived, we need to recalculate,” but cautioned, “Hanwha is a candidate for the semifinals right now.”

LG coach Yeom Kyung-yeop, who is good at calculating numbers, said that when Ryu Hyun-jin returned to the KBO League after 12 years, two wins were subtracted from LG's expected number of wins this year.

As expected, the team that was weakest to Ryu Hyun-jin is LG.

You may ask when 
Ryu Hyun-jin is the enemy, but since he returned to Hanwha with the skills to pitch well in the big leagues, it cannot be said that he has become weaker than before.

Ryu Hyun-jin, who played for Hanwha from his debut in 2006 until 2012, has a total of 98 wins (52 losses) in the KBO League.

He recorded the most wins, 22 (8 losses), against LG.

It is well known that Ryu Hyun-jin earned his first win as a starter in his professional career against LG on April 12, 2006, and recorded the most strikeouts (17) in a game against LG in May 2010.

Hanwha coach Choi Won-ho selected Ryu Hyun-jin early as the starting pitcher for the opening game against LG at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on the 23rd, and announced that he would use Ryu Hyun-jin in exhibition games against the KIA Tigers on the 12th and the Lotte Giants on the 17th.

Ryu Hyun-jin twice won six games a year against LG, which was in a dark era.

LG emerged from a long tunnel of darkness by winning the Korean Series for the first time in 29 years, and the batting lineup and team color have changed significantly, so there is a high possibility that Ryu Hyun-jin will not be defeated like before.

However, the fear of ‘natural enemies’ does not easily disappear.

General Manager Cha said, "Perhaps it was because we relieved ourselves of the burden by winning the championship, I felt a lot of composure on the faces of the coaches and players during this year's spring camp."

He added, "Compared to last year, our team's strength did not improve much, but we ranked first in the regular league this year as well.

“I’m confident because I have good strength to take the lead,” he said, expressing his determination to win for the second time in a row.

General Manager Cha selected six teams as candidates for postseason competition, including the Lotte Giants, led by 
Coach Kim Tae-hyung, and the Doosan Bears, who have a balanced two-hitting power.

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