Lotte has a lot of “secret weapons” right now.
Lotte is currently 22-14 (.611 winning percentage), two games behind SSG and LG for first place. On the 19th, they swept SSG to move into sole possession of first place.
Few could have predicted Lotte’s run. One of the reasons for Lotte’s rise is the strength of its roster. From the free agency market, where they acquired Yoo Kang-nam, Noh Jin-hyuk, and Han Hyun-hee, to the release market, where they acquired Kim Sang-soo, Ahn Kwon-soo, Shin Jung-rak, and Yoon Myung-joon, Lotte has invested heavily in expanding their roster.
Moreover, Lotte is not stopping there. Recently, they made a trade with KT. They used Lee Ho-yeon, their second-best hitter, as a trade card to acquire left-handed pitcher Shim Jae-min. Currently, Lotte has Kim Jin-wook in its left-handed bullpen, but he is overly relied upon. Upon joining his hometown team, Sim said on the club’s YouTube channel, “It’s great to be in a situation where the team is doing well. I feel like I have to bury my bones here,” he said on the team’s YouTube channel.
That wasn’t the end of the story. Lotte also embraced outfielder Kook Hae-seong, who had declared himself a free agent in the Futures League and remained unsigned. Kook Hae-sung had always been touted as a big-league prospect, but he hadn’t gotten much of a chance to unleash his potential due to Doosan’s thick roster. With Lotte’s batting lineup devastated by a knee injury to foreign hitter Jack Rex, the team could use a power hitter like Kook Hae-sung to bolster the lineup. “I will quickly understand what the team expects from me and what I need to do, and I will prepare accordingly,” Kook said.
For now, Lotte plans to keep a close eye on Shim and Kook’s physical condition. It remains to be seen if they will be able to join the first team right away. For now, they are a ‘secret weapon’ for the long races, and it’s likely that they will be on the first team stage soon.스포츠토토
Lotte also has another secret weapon right now. They are Chau-chan, a veteran left-hander with a career record of 112-79-1 with 32 saves and a 4.51 ERA, and Lee In-bok, a right-hander who energized the starting pitching staff last year with nine wins, just one short of the team’s 10.
Chau-chan eventually parted ways with LG when he went under the knife with a shoulder injury after competing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but Lotte clearly sees a use for him. Starting pitching staffs usually go with a five-man rotation, but that doesn’t mean they only utilize five pitchers throughout the year. Even the most dominant teams will have their pitching staffs wear down over the course of a season. That’s where a veteran pitcher like Chowchan can be the perfect trump card.
Lee, who went 9-9 with a 4.19 ERA in 126⅔ innings last year, had surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow and is expected to return by June at the earliest. A return date will be outlined when he makes his first Futures League appearance.
As is the case with any team, depth is a hot topic this year, especially with the added variable of the Hangzhou Asian Games. There’s a reason why Lotte is constantly collecting players and building up their secret arsenal.