The team that had been hoping for a top 6 selection fell to last place in the league… SSG, if you do something wrong, you will face a long-term recession.

SSG, which won the combined championship last year, including the ‘Wire to Wire’ event in the regular season, had a more important change than expected ahead of this season. The point is that all foreign pitchers, who play an important role in the team’s strength, have changed.

The two foreign pitchers were largely responsible for SSG being able to endure the difficult times in the second half of last year. Wilmer Font, who joined in 2021 and served as a foreign ace for two years, was one of the best pitchers in the league. He pitched 184 innings in 28 games last season, recording 13 wins, 6 losses, and an ERA of 2.69. The pitch type was a bit simple, and he was not a player who boasted very precise pitch control, but in terms of pitch alone, he was recognized as the best in the league. He threw a fastball at over 150 km/h and a high RBI. Even though he knew, he didn’t hit it.

Sean Morimando, who joined as a replacement foreign pitcher in the second half of the season, was rather fortunate for the club. After joining, Morimando showed great success with 7 wins, 1 loss, and an average ERA of 1.67 in 12 games. He couldn’t find the player he wanted in the U.S. market, so he turned his attention to Taiwan and recruited the player, and he literally hit the jackpot. It is no exaggeration to say that ‘Wire to Wire’ without the name Morimando would not exist.

However, both of those players took off their SSG uniforms ahead of this season. First of all, Morimando gave up on renewing his contract with the club. In addition to the poor pitching in the postseason, I thought Kirk McCarty, whom I was already focusing on, was better in terms of overall completeness and future development potential. Font wanted to advance to the major leagues. As soon as the season ended, he said goodbye to his teammates, saying, “I’m going to America.” SSG selected Annie Romero, who played on the Japanese stage, as their new ace.

The crisis began when Romero missed a practice game in Okinawa due to a shoulder injury. However, the crisis did not arise very significantly at the beginning of the season. This is because there were some selection resources. McCarty was receiving favorable reviews, and Gwang-Hyun Kim was an unwavering ace. In addition, Park Jong-hoon and Moon Seung-won, who returned from elbow surgery in the middle of last year, were on standby after holding a normal camp. Oh Won-seok was evaluated as having grown further.

If Romero had been on standby, Oh Won-seok, whom manager Kim Won-hyung secretly regretted, would have gone to the bullpen, but due to Romero’s injury, Oh Won-seok also entered the rotation. Here, high school graduate rookie Song Young-jin played well. Until mid-April, praise poured in surrounding SSG, saying, “If Romero returns, a 6-starter system may be possible.” But it soon became clear that it was an illusion.먹튀검증

Romero ultimately did not return. He was expelled without playing a single game for the first team. It was a bitter failure. Kim Gwang-hyun’s condition was not as good as last year. Park Jong-hoon and Moon Seung-won’s pitching was disappointing. Oh Won-seok’s pace began to decline after June. McCarty was struggling alone, but new foreign player Roenis Elias got the hang of it and helped out a little. Kim Gwang-hyun’s pitch content was also inconsistent.

Park Jong-hoon and Moon Seung-won’s slump was significant. As the two players were unable to secure the starting rotation, several players had to come in and out of the starting lineup. SSG used a total of 10 starting pitchers this year. However, the native starting lineup is virtually wiped out, except for Kim Gwang-hyun. Looking at his performance as a starter, Seung-won Moon has an ERA of 7.99 in 7 games, Jong-hoon Park has an ERA of 5.61 in 16 games, Won-seok Oh has an ERA of 5.59 in 24 games, and Young-jin Song has an ERA of 6.57 in 6 games. Recently, I can’t even remember the last time the team won a game with 4 or 5 starters.

The collapsing starting lineup was the starting point of SSG’s fall. The team that had been hoping to make six starters had already fallen into the team with the league’s worst starting ERA (4.65). Of course, it is clear that with Font’s departure, the team started off with a worse performance than last year. However, it is also undeniable that the club is falling into a worse situation than the worst-case scenario imagined.

The problem lies ahead. This is because it is difficult to be optimistic that things will get better. Foreign pitchers need luck. Although McCarty has struggled in the second half, it’s hard to ignore his contributions this year overall, and replacement Elias’ pitching isn’t all that bad. Still, both players have an ERA in the mid-3 point range. As the U.S. market continues to shrink, expecting a groundbreaking upgrade is overly optimistic.

The situation with the domestic starting staff is no better. Kim Gwang-hyun, Moon Seung-won, and Park Jong-hoon are all players in their 30s. And all three players are turning one year older. Oh Won-seok will have to solve the military problem someday.

There are no pitchers waiting to take over next time. The potential of some young players is being recognized, but it will take some time for them to enter the starting rotation. In this year’s Future Team (2nd team), there are not even a few players who have properly made the starting rotation. The most important thing in a 144-game race is selection. If you do not prepare properly, it could be the beginning of a tragedy that sends your team into a long-term recession.

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