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Lee Sung-yong is confident of facing off against “Korean Monster”

SSG Landers head coach Lee Sung-yong is confident of facing off against “Korean Monster” Ryu Hyun-jin (Hanwha Eagles) after 12 years away.

Lee returned home via Incheon International Airport Terminal 2 on the evening of the 23rd after the team’s first spring camp in Vero Beach, Florida, USA. He was scheduled to return home at 5:45 p.m., but his flight was delayed for about two hours in transit, and he did not arrive at the arrivals hall until after 8:30 p.m. The SSG front desk and Lee’s family welcomed the SSG head coach after he successfully completed his first spring camp.

“It was a very good start,” said Lee at the airport. The senior players, the middle and junior players, and the young players all worked hard. We achieved some of the results we wanted without any injuries,” Lee said of the first camp.

“Before I got on the plane, I didn’t get a chance to look at the players closely, but when I did, I saw a lot of players that were better than I thought. It’s a process of changing from a question mark to an exclamation point.” “The senior players such as Choo Shin-soo, Kim Kwang-hyun, and Choi Jung led the way well. The younger players naturally learned from them because they moved on their own. Little by little, a manual, a system was created.”

With his appointment,

Lee chose Shin-soo Choo, the most senior player in the team, who is about to retire, to be the captain for the 2024 season. How much of a presence did ‘Captain Choo’ have? “He was himself,” Lee says. Every move he made, the players must have learned a lot from him. He was the first to come out to the baseball field and work out. He was close to the juniors and shared a lot of know-how with them. As the captain and the most senior player, he did a great job. I’m grateful,” he smiled with satisfaction.

We also got to hear his assessment of new foreign pitcher Robert Duggar. “He has exceeded my expectations. “We’ll see in the game, but I could feel him getting better and better in practice, in the blue-and-white games, and in live pitching. His changeup and rising fastball were very good,” he said.

However, 스포츠토토 the team is still undecided about its fourth and fifth starters behind Duggar, Roenis Elias, and Kim Kwang-hyun. “We’re still thinking about the fourth and fifth starters. Even if we decide on four or five, we are thinking about 1+1 and 1+2 behind them. It means we want to play a game where we don’t give up. If the starter pitches well, that’s great, but as a manager, you have to have a plan B and a plan C. I think the second camp and the exhibition games will give us a better picture.”

Changing the subject,

Lee was also asked for his opinion on the issue of Ryu Hyun-jin (Hanwha Eagles), who made a surprise return to Korea after 12 years. “I think it’s good that (Ryu) Hyun-jin is back. It’s good for the league to have more things for fans to see. It will be helpful,” but he also said, “I’ve seen other managers interviewed, but my opinion is a little different. I think Hyun-jin is a good pitcher, but if we can solidify our team, it’s worth it. We are on the right track to where we want to go,” he said.

Lee, who retired after the 2011 season, often faced off against Ryu during his career. Ryu made his debut in 2006 and played seven seasons before heading to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2013.

“He was a hard pitcher to hit,” Lee says. That’s why he put up those numbers in the major leagues. I’ll admit it,” he recalled, “but he’s a professional, and you don’t know until you face him. I think our players will do a good enough job,” Lee said, expressing his trust in the team.

SSG has Choi Jung, the so-called ‘Ryu Hyun-jin killer’.

Choi’s record against Ryu is 3-for-6 with 21 RBIs (58 at-bats) and four home runs. When Ryu was playing for Hanwha, the Korean Monster was his least favorite hitter to face.

“The key is to put a lot of runners on base in front of him. “Anyway, I want to applaud Ryu for coming back. I’m sure he had a lot of worries, and he’s a really good pitcher from the opposite team but as a senior. I think he will be a great addition to the league.”

After a day’s rest, SSG will depart for their second spring training camp in Chiayi, Taiwan, on the morning of the 25th to get into full swing.

“It’s war mode now,” Lee said. We will try various operations and test the players’ skills. “I will always applaud and encourage them as long as they do their best in the two principles I want: ‘one team’ and ‘professionalism’. Only then will the team go well,” he said in a special message to the team.


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