The Lotte Giants, who are in sole possession of third place in the standings, have added a blessing to their mound in the first half. Lee In-bok, a right-handed starter who underwent surgery to remove bone fragments in January, is making good progress in his rehabilitation.
Lee made his first post-surgery appearance in a Futures League game against the Samsung Lions’ second team on April 27 and threw two innings of one-hit ball. He threw just 13 pitches.
Lotte manager Larry Sutton was asked about Lee In-bok before the team’s game against the Gochuk Kiwoom Heroes the following day and replied, “I haven’t received a report on Lee In-bok yet because we are away. “But I will communicate with (the secondary coaching staff) after today’s game about how Lee In-bok pitched,” he said.
However, after hearing about Lee’s performance in the Futures League, he expressed his satisfaction by saying, “He pitched like Lee,” and then added, “As everyone knows, Lee is a sincere player. I heard that he rehabbed well and made a lot of efforts to become a better player than before the surgery.”
Lee appeared in 26 games (23 starts) last year, posting a 9-9 record with one save and a 4.19 ERA. He was a mainstay on the mound for the team, going over 100 innings for the first time since his first-team debut in 2014 and showing the potential to be a 10-win pitcher.
His offensive pitching is characterized by a two-seam fastball that doesn’t have much velocity but has sharp movement. He earned the trust of the coaching staff as a calculated starter in the 2022 season, posting a 2.13 strikeouts per nine innings. 메이저놀이터
Lotte currently ranks seventh among the 10 clubs with a team ERA of 4.04, but after May, they boast the most solid pitching staff after the LG Twins (3.28). If Lee In-bok can return and continue his performance from last year, Lotte’s challenge in fall baseball will be easier.
On the outfield, rehabbing outfielder Hwang Sung-bin, foreign hitter Jack Rex, and veteran right fielder Jeong Hoon are also working hard to return to the first team from the Futures League. The team will be ready to fight as a ‘complete unit’ from mid-June at the latest.
Sutton added: “It will be a big boost to have the injured players back. “Once we get In-bok back, we’ll have a little bit more depth,” Sutton said, “and once Sung-bin Hwang and Rex come back, we’ll be able to rest guys in the outfield who have been playing every day, so I think we’ll be stronger.