Lotte Giants sidearm pitcher Han Hyun-hee, who fell into sluggishness in June, moves from starting pitcher to bullpen Pilseungjo.
Prior to the season 11 game against KT Wiz in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League held at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on the 21st, Lotte coach Larry Sutton said스포츠토토, “Han Hyun-hee will be used as a bullpen in a situation where Pil Seung-jo is put in and the team is leading.” said.
Han Hyun-hee made his debut at Kiwoom Heroes in 2012, and then obtained the first FA (free agent) qualification in his life after the end of last season. While having difficulties negotiating with his original team Kiwoom, he signed a four-year contract with Lotte earlier this year for a total of 4 billion won and transferred.
Coach Sutton initially assigned Han Hyun-hee the 5th starting job. Believing that Han Hyeon-hee, who had a lot of experience, would be able to fulfill her role, she was entrusted with a starting position from the demonstration game.
But it didn’t start well. He went 2-2 with an average ERA of 7.17 in 5 games (4 starts) in April, showing severe ups and downs in each start. He succeeded in rebounding with an average ERA of 1.64 with 2 wins and 2 losses in 4 games in May, and steady performance was expected, but his pace dropped sharply this month.
After 2 runs in 5 innings against KIA on the 4th, it collapsed with 5 runs in 4⅓ innings against Samsung on the 10th (3 ERA) and 5 runs in 4⅓ innings against SSG on the 16th. He fell into a slump with 3 losses and an average ERA of 6.59 without a win in 3 starts in June.
Lotte’s coaching staff believes that Han Hyun-hee’s transfer of position at a time when the team’s bullpen is shaking is a win-win solution for both the player and the team.
However, Han Hyun-hee climbed the mound in the top of the 6th inning with Lotte leading 2-0 in the KT game on the 20th, but was beaten with 3 hits, 1 walk and 3 runs in ⅔ innings. Lotte also failed to spread the ride with the 4th place Doosan Bears as it was defeated by KT 3-5.
As manager Sutton has officially declared Han Hyun-hee’s position change, it is highly likely that Han Hyun-hee will be used in the bullpen for the time being. It seems that the situation within the team, which lacks sidearm pitchers, was also considered.
Manager Sutton explained, “I believe that Han Hyun-hee will be of great help to the team.” “In the starting pitcher rotation without Han Hyun-hee, Lee In-bok enters and tries to strengthen the starting lineup.”
He also said, “(Bae Young-soo) pitching coach, through consultation, Han Hyun-hee was put into the bullpen in the game the previous day, and we will be able to see Han Hyun-hee playing this role in the future.”