Fall baseball hasn’t even started yet. The teams that were not invited to the festivities have already turned their attention to next year.
The five fall baseball teams are set. The LG Twins have clinched the regular season title, while the KT Wiz have solidified second place. The SSG Landers, NC Dinos, and Doosan Bears finished third and fourth, respectively, setting up a wild-card battle.
All eyes turn to fall baseball. However, teams that didn’t make it to the postseason have already started preparing for what’s next.
The Samsung Lions, who finished the regular season in eighth place, changed their manager. In 2016, Hong Jun-hak, who had led the team for seven years, stepped down and replaced SBS Sports commentator Lee Jong-yeol.
An unconventional appointment. It’s the first time in the team’s history that Samsung has appointed an outsider as manager. It’s also the first time in 40 years that the organization has appointed a former baseball player since Kim Sam-yong, its second president in 1983.
Under Hong, Samsung was only invited to the Fall Classic once. The “dynasty” was a thing of the past. There were calls for a major shakeup, which led to Lee’s appointment.
“Samsung as a team has its own history and character,” Lee said. Recently, the team’s power has been weakened, but rather than pointing to one specific area, we need to complement many areas,” he said. “First, we will focus on player development, and we want to make the team a strong team that can produce sustainable results, not a team that shines for one year.”메이저사이트
Kim Tae-gun (left) and KIA President Shim Jae-hak. Photo=KIA Tigers
Sixth-ranked KIA, which narrowly missed out on a ticket to the fall baseball season due to injuries throughout its lineup, has begun preparing for the next season by stopping the leakage of power the most. The team, which has been making trades every year in search of a closer, signed Kim Tae-gun to a multi-year contract for a total of 2.5 billion won ($2 billion in salary and $500,000 in incentives) on March 16.
Kim joined the LG Twins in 2008 and played for NC and Samsung before moving to KIA in a one-for-one trade with Ryu Ji-hyuk in July.
Kia has been plagued by an endemic bullpen problem. It acquired “reserve free agent” Park Dong-won in a trade last year, but he left after the season, signing a four-year, $6.5 billion contract with LG. The team tried to fill the outfield void by acquiring Joo Hyo-sang from Kiwoom, but it didn’t work out, so they released “infield utility player” Ryu Ji-hyuk and brought in Kim Tae-gun. Kim quickly established himself as KIA’s starting catcher with a solid bat, hitting .257 with one home run, 40 RBIs and 23 runs scored in 112 games this season, and his chemistry with the young pitching staff.
After joining the LG Twins in 2008, Kim bounced between NC and Samsung before joining KIA in a one-for-one trade for Ryu Ji-hyuk in July.
KIA has been plagued by infield issues. It acquired “reserve free agent” Park Dong-won in a trade last year, but he left after the season, signing a four-year, $6.5 billion contract with LG. The team tried to fill the outfield void by acquiring Joo Hyo-sang from Kiwoom, but it didn’t work out, so they released “infield utility player” Ryu Ji-hyuk and brought in Kim Tae-gun. Kim quickly established himself as KIA’s starting catcher with a solid bat, hitting .257 with one home run, 42 RBIs and 24 runs scored in 114 games this season, and his chemistry with young pitchers.
After completing his contract, Kim said, “I am truly grateful to the KIA organization for needing me. I would also like to thank the KIA fans for their great support even though I joined the team in the middle of the season.” “As a senior player, I feel a great responsibility, and I will do my best to play my part and join forces with my teammates to be a great addition to KIA,” he said. “I will do my best to repay the fans with a good performance as they have given me a lot of support.”
Manager Kim Tae-hyung during his time at Doosan. Sports Chosun DB
The seventh-place Lotte Giants are rumored to be in the market for a new manager. Larry Sutton, who led the team this year, stepped down midseason for health reasons. SBS commentator Kim Tae-hyung, who led Doosan to seven consecutive Korean Series appearances and three championships from 2015 to 2022, has been the first choice of Lotte fans, and the question of whether “Lotte Tae-hyung” will become a reality is growing. Lotte responded to the speculation by saying, “We haven’t contacted him yet,” but confirmed that he is a candidate.
Lotte has a lot of work to do. Six consecutive years of fall baseball failures have led to calls for a complete overhaul, and there have been speculations of a major front office change, including manager Sung Min-kyu. Lotte has said that it will complete the appointment of a manager as soon as possible.
After finishing as runners-up in the Korean Series last year, the Kiwoom Heroes are looking to tighten things up a bit this year rather than make major changes. On the 16th, they announced 14 releases, and on the 15th, they finalized their coaching staff.
On the 14th, the team requested waivers for pitchers Hong Seong-min Byun Si-won and Lee Young-joon, and outfielders Kim Jun-wan and Park Jun-tae and Lee Byung-gyu. Pitchers Kim Jung-in, Park Joo-hyun, Oh Yoon-seong, Jeong Yeon-je, infielder Jung Hyun-min, Lee Jae-hong, Lee Se-ho, and outfielder Kim Shin-ho were canceled as developmental players.
According to the coaching staff reshuffle announced on Friday, the first team will be led by manager Hong Won-ki, with Kim Chang-hyun, bullpen coach Ma Jung-gil, battery coach Park Do-hyun, hitting coach Oh Yoon, and fielding coach Kwon Do-young remaining in place. Joining them as first-team coaches will be Lee Seung-ho, pitching coach, Moon Chan-jong, first base and outfield coach, and Park Jung-eum, operations and baserunning coach.
The Future Team will be coached by Seol Jong-jin, pitching coach Song Shin-young, battery coach Kim Dong-woo, hitting coach Kim Tae-wan, and infield coach Chae Jong-kook. Park Jun-tae, who announced his retirement after his release, will begin his coaching career as the outfield and first base coach for the Future Team. Rehabilitation and residuals were entrusted to pitching coach Noh Byung-oh and fielding coach Kang Byung-sik, while Park Jae-sang, who served as the first team coach, and Kim Ji-soo, first base and outfield defense coach, were not re-signed.
Kiwoom will hold its final camp in Wonju from the 22nd. Coach Hong predicted intense training early on. “We plan to conduct intense training as it is the first step in preparing for next season. Through this training, we will focus on developing prospects for each position and checking the skills of new faces such as rookies.”