Trade transfers need to step up.
The Samsung Lions’ first half was a nightmare. Injuries rained down on them, and key players failed to perform. They lost more games than they won, and as the losses piled up, they bounced around the bottom of the table. Samsung ended up with 31 wins and 49 losses. They finished the first half at the bottom of the league.
Samsung wasn’t sitting on its hands. They actively pursued trades. With no reinforcements in the free agent market, they tried to fill the positions they lacked through trades. It acquired bullpen pitcher Kim Tae-hoon from the Kiwoom Heroes and super utility man Ryu Ji-hyuk from the KIA Tigers.
Of course, there was also bleeding. Kiwoom had to let go of veteran outfielder Lee Won-seok, who had been leading the middle of the order. At the time, Lee was batting .362 with a .969 OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage). KIA sent Kim Tae-gun. A former national team member, Kim Tae-gun is a catcher who possesses all the attributes that a catcher should have, including excellent game management skills and pitcher’s lead. Contrary to his perception as a defensive catcher, he was in good enough hitting form to be used as a designated hitter this year.
With two key resources gone, Samsung needed to bolster its bullpen and stabilise its infield. The team had been blowing leads and losing games due to bullpen blunders, and needed an experienced veteran to anchor a young infield that included Lee Jae-hyun, Kim Ji-chan, and Kim Young-woong. That’s why Samsung signed Kim Tae-hoon and Ryu Ji-hyuk.
Now, their performances are crucial. Kim Tae-hoon performed well enough to be inserted as the closer after the move, but his pace didn’t last long. In May, he had an 11.00 ERA in 10 games, 9 innings, 2 holds, and 3 losses, and in June, he struggled with an 11.74 ERA in 10 games, 7⅔ innings. There is hope, though. In July, he didn’t allow a single run. I finished the first half on a high note with a 0.00 ERA in five games and six innings.메이저사이트
Ryu Ji-hyeok is also in the spotlight. In six games in a Samsung uniform, he has struggled, batting .182 (22-for-4) with a .227 OPS and .458 slugging percentage. With KIA, he batted .268 (220-for-59) with a .355 OPS and .660 slugging percentage in 66 games this year. Samsung’s minimum expectation is what Ryu Ji-hyuk looked like during his time with KIA. In the second half, Ryu will need to come alive.
The season isn’t over yet. Even if Samsung can’t dream of the postseason, they should at least avoid the humiliation of finishing last for the first time in their history. Since its inaugural professional season in 1982, Samsung has never finished in last place. Their lowest finishes were ninth in 2016 (65 wins, 1 draw, 78 losses) and ninth in 2017 (55 wins, 5 draws, 84 losses). It will be interesting to see if Kim Tae-hoon and Ryu Ji-hyuk, who joined the team via trade, can rescue Samsung from the crisis.