Hitters entered the Doosan bullpen. He stood at the plate with a helmet, protection, and even a bat. At least in the KBO League spring camp, it is an unusual appearance.
Doosan, which is undergoing field training at the Blacktown International Baseball Center (Blacktown Stadium) in Australia, is raising its pace faster than in previous years. After pitching in the bullpen from the start of the camp (the 1st), the batters also started to check their actual fighting sense from the second turn, the 4th.
When pitchers are pitching in the bullpen, it is extremely rare for a batter to step into the plate. As in the World Baseball Classic (WBC), batters enter the bullpen only when they have to play in real life when they are not fully formed. This is because you have to face the live ball thrown by the pitcher to catch the swing timing. Even if you make a strong hit in the batting cage, the difference in speed and movement between the batting ball and the pitch is bound to be large.
Doosan Hitting Coach Goto Goji said, “If you swing indoors or only in the batting cage, your sense of swing speed and response to the pitch will inevitably become dull. Live betting from next week, and evaluation matches including the Cheongbaek match from the next turn are scheduled, so I am entering the bullpen at bat in the sense of checking my senses such as rhythm and timing.” 스포츠토토
Even if you don’t swing, just timing it helps. He also checks the timing by putting down the bat and catching the flying ball with the power handle (the right hand for right-handed hitters). Doosan pitchers prepared as coach Lee Seung-yeop instructed them to ‘build your body so that you can pitch in the bullpen from February 1st’ before the start of the inactive period. Members of the WBC team, such as Kwak Bin and Jeong Cheol-won, had already raised their speed to the middle of 140 km/h during their first bullpen pitch.
It also helps the pitcher, of course. Rather than having only the catcher, the batter can set the target and throw it. It has the advantage of being able to simulate the response or position of others rather than the vague ‘outside of the body’.
Coach Lee Seung-yeop, who dominated the era as a ‘national hitter’ during his active career, also entered the plate. When left-handed pitchers such as high school graduate (Seoul High School) rookie Lee Byung-hun and veteran Jang Won-joon pitched in the bullpen, I watched the ball from the plate. Manager Lee said, “Since a left-handed pitcher is needed, I went to the plate to check his pitch. He is not a pitcher, so I can’t talk technically, but he is a hitter, so you can gauge his pitch just by watching.”
Doosan’s color change has been progressing rapidly since the spring camp.