“We’re still playing experimental baseball. Now we have to teach the players how to win.”
That’s what Hanwha said in May when it parted ways with former manager Carlos Subero, 51, who was brought in in 2021 after promising a “three-year rebuilding”. The team decided that Subero had not been able to draw up a rebuilding plan after finishing last for two consecutive years, and that the players were still not motivated to win.
He handed the reins over to second team coach Choi Won-ho, 50. Hanwha went on an eight-game winning streak in early July that carried over into fall baseball. But they couldn’t keep the momentum going. In the second half of the season, Hanwha went 4-1-1 and tied 9-9 in 14 games. The gap from fifth place, which was only two games, has now grown to seven games, and the possibility of fall baseball is fading.
The batting lineup is struggling. As a team, Hanwha is batting just .239 this season. They’re the only team in the league with a batting average under 2.5. Their on-base percentage is last at .218, and they’ve struck out 769 times, the most in the league.
The starting lineup is better. The one-two punch of foreigners and Moon Dong-ju (20) have done a decent job in the first, second, and third spots. Felix Peña (33), who was brought in as a replacement last season, has been perfect in the number one role, posting a 2.69 ERA this season. Ricardo Sanchez, 26, who joined the team in April, has also kept his ERA in the double digits (2.84) in 69.2 innings pitched.
The problem is the fourth and fifth starters. The struggling Kim Min-woo (28) is out of the lineup, and Jang Min-jae (33) hasn’t found his groove since returning from injury. In his two starts since returning last month, Jang has allowed nine runs (seven earned) in 5.1 innings. Han Seung-hyuk (30) hasn’t reached five innings in any of his four starts since July. In search of a fourth or fifth starter, Hanwha plans to utilize super rookie Kim Seo-hyun (19) on Tuesday. This will be the first time Kim has taken the mound as a starter. Hanwha is still nervous because there are still questions about Kim’s delivery.안전놀이터
Adding Moon Dong-ju to the mix, and Choi is understandably worried. Hanwha has set Moon’s maximum innings pitched this season at around 130 to protect him. However, the team is considering keeping Moon for the rest of the season after getting a medical opinion.