Oh Seung-hwan’s ‘Intense Word’ → Samsung has also relieved the burden for now… Park Jin-man’s choice is

Samsung’s ‘endgame captain’ Oh Seung-hwan, 41, has welcomed the signing of free agent Kim Jae-yoon. A junior and a ‘rolling stone’ who could possibly threaten his position. But Oh was determined. Big picture. At the same time, Samsung and coach Park Jin-man took the pressure off.굿모닝토토 도메인

At the Sports Seoul Player of the Year Award ceremony on March 30, Oh Seung-hwan said, “We have a good closer in Kim Jae-yoon. It’s a stupid idea to insist on keeping him, there’s no reason for that,” he said bluntly.

The closer is Samsung’s Budong. His 400 career saves in the KBO speak for themselves. In 2023, he pitched in 58 games and 62.2 innings, posting a 4-5 record, two shutouts, 30 saves, and a 3.45 ERA. It was his third consecutive 30-save season, ranking third in the league in saves.

Kim Jae-yoon (left), who signed a free agent contract with the Samsung Lions, poses with team president Lee Jong-yeol. Photo courtesy of the Samsung Lions

There were ups and downs, yes. But if you look at the second half of the season, he has 32 games, 32.2 innings pitched, a 2-2 record, 20 saves, and a 2.20 ERA. Oh Seung-hwan is the top saves leader in the second half.

Even with Seung-hwan Oh, the Samsung bullpen as a whole left a lot to be desired. With a 5.16 ERA, they ranked last in the league. In the offseason, the team decided to bolster its bullpen, resulting in the signing of Kim Jae-yoon.

Along with Ko Woo-seok, he is one of the best closers in the league. Samsung invested a total of 5.8 billion won over four years. It’s a sign of Samsung’s determination.

It’s definitely a resource that will help. On the other hand, there is also the question of ‘who is the closer’. It was a meeting of the best and the brightest. It is said to be a ‘double stopper’, but it is better to fix it with one person anyway.

It’s a situation where either party’s feelings might be hurt. Oh Seung-hwan had some strong words. “I don’t insist on finishing,” he said. “I will do my best in any role to help the team win one more game. It’s up to the manager to decide, but no matter how many innings I pitch or when I pitch, it’s important for the team to win a lot,” he said.

He also said, “I personally contacted Kim Jae-yoon when he was in the United States. He’s a very good player. The team will be strong. I will create an atmosphere where we can talk and help each other, and that’s my role. My goal is to help the team,” he emphasized.

Of course, he has no intention of stepping down. Oh Seung-hwan said, “I’m going to put it down. I’m more concerned about the team record than the individual record. I want to take it easy. My body is still in good shape. In the back of my mind, I’m still greedy. I want to have a good season, I want to have a season where the team can win, and I want to have a season where I can get rid of the age talk for once,” he said.

The arrival of Kim Jae-yoon is also a burden, as the team will have to change its closer from Oh Seung-hwan to Kim Jae-yoon. He is a pitcher with 522 career saves in Korea and the United States. He has the symbolism of Oh Seung-hwan. He also showed off his stamina. The decision to move him to the bullpen is not easy.

Kim Jae-yoon is also an exceptional closer. This year, he pitched in 59 games and 65.2 innings, going 5-5 with 32 saves and a 2.60 ERA. He has 169 career saves. After seeing the closer for so long, the move to the middle of the order is not a welcome one.

Eventually, competition will be needed. And the final decision will have to be made by manager Park Jin-man. It’s not easy. In this situation, Oh Seung-hwan shouted ‘Team First’. He said, “Team win. He hasn’t even begun to think about it yet, but it’s a statement that could take some pressure off Park Jin-man.

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