“We’ve definitely created a good atmosphere in recent games.”
After a dismal June that saw Lotte soar to the top three and then crash and burn, the sun is shining again. The return of key players who were sidelined with injuries is imminent, and the players who were not performing well are slowly coming back to life. Lotte’s manager talked about the ‘hope of July’ after a difficult June.
Manager Larry Sutton spoke to the media on Tuesday ahead of the first game of a three-game weekend series against Doosan in the 2023 KBO League at Munsu Baseball Stadium in Ulsan, Korea, and shared his thoughts on the positives that will energize the team.
Sutton began by expressing his disappointment that the game against Sajik Samsung was canceled due to rain on the 29th. Lotte, which was experiencing a downward spiral, was riding a winning streak after coming from behind to win two consecutive games against Samsung on the 27th and 28th.
Sutton said, “I actually wanted to play yesterday. “We prepared well and trained well,” Sutton said, emphasizing that not all players have recovered from injuries, but that the team has created a good atmosphere over the past two games.”
He also expressed hope that the return of key players such as Na Kyun-an and Choi Jun-yong is nearing. This is the biggest positive for Lotte as they look to rebound. Na Gyun-an has been out of the first team since being diagnosed with medial elbow inflammation on April 22. Choi Jun-yong is set to return to the roster after being sidelined in the middle of last month due to injury.토스카지노
“If all goes according to plan, Na will pitch on July 4 against Daejeon Hanwha,” Sutton said, “but the pitching plan could change depending on the weather.”
For Lotte, Na’s quick recovery is a welcome sight. Before his injury, he was 6-2 with a 3.14 ERA in 14 games this season, making him the homegrown ace. In addition, closer Choi “Young-gun” Jun-yong is warming up by pitching out of the bullpen today.
Sutton said, “I saw him pitch out of the bullpen and he had a good fastball and a sharp slider. I didn’t get to see his velocity, but I could tell he was throwing with less effort. I felt like I was seeing the old Jun-yong Choi with the angle of his slider.” “He pitched in the bullpen today, so I think he’ll be able to join us tomorrow if he’s okay,” he said. “As far as I can see, his condition was 100 percent,” he added.
The missing pieces are coming back. Before the end of the first half, star infielder Noh Jin-hyuk is expected to return. That’s encouraging.
“I go into any series, whether it’s against a second-place team or a ninth-place team, with the determination to get a winning series,” Sutton said. “We have about 12 games left in the first half, and Na Kyun-ahn, Choi Jun-yong, and Noh Jin-hyuk could be back before then. If they come back, it’s a big boost for the team,” he smiled.