LG Twins sidearm pitcher Woo-Young Jung has been sent down to the second team after meeting with the manager. He’ll spend some time in the minors testing his quick motion and changeup.
Jung has struggled in August, allowing six runs (four earned) in three innings in five games. He has a whopping 5% walk rate (9-for-18) and a 12.00 ERA. He seemed to stabilize in July with a 1.13 ERA in eight games and eight innings pitched, but he’s been struggling lately.
On July 12 against Kiwoom, he was hit by a pitch and a hit batsman and was removed without recording a single out, giving up one run. On April 6 against Samsung, he allowed two runs on two hits and two walks with one out.
His season record is 4-4 with 11 walks and a 4.43 ERA in 50 games. He was removed from the active roster on April 14. Two steps forward, one step back.
Manager Yoon Kyung-yup said before the game against Samsung in Daegu on the 15th, “I had a meeting with Jung Woo-young. I told him that the rest of the season is important, the Asian Games is important, and the player also feels something. It’s hard to test him in the first team because he has to play. He wanted to go and test in the second team. I felt the same way,” he explained.
In the second team, Jung will work on his slide step, curveball, and changeup. Coach Yeom said, “You can’t get results with just your heart. You’re at the limit. I can throw up to 154 kilometers with a two-seam, but I can’t do it with just a two-seam. I might be able to do it for another year or two, but hitters have adjusted to it now. You have to have a curve or a changeup to get to where you want to be,” he said. 메이저놀이터
“My strikeout rate is way down, and my pitch count is way up. Hitters are making more contact and fouling off pitches, which leads to more pitches. If you have one good pitch, whether it’s a curveball or a changeup, your two-seam is much more effective. You also have to throw a four-seam. If you throw a highball that’s 154 to 155 kilometers, it’s effective enough.”
Since spring training, Jung has changed to a quick-motion pitching style and has been trying to add a changeup to his arsenal, but it hasn’t quite worked out as the season has progressed.
“His mindset changes a little bit. If you’re lucky to get a hit and it’s in front of the plate, you’re going to get an out, but if it’s out of the zone or you get a bad hit, you’re going to be lost. Your ERA is bound to go up,” he lamented.
The recent changes in Lee’s game suggest that it is possible. “He’s become a completely different pitcher with a forkball,” Yoon said. Jung Yong-i also had a lot of blown saves and a high ERA in the early bullpen. He reached his limit with his fastball and slider. He threw more pitches, his strikeout rate dropped, his BABIP went up, and he threw blown pitches. With the addition of the forkball, he was able to go six innings and reduce his pitch count to 15 pitches per inning. I think that’s what he saw and that’s what he’s trying to do.”
It’s a challenge and a change that will be important not only for the rest of the season, but for Jung’s career for the next decade and beyond. Even pitching is a new challenge for Woo-young, who has become one of the best set-up men in the league.
“I struggled a lot with pitching coach Kim Kyung-tae. I’m in the process of working on it, so I think I can improve quickly if I go to the second team and test it. I’m coming up in 10 days.”