‘Large shots allowed → ERA 6.75’ Difficult comeback, will spring come to lefties with 129 wins?

Jang Won-joon (38, Doosan), who overcame the retirement crisis and extended his active service, does not seem to be easy to recover. Of course, it is an exhibition game where his condition has not improved yet, but his start in the first two games is not very pleasant. 

On the 16th, Jang Won-joon made a relief appearance in the 2023 KBO League NC Dinos demonstration game held at Changwon NC Park and was shaken with 2 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout and 2 runs (1 earned) in 1 inning. 

Jang Won-jun took the mound as the team’s third pitcher following Kim Ho-jun in the 5th inning, which was trailing 0-1. His start was neat. The first batter Ahn Joong-yeol caught a fly ball in left field and the follow-up Choi Bo-seong struck out looking, easily increasing two out counts. He only needed 8 balls to get 2 outs. 토토사이트

Jang Won-joon began to shake after giving Son A-seop a walk at the end of the full count after two deaths. Afterwards, he met Seo Ho-cheol and dedicated an RBI double that fell on the warning track in the middle left, and induced Kim Seong-wook to throw a normal infield grounder, but third baseman Ahn Jae-seok committed a bad throw to first base and gave home to second base runner Seo Ho-cheol. Jang Won-joon also played a long game with Cheon Jae-hwan, reaching 8 pitches, but second base runner Jeong Jin-gi was lucky to hit the ball he hit and ended the inning. 30 pitches. 

Jang Won-joon, born in 1985, appealed his will to extend his active career in a meeting with manager Lee Seung-yeop after the last season. Coach Lee, who understood the player’s sincerity, said, “There is a shortage of left-handed pitchers in our team, so I hope that he will play a role. A pitcher with 129 victories recognizes other teams, and it is a disgrace if it does not go well. He has no intention of retiring, but I am not asking him to quit,” he said, accepting the player’s request.

At spring camp in Sydney, Australia, Jang Won-joon prepared for his comeback season with the attitude of a rookie. As a result, he showed much better physical condition and pitch than in previous years at the camp, and was selected as the leader of the Doosan left-handed bullpen with good reviews from coach Lee Seung-yeop and pitching coach Jung Jae-hoon. Jang Won-joon himself expressed his expectations in Australia, saying, “I pitched without pain at the camp for the first time in six years.”

However, his start to the exhibition game was not very good. On the 14th, against Sajik Lotte, he started evolving the crisis with one out and bases loaded in the 4th inning, but he allowed a home run to Kangnam Yoo, a pinch hitter, and on the 16th, he added 1 earned run against NC, and the average ERA in 2 games soared to 6.75 (2 ERA in 2⅔ innings). 

Still, what is encouraging is that Jang Won-joon successfully completed the spring camp. Now there is no injury that has been a stumbling block to his comeback. The coaching tower is also optimistic rather than concerned about the comeback of the 129-win left-hander, as it is an exhibition game to improve his condition.

Director Lee said, “Veterans try to give them a little time. I’ve been through my veteran days, but injuries can come suddenly when the environment changes and the weather gets cold. So, I will be considerate so that I can slowly pick up the pace.” 

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