Lee In-bok, 32, who became the “belly” of the Lotte Giants with a career-high nine wins last year, will play his first game of the season after rehabbing from elbow surgery.
He has a huge task ahead 꽁머니 of him in his comeback game. The team is on a downward spiral and the mound is shaky. Lee In-bok has to provide hope for the team.
Lee In-bok will start the away game against KT Wiz in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on April 22.
As a four-starter last year, Lee went 9-9 with a 4.19 ERA in 26 games. He was third on the team in wins behind Charlie Barnes (12) and Park Se-woong (10).
After undergoing surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow in January, Lee is ready to return to the first team after a lengthy rehabilitation. He made four appearances in the Futures League, increasing his innings pitched and gaining experience.
The addition of Lee In-bok has given Lotte some breathing room on the mound.
After going 29-18 through the first three days to solidify a three-way tie with SSG Landers and LG Twins, Lotte went just 3-12 in the next 15 games. A series loss to KT on April 20-21 secured a five-game losing streak.
With a three-game gap to the third-place NC Dinos, Lotte’s fourth-place position is far from secure. With the gap to eighth-place KT down to four games, a prolonged slump could see them slide into the mid-to-lower half of the standings.
Lotte’s bullpen has been shaky, with a 5.57 ERA in their last 15 games, the only team with a sub-5 ERA in that span. The bullpen has been particularly disastrous with a 7.36 ERA.
In response, Lotte manager Larry Sutton turned to Han Hyun-hee, who signed a free-agent contract for 4 billion won, to pitch in the bullpen. Han has plenty of experience in the bullpen, having won two holdout titles, but he hasn’t exactly inspired confidence as a starter, losing five straight starts.
In addition, homegrown ace Na Gyun-ahn has a bad elbow. Na walked off the mound after throwing 99 pitches in a game on April 21, citing elbow soreness as the reason for his departure. After feeling discomfort in his elbow when he rotated his right arm, he will be examined on the 22nd.
In the worst case scenario, Na could be sidelined. With a 6-2 record and a 3.14 ERA in 14 games this season, Na has been a key part of Lotte’s surge, and his absence would weigh down the starting rotation.
That leaves a lot of work for Lee In-bok to do from 메이저놀이터 주소 his first start of the season. He needs to prevent Lotte from sweeping the three-game series against Suwon, while at the same time correcting a shaky starting lineup.
Lotte will be hoping that Lee In-bok can continue his strong showing for Lotte. Lee In-bok made two appearances against KT last year and picked up two wins, both shutouts.