“Look closely, he’s running.”
At the time of this year’s Okinawa practice game, the players of 메이저놀이터 a team against Lotte were paying attention to the movements of the runners. After his appointment, manager Larry Sutton ordered Lotte to improve their mobility and strategy, and more ‘precise play’, and such efforts continued in the Okinawa practice game. Some of Lotte’s players with real athletic ability aimed for additional bases by stealing bases when they went to base.
It seems clear that Lotte has achieved an improvement in terms of mobility in this spring camp. Efforts are continuing in the demonstration game. It is a resolution to carry on the results of the regular season by conducting enough tests. However, this picture is not unfamiliar. It was like that last year, and it was like that the year before, and it was a story that happened before.
A player from one team said, “Especially in the Okinawa practice game, pitchers tend to pay attention to their pitching condition. They don’t pay much attention to the runners either. From the demonstration game, there will be a lot of checks, and it will be more so in the regular season.” The players in the lineup are young guys with mobility. But I think the key will be whether they can continue that way in the regular season when Lotte’s main players come in. If that happens, Lotte may become really scary this year.”
Lotte’s veteran key players are not so good at mobility. In fact, Lotte worked hard to improve mobility at camp last year, but only 61 team steals entered the season. It was the team with the fewest stolen bases in the league. The 61% success rate was also a problem. It was better not to run. Nothing changed in the end. The reality is that Lotte is not free from these prejudices in terms of mobility, operation, and defense.
So, could this year be different? Coach Sutton showed subtle confidence ahead of the resignation SSG match on the 16th. The team’s color is changing little by little, and the calculation is that more players to support that color change will be in the lineup this year. Director Sutton emphasized that he would continue to push the current trend, saying, “Our team color will not change.”
Coach Sutton said, “In Japan, 5-6 players out of 9 players who enter the lineup are players with good mobility and athletic ability. When the season starts, 2-3 players (with good mobility and athletic ability) will be in the lineup.” While acknowledging the reality to some extent, he said, “If Lotte had 0 players with good mobility in the past, it is encouraging that there are 2 or 3 players now. Players with good athleticism and good mobility will fill the lineup.” Emphasized.
It is a determination to maintain the team’s mobility while strategically arranging these players. Coach Sutton said, “Because the season is long, I think these players can play their own role on the bench and play baseball of (our) color enough if they go into the starter.”
It is an aspiration to show a different image in the regular season, not just in ‘Spring’. It is true that we have been lacking so far, so it is inevitable that we will have prejudice. To break this, it is necessary to prove a strong impression enough to surprise everyone. It is a necessary factor for Lotte to aim for the top 5 or higher this year. It is positive that you can change and have the ability to change.