In mid-May, the Lotte Giants made a one-for-one trade with the KT Wiz. They traded infielder Lee Ho-yeon, who was playing in the Futures League, for left-handed pitcher Shim Jae-min. Lotte had only Park Seung-wook, Lee Hak-joo, and Kim Min-soo as backups in the infield, so they sent Lee Ho-yeon, who was batting .425 in the Futures League, to KT and acquired a left-handed bullpen that was in dire need of reinforcement.

메이저놀이터 The problem is that the two teams have had mixed results since the trade, with many saying that Lotte has lost money. After moving to KT, Lee Ho-yeon excelled in the offense as a multi-position infield player. Coincidentally, KT has surged since Lee’s arrival, rising from last place to third place since August.

Lotte, on the other hand, has plummeted from third to seventh, where KT currently sits. In the case of Shim Jae-min, it was difficult for him to join the first team right away as he was improving his physical condition at the time of the trade, but a combination of injuries and poor performances from key players led to a quick drop in the standings. It was not his fault, but the timing of the fall was coincidental.

Major pitching records of Shim Jae-min of Lotte (Source: Baseball Archives

However, it’s not as if Shim has been sluggish since the trade. Since June 22, when he joined the first team after gradually improving his physical condition in the second team, he has pitched a lot of innings as a left-handed one-pointer, a chaser, and even a long-relief role when the starter was sent down early.

It’s a small sample size, but in 19 appearances and 16 innings pitched in a Lotte uniform, Shim has a 1-4 record with a 2.81 ERA. He still has some work to do, including a low strikeout rate (4.5 per nine innings) and a delivery that hasn’t fully recovered, but he’s a valuable resource for Lotte, which lacks a reliable left-handed pitcher.

Shim Jae-min has been pitching well since the second half of the season.
ⓒ LOTTE Giants

In the game against the SSG Landers on April 15, Shim successfully fulfilled his role. In the top of the seventh inning, after Park Se-woong had pitched well, he came in with runners on first and second due to an error by third baseman Gudrum, but he struck out the tricky Choi Ji-hoon and Choi Joo-hwan to record the hold. It was only a matter of time before the Lotte bats scored a bunch of runs to secure a comfortable victory, but Shim helped erase the threat of an upset.

So far this season, Shim’s performance hasn’t been anything to write home about. It’s not like KT has benefited from Lee Ho-yeon’s performance since the trade. However, the desperate Shim has been slowly making his presence felt on the Lotte mound. Finally, it will be interesting to see if Sim, who was announced as a surprise starter against SSG on the 17th, can go beyond his opener and lead Lotte to their fourth straight win.

[Related article] Will ‘no-hitter ace’ Wilkerson lead Giants’ comeback?

[References:, KBO Archives].

Postscript | (Writer: Lee Jung-min / Min Sang-hyun) Apply to be a baseball reporter [

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