After the All-Star break, the KBO kicks off the second half of the season on April 21. While the first half of the season was hotly contested, the second half is expected to be even more intense. The Lotte Giants are making moves to replace a foreign pitcher, but when and who will it be?
Lotte pulled out the first “knife” on April 11. They claimed Zack Rex, who has been playing with chronic quadriceps tendon pain, a knee injury, off waivers from the KBO and acquired Nico Goodrum, who can play both infield and outfield defense, as their new foreign-born bat for $400,000 a year.
Rex came to Lotte last year as a foreign-born replacement for DJ Peters and established himself as a “potato,” hitting .330 with eight home runs, 34 RBIs, 32 runs scored and a .905 OPS in 56 games. After the season, Lotte offered Rex a contract totaling $1.3 million (approximately KRW 1.6 billion) to keep him in the organization.
But Rex wasn’t the same player he was last year. Rex struggled in the outfield defense and on the basepaths, batting .246 with 50 hits, 4 home runs, 30 RBIs, 20 runs scored, and a .683 OPS in 55 games, all due to knee pain. Rex was sent down to the second team at one point during the season to receive treatment for the knee injury, but it was unlikely to improve over the course of the season, and Lotte was the first to part ways with him.
After a strong start to the season, Lotte reached a maximum win-loss margin of +11 games in early June, but once June began, injuries to their “mainstay” players began to pile up and the team went into a steep decline. Lotte managed to hold on to their 5% winning percentage throughout the endless downward spiral, but in their final game before the All-Star break, they were swept by the NC Dinos in their last game.안전놀이터
Even with the return of Jeong-hoon and Ahn Kwon-soo from injury and the return of Goodrum to the lineup for the second half of the season, Lotte’s woes are far from over. One reason for this is the continued struggles of their foreign pitchers.
Dan Streeley and Charlie Barnes have already been ‘proven’ in the KBO. However, their performances in the first half of the season have been disappointing. Both Streeley and Barnes broke out of their poor starts in April, failing to record a single quality start (6 innings or less). They both seemed to improve in May, but they’re still in a “fizzle” mode.
In particular, Straily, who is in his fourth season in the KBO, hasn’t added a win since June 2 against the KIA Tigers, and hasn’t pitched more than six innings in a start since that game. His inconsistent command, even when his velocity is down due to aging, has contributed to his struggles.
Barnes is slightly better than Straily. Barnes has had his ups and downs, but his seven QS are more than Straily’s (three).