NC Dinos’ closing pitcher Lee Yong-chan (35) looked back on the 2023 season and said, “I was very disappointed with the end of the season.”
Still, he did not hide his pride in his personal record of playing in 500 games.
Lee Yong-chan had an interview at Changwon NC Park after finishing the New Year’s party held at the Olympic Commemorative National Living Center at Masan Sports Complex in Changwon on the 8th and said, ” 지울프-토토
My stamina dropped a lot at the end of the 2023 season. It was disappointing that the team was not good at the end of the season.” “After two straight wins, I lost three in a row and was eliminated, so I was very disappointed,” he said.
As he joined the national team for the World Baseball Classic (WBC) held in March of last year, he prepared for the season faster than other years, and the physical burden increased as Kim Young-gyu, who was a part of the sure-to-win team, was absent to participate in the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games held in September.
Lee Yong-chan said, “I think the quick preparation due to the WBC contributed to my decline in physical strength at the end of the season.”
He added, “In the second half of the season, me, (Kim) Young-gyu, and (Ryu) Jin-wook were in charge of the 7th to 9th episodes, and Young-gyu was in charge of the Asian Games. “We had to share it between the two of us while competing,” he explained.
Lee Yong-chan, who showed shakiness at the beginning of the season, with an ERA reaching 6.35 in 11 games in April, regained stability in the second half of the season.
He appeared in 7 games in July and recorded 1 win, 1 loss, 2 saves, and an ERA of 2.45. In August, he pitched 11 innings in 10 games, earning 6 saves and an ERA of 1.64. But in September,
he seemed to be having a hard time. He recorded 10 saves in 17 games, but his earned run average reached 5.63.
The aftermath continued into the postseason. NC, which ranked 4th in the regular season,
won all 4 games in the wild card match against the Doosan Bears and the semi-playoffs against SSG Landers and advanced to the playoffs. In the playoffs against KT Wiz, they won the first and second games,
but the players showed a decrease in overall stamina, so they lost three games in a row and were eliminated.
In particular, the bullpen seemed to be greatly shaken. Lee Yong-chan said, “It wasn’t good in the first half, and I struggled to get back to the original state in the second half.
However, after conceding 3 runs in the game against SSG on October 8 and becoming the losing pitcher, I felt like all my hard work had collapsed. Since then, my stamina has been declining.” “
It has come a long way,” he recalled. Lee Yong-chan, who said he plans to prepare more slowly this year than last year, said, “I plan to delay the timing of throwing the ball. I’ve been exercising consistently, but I haven’t thrown the ball yet.”
He added, “I plan to do a lot of bullpen pitching at the spring camp in Arizona, USA, like last year, but I don’t know when to throw the ball.” “
We plan to delay it,” he explained. Although it is disappointing, it is meaningful that he has achieved 500 appearances in his personal career.
It is an even more meaningful record because Lee Yong-chan underwent surgery to remove bone fragments from his elbow twice and also underwent elbow ligament joint surgery (Tommy John surgery) in June 2020.
He was someone who changed positions frequently. Lee Yong-chan smiled, saying, “Appearing in 500 games in my personal career is a very meaningful record.
I think I would have achieved it sooner if I had not played as a starting pitcher.
I had a lot of surgery and went through rehabilitation several times, but I am proud to have achieved 500 appearances in games.” built.
NC needs to reorganize its starting lineup as native left-handed ace Koo Chang-mo has enlisted in the military.
NC coach Kang In-kwon expressed his intention to bring as many starting resources as possible to spring camp and inspect them for himself.
When I asked Lee Yong-chan, who has experience in selection, ‘Do you have any desire to be a selection?’, he answered, “I don’t want to change my position.”
When I came to NC, I signed a contract as a starting pitcher, but the former manager asked me to take charge of the finishing touches.
I said I would do whatever position was assigned to me, but after that, I said I didn’t want to change it,” he said.
I think I have no particular desire to be a starting pitcher,” he said.
There are expected to be significant changes in the competition structure for closing pitchers in the 2024 season.