“We decided it was better to let him recover”
Jang Min-jae of the Hanwha Eagles was recalled from the first team on Wednesday after giving up four runs (unearned) on three hits and one walk with two strikeouts in one inning of work against the LG Twins in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon.
Things have not been going well for Jang Min-jae lately. On March 31, Jang gave up 10 runs (nine earned) on nine hits (one home run) with two walks and six strikeouts in five innings against the Kiwoom Heroes, and on March 6, he gave up four runs (four earned) in 3⅓ innings against the Doosan Bears. The bad luck continued into his last start. In his last five starts, he has allowed 23 runs (18 earned) in 20⅔ innings for a 7.84 ERA.
Jang struck out the first batter, Hong Chang-ki, and induced the next batter, Shin Min-jae, to ground out to the third baseman. However, he made an error at third base and gave up back-to-back singles to Kim Hyun-soo and Austin Dean to give up the first run of the game, and then gave up a hard-hit ball to Oh Ji-hwan to end the inning and a three-run double to Moon Bo-kyung with the bases loaded. He was dismissed from the first team on the 12th.
Before the game against the Busan Lotte Giants on the 13th, Choi Won-ho said, “(Jang) Min-jae’s delivery has dropped a bit lately, with his fastball dropping 2-3 kilometers. His forkball also became dull and his performance was not good.” “Last time, (Kim) Min-woo was also not in good shape, but he was so strong against Doosan that I tried to watch him and he pitched well. Min-jae was also good against LG, so I tried to watch him until LG Electronics, but he wasn’t good that day either, so I dropped him.”
“I thought it would be better to give them a few days’ rest and let them recover. And anyway, the next game (in the rotation) is against Kiwoom, and he’s not very good against Kiwoom, so I had to send him down. Kim Kyu-hyun is the best pitcher in the Futures bullpen right now, so I called him up.” For now, the team hasn’t decided on a replacement for Jang Min-jae.
Hanwha also made changes in the batting order. Choi Won-ho said, “The Euros are not the place to develop backups, but (Kim) Tae-yeon and Lee Jin-young are hitting well, so there was no timing for them to play. We decided that it would be better for them to play in the second team and then move up when they have a chance to play in the main team, rather than just being a backup. That’s why we called up Kwon Kwang-min, who has the best batting average in the Futures League.”안전놀이터
Meanwhile, Hanwha’s starting lineup was Lee Jin-young (left fielder), Kim Tae-yeon (right fielder), Noh Si-hwan (third baseman), Chae Eun-sung (first baseman), Choi Jae-hoon (catcher), Jung Won (second baseman), Kim In-hwan (designated hitter), Moon Hyun-bin (center fielder), and Lee Do-yoon (shortstop).