‘Train to Busan’ Shim Jae-min “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to play for Lotte, I’ve wanted to go since I was young” 

Shim Jae-min (29), who will wear the uniform of his hometown team after 10 years of professional debut, expressed his feelings about the transfer.

On the 20th, Shim Jae-min visited the Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan, where the Lotte Giants and SSG Landers match was held, and said, “It was nice (being traded to Lotte). Thank you for giving me the opportunity to play for a team called Lotte.”

Previously, Shim Jae-min transferred from KT Wiz through a one-on-one trade with infielder Lee Ho-yeon (28) the day before. Joining KT as a founding 안전놀이터 member in 2014, he recorded 13 wins, 20 losses, 2 saves, 31 holds, and an average ERA of 5.03 in 293 games. In 2017, he pitched 64 games, 74⅔ innings and recorded 13 holds, and was also selected for the Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC) national team held that year.

Shim Jae-min, who was sluggish with an ERA of 22.50 in 4 games with the 1st team this season, has been steadily climbing the mound since going down to the 2nd team. As of the 19th, he went 1 win, 1 loss, 1 hold, and an average ERA of 1.59 in 8 games, and while he was slowly finding his senses, he moved the team through a trade.

Shim Jae-min, who heard about the trade from his teammates after the Futures League game the day before, recalled that time, “I didn’t know about it until then, but I was very embarrassed.” Regarding leaving KT, which he has loved for 10 years, he said, “It was very regrettable that I couldn’t show it clearly.”

However, to Shim Jae-min, who is from Gimhae and went to middle and high school in Busan, Lotte was like a hometown team. Shim Jae-min said, “(Busan) has changed a lot, and it seems to be better than before. A team called Lotte has also become a strong team,

Shim Jae-min said, “I hope Lotte will be the last professional team,” and expressed his determination, saying, “I feel better and motivated because I graduated from Busan. I want to spend a season well and make the best results.”

The following is a Q&A with Shim Jae-min.– When did you hear about the trade?
▶ (19th) After returning to the dorm after the Futures game, my colleagues told me about it. I didn’t know that until then, but I was very embarrassed.

– How does it feel to be traded?
▶ On the other hand, since a good opportunity came, I also had a good heart. He had been with KT for 10 years, and it was a pity that he couldn’t show it clearly.

– What kind of story did KT coach Lee Kang-cheol tell you?
▶ He said ‘I’m sorry, do well’.

– How is your current physical condition? (General manager Seong Min-gyu said at the time of the trade announcement, “Shim Jae-min is currently in poor physical condition.”)
▶The biggest problem with restraints. It is a process of preparing without any pain. He improved a lot while he was in the Futures League. (I hear he’s scheduled to start at the Futures) He originally expected around 50 pitches. (Was it a change of selection at all?) When KT was around, (So) Hyeong-jun was sick and the starting lineup was in a very bad condition, so the coach seems to have ordered that.

– How did you feel when you heard that the traded team was Lotte?
▶ It was good (laughs). He has been living in Gimhae since elementary school (Little) and graduated from Kaesong Middle-Gaeseong High School. Since he grew up watching Lotte baseball from a young age, he had a goal of wanting to go to Lotte. (How do you feel about coming to your hometown team after 10 years?) A lot has changed, and it seems to be better than before. Lotte has also become a strong team, and I am grateful for the opportunity to play for a team called Lotte.

– What did you talk about with coach Bae Young-soo?
▶ (With coach Bae Young-soo) Ever since I was young, I have been with Kim Eung-yong’s (former coach) grandfather, met and trained together. We trained together today, but he cared a little more, talked to me and gave me exercises so that I could do well.

– Who is the closest player in Lotte right now?
▶ There are (Han) Hyeon-hee, (Park) Seung-wook, and (Park) Se-woong. Most of the key players became friends while playing baseball in high school. Even though I am at KT, I get along well with my seniors, so I am generally close. At Lotte, Choi Geon (Choi Lee Joon) contacted me first as soon as the article appeared, saying, “Hyung, when are you coming?” (Choi Lee-jun) I worked with KT for a long time at Futures.

– You reunited with KT founding member Park Se-woong.
▶ I didn’t last long with Sewoong because I had surgery after joining KT. I want to try it together. I want to hear your story, and I’m curious about what kind of mind you have.

– What is your training plan for the time being?
▶ (Coach Bae Young-soo) told me to stay together, watch the training, and exercise together, whether it’s for a week or two.

– Do you have any resolutions or goals for the future?
▶I hope Lotte is the last team right now. I like it because I came out of school in Busan, and it motivates me. I want to do well in one season and make the best results.

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