“I need to see more.”
KT Wiz bullpen pitcher Joo Kwon, 29, had a slow start to the 2023 season. He didn’t make the opening day roster due to a forearm injury.
Joo is a key member of KT’s bullpen. Joo made his professional debut in a KT uniform in 2015 and had a 32-36 record with four saves and a 5.14 ERA in 105 appearances in 396 games through last season.
He collected double-digit holds for four consecutive seasons starting in 2019, when he became a full-fledged member of the pen, and led the league in holds in 2020 with 31. Last season, he was equally impressive with a 3-3 record, one save, and 15 holds in 58 games with a 3.91 ERA.
He was named to the active roster on May 16, but it took him a while to find his groove. After going 7-1 with a 3.00 ERA in May, he struggled in June, going 1-1 with a 6.94 ERA. By the end of June, his ERA was just 5.23.
Meanwhile, Joo’s spot in the rotation was slipping away. The bullpen consisted of established closer Kim Jae-yoon, second-year player Park Young-hyun, and Son Dong-hyun. The trio took over the seventh through ninth innings.
However, Joo didn’t care about his position and sweated it out to find his old form whenever the team needed him. The results are starting to show. Through seven games in July, he has a 2.25 ERA. Only two games have been shutouts. In two games in August, he has a 1-0 ERA with one hold. A July-August ERA in the low one-run range.
If you look at the first and second halves of the season, he went 1-0 with a 4.56 ERA in 23 games in the first half, compared to 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in four games in the second half. 먹튀검증
KT manager Lee Kang-cheol is cautious. He is hoping that he will be able to provide reliable pitching that can be used in 1-3 run games like before.
“I need to see a little more,” Lee said on Tuesday at KT Wiz Park in Suwon. “If it comes up a little more, I can rotate Young-hyun or Dong-hyun when he’s off. Kwon is the same, and (Kim) Min-soo needs to come up.”
KT has rebounded and moved up to third in the league standings. If Joo-Kwon is up, KT could go even higher.