Despite Samsung’s bullpen reinforcement…Won Tae-in said, “My role is still the same!”

The Samsung Lions have signed ‘specialty’ closer Kim Jae-yoon as a free agent (FA) ahead of next season to bolster their shaky back end. Closer Oh Seung-hwan, who has 400 career saves in the KBO, is also expected to stay with the team. In addition, sidearm bullpen Yang Hyun came to Samsung in the second round of the draft from Kiwoom. As a starting pitcher, the team has a solid backup.

Pitcher Won Tae-in (23-Samsung), who we met at the ‘2023 Joa Pharmaceutical Baseball Awards Ceremony’ on April 4, said that while he was pleased with the addition of the bullpen, he doesn’t expect much to change. “When our team was struggling this year, the outside world said that I was pitching long innings because of the team’s bullpen situation, but it was just because I was greedy for innings,” Won said. “I’m glad that (Kim) Jae-yoon came to Samsung, but I think my role is still the same,” he said.

“As a starting pitcher, I think it’s my duty to pitch long innings. Just because the bullpen has been strengthened, I don’t think there will be a situation where I can pitch less innings, but if Jae-yoon has to make a drastic change because of his brother’s arrival, I can do that again.”굿모닝토토 도메인

From the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in Tokyo, Japan, in March to the Asian Games (AG) in Hangzhou and the Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC), Won Tae-in’s season has been a long one. “It’s been a long year,” he said. I experienced a lot, learned a lot, and accomplished a lot,” he said.

He also won a gold medal at the Asian Games and received military service benefits. Playing three international tournaments in a row, which is difficult to do even once, and playing full-time in the KBO League in between, was exhausting. “I was really tired. I really wanted to take a break,” he admits.

However, he added, “It was hard, but I can’t help it. Once the season ended, I focused on rest and recovery, and I’ve been taking it easy. But I still need to work out a little bit, so I’m going to start training this week.”

Korea vs. Chinese Taipei in the final game of the Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC) Qualifier at the Tokyo Dome in Japan on April 18. Won Tae-in raises his fist after striking out Lin Jing-kai of Chinese Taipei at second base in the second inning. Nov. 18, 2023.

Unlike last season, when Won traveled to Florida to work out with the pitchers selected for the WBC (Ko Young-pyo and Choi Min-joon), this time he will focus on individual training in Daegu. “Coach Jung Min-tae called me, and he said, ‘Don’t overdo it, because you’ve thrown a lot this year. I think I need to plan when I’m going to play catch and discuss it with my coach,” Won explained.

Won, who went 7-7 with a 3.24 ERA in 26 starts this season, missed out on a chance to win 10 games for the third straight season, said, “I’m very disappointed that I didn’t win 10 games this year. I will definitely win more than 10 games again. Next year, I will record more quality starts (six or more innings and three or fewer earned runs).”

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