The value of starting pitchers in the KBO League is quite high. There are many teams that use both foreign pitchers as starters but cannot properly fill the remaining three starters with domestic pitchers.
Even in the free agent market,메이저사이트 the value of a bullpen pitcher who is not a professional closer is inferior to that of a starting pitcher. The dominant opinion is that the reason why Korean baseball has repeatedly suffered defeats in recent international competitions is that it has failed to nurture starting pitchers.
SSG Landers’ veteran right-handed orthodox pitcher Moon Seung-won has been highly recognized for his value as a starting pitcher. After the end of the 2021 season, Moon Seung-won signed a non-FA multi-year contract for a total of 5.5 billion won for 5 years, along with his colleague Park Jong-hoon (5-year total of 6.5 billion won), for the first time in the history of the KBO League.
At the time he signed his multi-year contract, Moon was recovering from elbow surgery. After the end of the 2022 season, the SSG club caught Moon Seung-won before he qualified for free agency and went to the market. Of course, the size of the contract reflected the expectation that Moon Seung-won would make a long run as a starting pitcher after rehabilitation.
※ SSG Moon Seung-won’s major records in the last 5 seasons
▲ SSG Moon Seung-won’s major records for the last 5 seasons (Source: Baseball Records Office KBReport.com)
ⓒ KB Report
In July of last year, Moon Seung-won completed rehabilitation and returned to the first team. However, the starting rotation was already full, and the team’s weak point, the bullpen, was decided. Moon Seung-won, who appeared in 23 games after his return, was 1 win, 1 loss, 3 saves, 3 holds, an average ERA of 5.11, and an OPS (on-base percentage + avoid slugging percentage) of 0.838, unable to hide the sluggishness of detailed indicators.
Coach Won-hyung Kim believed that Seung-won Moon would make use of his rich experience and once entrusted him with the heavy responsibility of finishing, but failed to settle down due to unstable pitching. Last year, SSG achieved its first integrated victory after taking over the club, from winning the regular season’Wire-to-Wire’ to winning the Korean Series. However, in a cold-hearted evaluation, Moon Seung-won’s contribution was insignificant.
This season, Moon Seung-won started the season as a starting pitcher. After his rehabilitation, he returned to his familiar position for his first full-time season, so it was expected that he would return to his pre-elbow surgery form. However, he started 4 games and performed poorly with 1 win, 2 losses, an earned run average of 6.43 P and an OPS of 0.947.
▲ SSG Moon Seung-won, who is playing his first full-time season after elbow surgery
ⓒ SSG Landers
Moon Seung-won, who was canceled from the first team entry on May 3, returned to the first team on the 12th after 10 days, but was pushed out of the starting lineup and changed to the bullpen. Elias, the new foreign pitcher who replaces Romero, has not yet joined the first team. However, there is no vacancy in SSG’s starting rotation with immovable ace Kim Kwang-hyun, foreign pitcher McCarty, underhand Park Jong-hoon, young gun Oh Won-seok and Song Young-jin. Moon Seung-won, who is sluggish, is unable to secure a place in the starting rotation.
The problem is that Moon Seung-won is repeating hunting even in a new position. After switching to bullpen pitching, he failed to prove his sense of stability by giving up runs in every game in three games. In the SSG bullpen, there is no room for the sluggish Moon Seung-won, as there is a strong Pil Seung-joon, including the awakened closer Seo Jin-yong and veteran setup men Go Hyo-jun and Roh Kyung-eun. However, it is not desirable to have a veteran pitcher with a high salary in charge of the pursuit team.
Considering the size of Moon Seung-won’s multi-year contract, if not a starting pitcher, he should at least play the role of Pil Seung-jo so that the ‘overpay’ controversy will not arise. Attention is focusing on whether Moon Seung-won, who has been switched to the bullpen, will take the lead in SSG’s second consecutive victory by regaining the pitching content worthy of its reputation.