After returning from military service, will Lee Sang-young be LG’s savior as homegrown starters falter?

After returning from military service, can Lee Sang-young find a place in the LG Twins’ starting lineup?

Lee is a left-handed pitcher who was drafted by LG in 2019 out of Busan High School. With a fastball that tops out in the low 140s, he went 1-1 with a 4.96 ERA in 24 professional games (nine starts) over 52.2 innings.

After completing the 2021 season, Lee joined the Armed Forces Athletic Corps (Commerce) in December of that year and developed into an ace. In 2022, he went 10-3 with a 3.31 ERA in 22 games (119.2 innings). He was tied for first in wins and third in ERA.

This year, Lee’s performance continued. In nine appearances (51.1 innings), he went 8-1 with a 2.63 ERA. After completing his military service on Dec. 12, he is expected to join the first team immediately.

“Lee Sang-young will immediately accompany (the first team) and enter the starting rotation,” LG manager Yoon Kyung-yeop said before the 13-7 LG victory over the Hanwha Eagles in Daejeon on Nov. 11. “It’s a four-man rotation. (We will keep him in the starting rotation for about four games (regardless of the result), and we plan to start him against the Samsung Lions (on March 13-15 at Jamsil Baseball Stadium).”

Lee’s immediate entry into the first-team starting rotation upon his return was largely due to the fact that he had been a regular in the Futures League until recently.

It was also due to the fact that LG’s homegrown starters have been shaky lately. First, the up-and-down left-hander Kim Yun-sik (3-4, 5.29 ERA) 먹튀검증 was sent down to the second team on September 9, and Lee Min-ho (2-2, 3.95 ERA), who returned from injury, hasn’t performed as well as expected. Lim Chan-kyu (5-1, 2.89 ERA) has been doing his job, but he’s been slumping lately with a 6.97 ERA in June.

“Personally, I haven’t seen much (of Lee’s pitching) with my own eyes except during TV broadcasts, but he’s a pitcher who has been starting consistently since last year in the mercantile industry. The internal evaluations were all good, and (everyone) said he was a pitcher worth developing. I hope he can establish himself as the fourth starter.” “We don’t have a (long) winning streak right now because the starting lineup is not good. The fourth or fifth starter is the key for the rest of the season. We can rotate several players for the fifth spot, but the fourth spot needs to be settled by June,” he emphasized.

Lee Sang-young will be able to settle into the LG starting lineup and ease Yeom’s worries. He is scheduled to take the mound against Samsung in Jamsil on the 14th with a lot of attention.