A fearless rookie pitcher captured the heart of the command tower. He played better than expected and took a chance as a substitute starter. SSG Landers Song Young-jin (19) joins the starting lineup in place of the injured ‘ace’ Kim Gwang-hyeon.
SSG reported the news of Kim Kwang-hyun’s injury ahead of the Samsung Lions match held at Daegu Samsung Lions Park on the 11th. His left shoulder was expunged from entry due to bursitis findings. Manager Kim Won-hyung said, “Song Young-jin will be the starting pitcher instead of Kim Gwang-hyun.”
Song Young-jin is from Daejeon High School and joined SSG with the 15th overall pick in the 2nd round in the 2023 draft. Since his high school days, he boasted excellent game management skills and attracted the attention of scouts. In fact, even if he is a super high school level prospect, most of the time he fails to show his skills after joining the pros, but Song Young-jin was different. He cooked his opponents batters with a spirited look on the mound.
Director Kim Won-hyung also nodded at Song Young-jin’s guts. 메이저놀이터Manager Kim, a former pitcher who won 134 professional wins, has been constantly thinking about mound management. He already had an eye on alternative resources when an injury occurred in his head, and as soon as he heard the news of Kim Gwang-hyun’s injury, he made up his mind to appoint Song Young-jin as a substitute.
Song Young-jin, who took his first steps as a professional in the bullpen, recorded an average ERA of 0.00 in 2 games and 4⅔ innings. Although it was early in the season and he hadn’t played many games yet, Song Young-jin’s performance was enough to look forward to a brighter future.
It’s an exhibition game, but I already have some starting experience. He made two starts before the NC Dinos and Lotte Giants and posted an earned run average of 2.25 with 3 hits and 4 strikeouts in 4 innings. After that, he made two more relief appearances, and in 6 innings, 4 hits, 4 walks, 5 strikeouts and 1 run in 6 innings in a total of 4 exhibition games, he marked an ERA of 1.50.
The command tower evaluated Song Young-jin as a “future Landers starting pitcher.” Manager Kim said, “I think of it as a selection resource for our team in the future. The opportunity came quickly. It’s an alternative selection, but I hope Song Young-jin thinks it’s a chance. The regular season will be different from the demonstration game, but he has the mentality to play. I think I will be able to overcome it,” he said, looking forward to Song Young-jin’s performance.
If Song Young-jin plays well during the start, SSG can promise a brighter future. With veteran pitchers already in place, another option may arise. It remains to be seen whether Song Young-jin will be able to seize the opportunity.