Na Gyun-ahn’s vacancy, the next Jang Won-jun…36-year-old veteran lefty is also a ‘starter’

“We are looking at various possibilities and are thinking of several players.”

Lotte lost ace Na Kyun-ahn, 24, to the disabled list with elbow pain. With the immediate need to fill the void in the starting lineup without Na, there is a lot of interest in which pitcher the Giants will choose as their replacement for the upcoming 27th (Sajik, against the Samsung Lions).

Lotte Giants manager Larry Sutton met with reporters before the ‘2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League’ game against the KT Wiz at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on April 22 to discuss Na Gyun-ahn’s physical condition and his plans for the starting lineup. “The best-case scenario is for him to return in 10 days and join the starting rotation. However, we need to check his injury every two days and see how it progresses,” he explained.

“Na Kyun-ahn is scheduled to pitch on Tuesday (27th). It’s time to prepare a replacement starter in advance, and we’re talking about it a lot. We also have a game today (22nd) and the LG Twins (23rd-25th), so we’ll watch those games and talk to the coaching staff.”

One player stands out in this situation. It’s veteran pitcher Chow Chan, 36, who is in the Futures League. Chau-chan signed with Lotte last year after being released by LG. He rehabbed from a shoulder injury and made his first start against the SSG Landers in the Futures League on April 10, pitching one inning of one-hit ball with two strikeouts.

Sutton didn’t have an immediate answer for Chauchan’s starting spot, but left the door open. “I’m thinking about several guys. But today (Feb. 22) is a big game and we need to get the momentum going our way,” Sutton said.

However, Chowchan is one of those players who could start. Sutton hasn’t ruled him out, so there’s a chance he could start. If he does start, it will be interesting to see if he can give the team a boost on the mound like Jang Won-jun did.안전놀이터

Jang Won-jun (38, Dusan Bears) has started all four games this season, going 3-1 with a 5.60 ERA in 17⅔ innings. If you exclude his start against the LG Twins in Jamsil on April 18, where he gave up six runs in 1⅓ innings, his ERA drops to 2.76. He’s energized the starting lineup like a pitcher on the verge of retirement.

It will be interesting to see if Chau-chan gets the opportunity to fill in for Na Gyun-ahn on the 27th, and if he can continue to pitch reliably and contribute to the starting lineup like Jang Won-jun.

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