After a career-high 12-win season last year, Lee Min-ho (22-LG Twins) has been removed from the roster. This season, Lee hasn’t shown the same form as last year and hasn’t won a single game so far. In the end, the commander made the decision. Now, Lee will have about a month to get his body back in shape before making a full comeback in the second half of the season.
Lee Min-ho was left out of the first team roster for the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League home game against the Lotte Giants at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on March 23.
Lee joined the LG Twins in the first round of the 2020 draft after graduating from Seoul Hakdong Elementary, Daechi-Jung-Hwimun High School. Last season, Lee reached the 10-win plateau for the first time with a 12-8 record and a 5.51 ERA. In 119 1/3 innings, he allowed 146 hits, 43 walks, 73 strikeouts, and 77 runs (73 earned). After the season, he reached the billion-dollar mark for the first time in his career ($140 million).
He won 12 games last year, so expectations were high for him this season. However, he hasn’t been able to do much of anything this season. In five starts this season, he is winless with two losses and a 5.03 ERA. In 19⅔ innings, he has allowed 13 runs (11 earned) on 22 hits (one home run) with 10 walks and seven strikeouts. Notably, he was pulled early in a road game against the NC Dinos on April 22 after allowing three runs on three hits and two walks in one inning. Both his velocity and command were not the same as last year.
In the end, the manager made a decision. LG manager Yoon Kyung-yeop said, “Lee Min-ho will have to do what he did in spring training anyway. It’s important to rebuild his body first. His fastball is off by more than 10 kilometers per hour. He’s not in shape,” and then said, “I need to talk to the training part again and build his body the way he did in camp. It’s not about competing, it’s about getting in shape. Anyway, it’s our coaching staff’s fault that Minho didn’t build his body properly,” he said.
Lee Min-ho was sidelined with a right elbow injury in early April. “I think it’s going to take at least a month to build up my body and get back to my normal form,” Yeom said of Lee Min-ho’s future return. The most important thing is to find my form and come back in the second half, which is the deciding game.” The KBO will enter the All-Star break on July 13. The second half of the schedule begins on July 21, with LG’s first three-game series against the SSG Landers. For LG, the best-case scenario is for Lee Min-ho to be in good shape and be able to join the starting rotation normally in the second half.안전놀이터
“By the first half (of the season), the audition should be over and something should be set,” Yeom said. In the second half, you don’t want (the starting rotation) to keep going back. You have to have three or four starters who can go at least five innings.” “We have a lot of pitchers who have grown up in the middle. It’s also important to see how quickly (Jung) Woo-young and (Ko) Woo-seok find their spots. When Seung-hyun Paik comes back, we’ll have a lot more room in the bullpen. Anyway, the first place in the pennant race is the first goal. The guys really worked hard before the first half. The starters didn’t execute even 10 percent of what we envisioned in spring training, but fortunately, (Im) Chan-kyu filled 40 percent of the domestic starters,” he said, adding that he expects the other homegrown starters to step up.