Bullpens Reinforcement Samsung, Bats Are Important… Height is ‘Oh Jae-il – Foreign hitter’

Samsung is getting busy in the offseason. It’s been bolstering its bullpen. The results are clear. However, the bats need attention. It’s better than the mound, but it’s not as strong. It’s an area that needs revitalization.

Samsung finished the 2023 season with a team batting average of .263, good for sixth place. They were eighth in home runs (88) and seventh in OPS (0.702). That’s a below-average offense. It’s one of the reasons why the team is only 8th in the standings.

The biggest disappointment was, of course, the bullpen. With a 5.16 ERA, it’s the worst in the league. Samsung was the only team with an ERA in the 5s.굿모닝토토

Samsung first baseman Oh Jae-il catches a hit by Kim Sun-bin and throws to Widener in the first inning of the 2023 KBO League game against KIA at Samsung Lions Park in Daegu on Sept. 12. Daegu | By Seung-Seop Choi thunder@sportsseoul.com

Samsung knows it. That’s why it acquired Kim Jae-yoon in the offseason for a total of 5.8 billion won over four years. That’s a lot of money. Together with Oh Seung-hwan, they have a solid “bullpen one-two punch. In the second round, they bolstered it with Choi Sung-hoon and Yang Hoon.

The fire has been extinguished. We’re continuing to strengthen. The batting order is relatively quiet. If not through trades or other means, the existing resources will have to step up.

The first player to come to mind is Oh Jae-il. It’s safe to say that he had his worst season since becoming a starter. In 106 games, he batted just 0.203 with 11 home runs, 54 RBIs, and an OPS of 0.658.

At the beginning of the season, it was a “meh” season. He’s always been a slow starter. But the slump got longer. By May, he was batting in the teens. With their trusted No. 4 hitter struggling, Samsung was bound to lose steam.

The 2024 season should be different. Despite having good hitters like Koo Ja-rook and Kang Min-ho, Oh Jae-il’s power is essential. Only then will the Samsung batting lineup be able to carry the weight.

The late-season rebound was a welcome one. In September, he hit .289 with two home runs, 11 RBIs and an OPS of .874. He went 0-for-4 in October as a pinch-hitter due to a hamstring strain, but September certainly wasn’t bad.

He’s taken the first base woes off the table since joining Samsung. We need him. Furthermore, 2024 is important for Oh. It’s the last year of his free agency contract. In the long run, a ‘resurgence’ is a must.

Then there’s the other side. A foreign hitter. In 139 games in 2023, Jose Pirela hit .285 with 16 homers, 80 RBIs, and an OPS of .764. That’s not necessarily bad. But it wasn’t great either.

It’s hard not to notice because he had a breakout season in 2022. In 141 games, he hit .342 with 28 homers, 109 RBIs, and an OPS of .976. It was an MVP-caliber performance. It was a no-brainer to re-sign him. A total of $1.7 million. Then, in 2023, his performance plummeted.

Samsung has a lot of problems. He was born in 1989, which is not a bad age. They may decide that he peaked in 2022 and is on his way down. If that’s the case, they’ll need to find someone else.

Instead, he has a good reputation within the team. According to a club official, the players especially appreciate Pirella. Many of the players have expressed their desire to go with him.

This shows that Pirela is committed to the team. In fact, he was the interim captain for the 2022 season. “He’s integrated well into the team. It would be great if he had a good season, but the numbers are not there.

Nothing is set in stone yet. Whether someone new comes in or Pirela stays on, Samsung’s foreign batsmen have to do well ‘no matter what’. Only then can the team’s batting lineup survive.

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