Lotte drops to seventh place amid July slump with 5-12 record
Homegrown starters struggling
Can the down-and-out Lotte Giants rebound?
Lotte will play a three-game series against the NC Dinos at Sajik Stadium on April 1, followed by a home game against the SSG Landers on April 4.
In the first game of the six-game series at Anbang, Lotte will look for a win with substitute foreign pitcher Aaron Wilkerson.
Wilkerson made his debut against the Doosan Bears on April 26, pitching five innings of two-run ball to earn the win. His fastball averages around 144 kilometers per hour and he has a variety of pitches, including a slider, curveball, and changeup.
Lotte is hoping for another strong outing from Wilkerson.
Lotte exposed its insecurities during the month of July.
After failing to make the postseason for five straight years from 2018 to last year, Lotte seemed to be on a different pace early in the season, finishing in first place.
However, the team went 5-12 in the month of July.
After being ranked third at the beginning of the month, Lotte (41 wins and 45 losses) slowly slipped down to seventh place.
Lotte’s team batting average this year is a low .255, and their long balls are among the lowest in the league.
Lotte doesn’t have a single triple-digit hitter on the roster, with the top hitter being Kim Min-seok (batting .283). Kim played in all games last month and batted .379.
The team leader in home runs is Jeon Jun-woo, who has just nine. Lotte has only 40 team home runs this year.
Niko Gudrum, who was brought in as a replacement foreign player, is batting just .219 in nine games and has no home runs.
To make matters worse, starting catcher Yoo Kang-nam is out of the lineup with a side injury.
Lotte’s 4.43 team ERA ranks ninth in the league.
Na Gyun-ahn, who had impressed early in the season and turned into an ace, has only won two games since April and has been demoted to the second team.
Ambitious signing Han Hyun-hee leads the team in losses (9), while Park Se-woong has just four wins this year. Lee In-bok, who returned from elbow surgery, has yet to post a win.
Only Charlie Barnes (7-6, 4.06 ERA) has been solid in the starting rotation.
For Lotte to rebound, it will be important for the foreign pitchers to perform and for the starting staff of Na Kyun-an, Park Se-woong, and Han Hyun-hee to play their part.
Veterans Jeon Jun-woo and Ahn Chi-hong will need to hit better, 스포츠토토 while Ahn Kwon-soo, who showed some promise at the start of the season, will also need to step up.