“I wanted to come back and hear good things.”
Hanwha pitcher Lee Tae-yang, 33, is a rare case of someone who left a team via trade and returned as a free agent. After being traded to SK (now SSG) in June 2020, he became a free agent last November and signed a four-year, 2.5 billion won contract with Hanwha. There were other teams that offered him a better deal, but he chose Hanwha because he had a family and wanted to continue his career in Daejeon, where he spent his youth.
From the first year of his free agency, he played as a ‘model student’. In 50 games (12 starts) and 100⅓ innings, splitting time between starting and relieving, Lee compiled a 3-3 record with a 3.23 ERA. After starting the season in relief of Butch Smith, who went down with a sudden injury in the opening game, Lee has pitched wherever the team has needed him, whether it’s in long relief, the closer’s role, or as a substitute starter. After mid-August, he finished the season in the starting rotation.
Hanwha’s turnaround would not have been possible without Lee’s versatility on the mound.
“As a team manager, I’m very grateful to have a pitcher like Lee Tae-yang,” said Hanwha head coach Choi Won-ho. “She pitched 100 innings in 50 games, and that’s enough to pay the price.” After the final camp, Choi Won-ho called Lee Tae-yang directly and asked her to be the pitching coach next year. He recognized not only her performance on the mound but also her leadership.
After a short break after the season, Lee resumed her personal training at the Daejeon Hanwha Life Eagles Park, saying, “I rested enough. I need to prepare well in the winter so that I don’t get sick next year and can enjoy myself and perform well. It’s an occupational disease. If I don’t move, I feel uneasy,” she laughed, adding, “In early January next year, I plan to go to Okinawa, Japan with (Lee) Min-woo for about seven days of training.”
Reflecting on her successful first season back, 카지노사이트 Lee Tae Yang said, “I wanted to hear good things about my return to Hallyu. Before the season, I had some anxiety and worries, but after the season, I’m glad I did it to the point where I can say to myself, ‘I struggled.
It’s significant that he went over 100 innings for the third straight year and was consistent with a sub-3 ERA for the second straight year.
His pitches weren’t overpowering, but they weren’t easily broken either. He doesn’t have a fiery fastball, but he’s aggressive with his offspeed pitches and keeps batters off balance. When he needed a strikeout, he relied on his forkball to get him out of trouble. He consistently showed that he was a pitcher who could be counted on no matter where he was put out to pitch.
“As I’ve gotten older, I think I’ve gotten the ability to operate on the mound. I didn’t have that when I was younger. When I was younger, I would throw emotionally when I was having a bad game, and what was supposed to be three runs would turn into five or seven. As I got older, I started to rationalize and mind control. I would give up one run instead of three,” he explains. “All of a sudden, I might get better, but it’s more about thinking about what’s next on the mound and having a rational mindset.”
He describes baseball as a mental game.
As a pitching coach, he is also responsible for the “mental care” of young pitchers. “Every professional baseball player wants to throw well and hit well. That’s how you get paid and that’s how the team wins. It’s not easy to think about that during the season, but afterward, every pitch and every at-bat is important. (Noh) Hwan-yi is also one hit short of a triple this year. At the beginning of the season, he had a streak of 40 at-bats (43 at-bats) without a hit. Even he said it was a waste. You don’t have a season without regrets and disappointments, but you have to minimize them every day. When you wake up, there is no game today,” he emphasized.
He will most likely start next season, but as always, he is not looking for a position. “I’d love to start, but it’s not because I want to, that’s for (Moon) Dong-joo to ask for,” he said with a smile. “I don’t know what position I’ll play, but the club keeps investing and strengthening. Now we have to really fight for the top five. The players are very motivated. Next year, I hope the season will end late,” he said, expressing his desire for fall baseball. In Hanwha’s last fall baseball season, in 2018, Lee was part of a bullpen that went 4-2 with a 2.84 ERA in 63 games and 79⅓ innings pitched.