‘Private lessons continue!’

KIA Tigers left-hander Yang Hyeon-jong (35) and Lee Eui-ri (21) boarded the 5th World Baseball Classic (WBC) national team (30 players) side by side. Attention is focusing on whether the two pitchers will make a big success wearing the same uniform on their team as well as the WBC national team.

This is the first time Yang Hyeon-jong and Lee Eui-ri have been selected for the national team together. Yang Hyeon-jong has been consistently wearing the Taegeuk mark for over 10 years, but Lee Eui-ri is in his third year as a pro, so he doesn’t have much experience in the adult national team yet. Lee Eui-ri, who also competed at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, is wearing the Taegeuk mark for the second time since his professional debut.

The Tokyo Olympics were postponed by one year due to the aftermath of the new coronavirus infection (Corona 19) and were held in 2021. Eui-ri Lee took the mound in two Olympic games and threw 10 innings, recording an ERA of 4.50 and 18 strikeouts (first place in the tournament), showing a surprising performance even though she was a rookie at the time. 메이저놀이터

It was a tournament where juniors drew attention as a reverse fight, but at that time Yang Hyeon-jong could not be by his side. After finishing the 2020 season, he chose to challenge the major leagues and was throwing a ball in the United States with the Texas Rangers in 2021. Because of this, he could not join the Tokyo Olympic team.

The relationship between the two started at KIA. After Yang Hyeon-jong finished the 2021 season, he returned to the KIA through a free agent (FA) contract, establishing a’left-handed one-two punch’. As Lee Eui-ri has consistently chosen “Yang Hyeon-jong” as his role model since joining the KIA, the meeting between the two was significant for both the team and the individual.

Being able to see veteran pitcher Yang Hyeon-jong up close was very helpful to Eui-ri Lee. I also had a lot to learn from my position as a starting pitcher. I was able to learn a lot of know-how right next to a great senior who had various experiences in routines and game management skills.

Last year, which was his first season with Yang Hyeon-jong, Eui-ri Lee took the mound in 29 games and recorded 10 wins and 10 losses and an ERA of 3.86, enjoying the joy of his first double-digit victory in his debut. Yang Hyeon-jong also successfully completed his first season of his return, marking 12 wins and 7 losses and an ERA of 3.85 in 30 games.

The two pitchers, who left good records side by side in their first season together, are now moving the stage to an international competition. Yang Hyeon-jong, who has a lot of experience in the national team, is expected to continue his personal training for Lee Eui-ri even after wearing the Taegeuk mark. I wonder if the two pitchers, who can be said to be the present and the future, who are inheriting the lineage of left-handed aces in Korean baseball, will be able to bring joy to the fans with their joint performance in this WBC.