Technical support issues
The final scene of Doosan's foreign hitter Jose Rojas' 2023 season was impressive. On the full count, the seventh pitch hit the top of the foot with a full ball. Rojas, who had been in pain for a long time and collapsed on the spot, pulled the next ball and easily crossed the right fence. Rojas limped slowly around the diamond and was replaced in the next at-bat. Thus, Rojas finished the final game of his KBO debut season. In the wild card game against NC, he recorded two hits in two at-bats with a home run and a double.
Will we be able to see Rojas again next season, which marked the end dramatically. It is half and half at the moment. A Doosan official said, "We need to see the market situation. "A-class hitters are on the list, but for now, those players are all included in the Major League Baseball (MLB) 40-man list," he said. In other words, we are observing players who can be seen as "upper" than Rojas, but we are not yet sure whether we can bring them to KBO. Rojas' fate may also change depending on their future course of action in the U.S. market. A Doosan official said, "Considering Rojas' performance this year, it is not easy to re-confidence 100%." However, given the market situation, it is not easy to conclude in the direction of unconditional change.
Rojas finished the regular season with a batting average of 0.253, an OPS of 0.819 and 19 home runs. Even considering Jamsil's home stadium, it is far from what foreign hitters expect. The first half was particularly sluggish with a batting average of 0.222. Coach Lee Young-soo was assigned exclusively to take on "mental care."
But Rojas in the middle and second half of the season wasn't bad. Since July, he has hit the center hitter's number. In the last month, he recorded an OPS of 0.939 with a slugging percentage of 0.575. Even if they endure defense instability, they are worth going with for another season.
The future of first baseman Yang Seok-hwan is also an important variable. Yang Seok-hwan qualified as an FA after this season. Market demand is not absent. Doosan also needs Yang Seok-hwan, but it should consider salary caps.
Doosan hit just 100 home runs in 144 games this season. Yang Seok-hwan was responsible for 20% of the team's home runs alone with 21 home runs. If Yang Seok-hwan leaves, the need for Rojas, whose slugging power has been proven to some extent, may increase. There is also a possibility that Rojas, who was unstable in outfield defense, will be converted to first base to fill Yang Seok-hwan's empty spot.
Foreign pitchers Raul Alcantara and Brandon Waddell are likely to be with Doosan next season as of now, unless there are major variables.
Tuesday, October 24, 2023