A ‘4 innings, 10 runs’ nightmare?…How I changed my routine and went 6 innings in 4 straight games + 1.09 ERA.
Despite proclaiming ‘this year is different’, I got a taste of the bitter pill in my first start in May. He gave up 10 runs (nine earned) in four innings, including two home runs.
He used it as a turning point. Since then, he has pitched at least six innings in four consecutive games with a salty 1.09 ERA.
Choi Won-tae, 26, is in his ninth year in the league and has developed into a middle-of-the-rotation pitcher for the “young team” Kium. He is part of a starting staff that ranks first overall among the 10 clubs with a starting WAR (wins above replacement, per Statistical Information) of 5.21. Ki’s strength has been his strength this season.메이저사이트
There’s a reason the pitching has changed, and it’s because the team has a different approach.
Choi credits the people around him: “Lee Ji-young lets me throw the pitches I want to throw and gives me the opportunity to think for myself. Thanks to her, I feel like I’m growing every game.” “Pitching coach Noh Byung-oh also gave me really good feedback,” he added.
Above all, the ‘customised routine’ has been successful. Choi hasn’t pitched out of the bullpen since May.
“Actually, two days before the Samsung Lions game (4 May), I had a feeling that I was struggling when I pitched in the bullpen. Coach Noh Byung-oh told me, ‘I feel like I’m using all the strength I need to use in practice. You keep losing power on the ball. You need to get some rest.”
For starting pitchers, throwing in the bullpen during a five-day break is an important part of their routine to check their conditioning and prepare themselves. Taking a break was not an easy choice. “Honestly, I was a little anxious at first, but after the Samsung game, I thought I should just take a break,” Choi recalled.
“I used to throw a lot of balls before the game. I definitely get more energy when I rest, but that doesn’t mean I play for five days. You just make sure you’re in good shape, but you’re not throwing the ball.”
This season has also seen a change in his pitching plan. Originally, Choi was a two-seam pitcher. But this year, he’s been throwing a lot of four-seamers. He’s also upped his fastball to around 150km/h. “My velocity has definitely increased. My pitching data, such as the number of revolutions, has also improved,” he said.
“My fastball rotation was better than I thought. Both coaches Noh Byung-oh and Song Shin-young asked me why I wasn’t using my fastball, so I’ve been actively throwing it since this year, and the results are good.”
He sees the strike zone as wide as possible and uses it to his advantage. He throws fastballs in the upper part of the zone and two-seamers in the lower part to get batters to swing at them. Choi also has a complete curveball and changeup. “I use a wide zone, up, down, left and right, and visually it’s all left and right, so I think hitters have a hard time with it,” he smiles.
“I’ve also been throwing the ball too consistently. I try to change it up every game. I’ve always worked hard, but this year I seem to be getting lucky. I’ll try to keep it up.”