“We have Seung-won”…Can SSG Seung-won Moon repay his coach’s faith?

“You have (Moon) Seung-won.”

SSG head coach Kim Won-hyung vowed to rest key bullpen Noh Kyung-eun, who has been making frequent relief appearances lately, ahead of the 25th game against LG. Noh, who leads the league in saves (12), will not be available for the final game of the three-game series against LG, which is tied 1-1 in the series. Kim mentioned Moon Seung-won (34) as a possible replacement for Noh.안전놀이터

Moon, who started the season as a starter, earned the win in his first start, pitching eight scoreless innings against Samsung Electronics on 12 May. It was his first start since 30 May 2021, when he threw six innings of one-run ball against Hanwha. Moon joined the team in July 2022 after undergoing surgery for an elbow injury after the 2021 season against Hanwha and rehabbing for more than a year. He helped the team win the SSG last year as part of the bullpen, including the closer role.

Moon got off to a strong start this season, pitching a near-perfect game in his official return to the starting rotation, but faltered in his second outing. After a poor outing against KT on the 18th with four runs in 4.2 innings, he followed it up with four runs in five innings against LG Electronics on the 25th. In his last chance, on the 2nd, he pitched his worst game of the season with 7 runs in 3.1 innings against KT and was sent to the second team. He was unable to manage his pitch count due to poor command of his pitches, and his mistakes repeatedly led to home runs. Kim gave him homework at the time, saying that he needed to “think for himself” about being removed from the roster.

Kim eventually moved Moon, who was struggling as a starter, to the bullpen. With Kim, Kirk McCarty, Roenis Elias, Park Jong-hoon, and Song Young-jin, the team needed to sort out its starting rotation. With so many close matches, the fatigue level of the top three – Noh Kyung-eun, Ko Hyo-joon, and Seo Jin-yong – was increasing day by day. Moon Seung-won was said to have readily accepted Kim’s request.

However, Moon has yet to find his form after the move. In six games in relief this month, he posted a disappointing 6.14 ERA and 1.64 WHIP (walks allowed per inning). Kim has been using Moon in close games to help him find his pitching balance.

SSG’s bullpen is one of the tightest in the league, with a 2.29 ERA as of 30 days. The left-handers are Ko Hyo-joon, Baek Seung-gun, and Lim Jun-seop. On the right-hand side, Noh Kyung-eun and Choi Min-joon are the backbone, but they lack a solid third card. In the not-too-distant future, if Moon Seung-won manages to rebound, SSG will have a more stable bullpen with a left-right balance.

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