SSG, who achieved a historic ‘Wire-to-Wire’ integrated victory last year, had to return to reality immediately after winning the Korean Series. Wilmer Font (33), the core of the team’s starting lineup, said he would not renew his contract.
Font threw 184 innings in 28 games last year and contributed to the team’s championship with an outstanding record of 13 wins and 6 losses with a 2.69 ERA. There was no wire-to-wire without fonts. There were several problems with the shoulder, and the club was not without anxiety, but there was no reason to give up on renewing the contract. However, Font had declared a move to the United States without even sitting at the negotiating안전놀이터 table for a renewal contract. After confirming the intention of the font, SSG neatly put aside his lingering feelings.
In the process, it was left-hander Eni Romero (32) who emerged as a substitute foreign player. SSG had pretty detailed information about Romero. Recently, various information was collected, including his speed, pitch, and reputation in Japanese professional baseball. He also threw several breaking balls at a fast ball with an average speed of close to 150 km per hour. As long as he was healthy, he thought he was a foreign ace who could take the place of Font.
However, as a result, the fireballer, who is said to throw 150 km, has become an ‘imaginary animal’. He complained of shoulder pain during a practice game in Okinawa, and only rehabilitation followed without a promise. Although he received injection treatment, etc., his recovery was slow, and crucially, the athlete himself felt a burden on his shoulder. The club did not say the specific injured area for the player’s privacy, but it is known that it takes a long time to rehabilitate.
From the moment Romero got hurt, I started looking through the list of foreign substitutes again. However, major league clubs also wanted to retain as many pitchers as possible, and players were also aiming to enter the major leagues from May to June, so the player pool was not wide. It is known that there are many cases in which the club did not release the top ranked players.
On the other hand, SSG director Kim Won-hyung, who thought that ‘this is the last chance’, was very picky. There were several players who were in good form in the minor leagues right now. However, it was a double-edged sword that was less tested. However, coach Kim preferred a player with a relatively stable career that has been verified to some extent. He was trying to see the most recent three-year results. In the process, the name of Roennis Elias (35) came up, and the player who finally received the approval was Elias. He wasn’t a first-choice player from the start.
Elias takes the age of 35 and has a history of elbow surgery. However, it has been a while since he underwent surgery, and last year he also appeared in 7 games for Seattle. He can be seen to have recovered from the aftereffects of the surgery. He appeared in 133 career major league games, 54 of which were starts. He is an experienced player with a record of 22 wins and 24 losses with a career earned run average of 3.96 in the major leagues. In 2014, he also had 10 victories.
Even after his elbow surgery, his velocity has been maintained relatively well. He threw a four-seam fastball with an average of 93.5 miles (about 150.5 km), and even if he plays as a starter this year, he is expected to be able to throw an average of 140 km in the middle and second half. The perfection of his changeup and curve is also top-notch. In particular, the changeup had a low hit rate in the major leagues. He was 0.234 in 2018, 0.197 in 2019, and 0.182 last year as well. The swing rate was also steadily maintained in the late 20% range to the early 30% range.
You can think about the things after this season after this year is over. If Elias is healthy in the rotation, considering his career, he can expect decent grades. It is also interesting to see if Elias, who has been picked and picked for a long time, can throw as coach Kim expects, and if so, how he will take care of the starting rotation.