SSG went through a period of upheaval ahead of the season, with both the head coach and the first and second team coaches changing. While the team has come together as a unit during camp, there are still plenty of questions after the results of the exhibition matches. With the team no longer guaranteed to make the ‘top three’ in terms of objective power, they need someone to take the reins and drag them along until they get back on track.

All eyes will be on the two foreign players who will be wearing SSG uniforms again this year. Roenis Elias (36) on the mound and Guillermo Heredia (33) at the plate. Both are Cubans and have been dugout chemistry since last year. The fact that they’ve been re-signed means they’ve earned it. Elias has clearly shown that he has pitching class, while Heredia was the definition of a middle-of-the-order hitter last year, batting .323 with 12 home runs and 76 RBIs in 122 games.

In fact, by the time of the Florida camp, both players weren’t in great shape. There were some head-scratching moments in their own practice games. They didn’t look bad in training, but their performance in practice was so-so, especially Elias, who had a lot of balls in the air. But the coaching staff wasn’t too worried. They had faith in him to do the basics.

The coaching staff was impressed with the quality of Elias’ pitches. They said he could throw strikes and run a game. “He didn’t win 10 games in the major leagues for nothing,” they said. No one questioned the quality of his pitches, just the stamina. Heredia was optimistic, saying, “No matter how bad he is, he will do the basics.” SSG coach Lee Sung-yong said, “They will do the same as last year. He’s a good hitter who is aggressive but not aggressive.” Lee wasn’t too worried either.

The two players showed that they were gradually improving their condition through the exhibition games. Elias, who had struggled with his command during the Florida camp, turned things around in the Taiwan tournament and then in the exhibition games. In two games, Elias pitched 8⅔ innings, allowing just three hits and one walk while striking out nine. While these were just exhibition games, it’s clear that Elias is ready to go. He’s a favorite to lead the starting rotation early in the year.

Heredia also hit better towards the end of the tournament, finishing with a .360 batting average in eight games. He also hit one home run and had a decent on-base percentage of .480. SSG plans to experiment with Heredia in two different batting orders this year, both of which are high-profile. Heredia will need to be a workhorse.

Meanwhile, SSG announced their 28-man opening roster shortly after media day on the 22nd. Some of the most hotly contested positions have been finalized. First, there are 12 pitchers, four of which are starters (Kim Kwang-hyun, Elias Dugger, Oh Won-seok). The one remaining spot goes to Park Jong-hoon. When he arrives next week, we’ll have 13 pitchers.

The bullpen eight are Moon Seung-won, Go Hyo-joon, Noh Kyung-eun, Song Young-jin, Cho Byung-hyun, Han Dong-sol, Choi Min-joon, and Lee I-roon. Song can be used in long relief or as a substitute starter. Cho Byung-hyun is expected to enter the game in the sixth inning if the team is winning. Choi Min-joon is a multi-inning pitcher who can also pitch two innings, and Han Hoo-sol was the best lefty on the team in the exhibition games. But it’s too early to be complacent. The difference in quality from the players who were sent down to the second team isn’t that great. Plus, closer Seo Jin-yong will 메이저토토사이트 return from elbow rehabilitation in April. His spot is secure. Someone has to go. The fight for survival continues.

Cho Hyung-woo was the first choice for catcher. At the time of the camp, Lee was considered to be the most advanced, with Cho Hyung-woo and Kim Min-sik competing for the other spot, but Cho was pushed ahead. In the infield, in addition to Choi Jung Park Sung, the main player, Ahn Sang-hyun Kim Sung-hyun Go Myung-joon Jeon Eui-san Choi Kyung-mo Park Ji-hwan were selected. The competition for the starting first base for Ko Myeong-joon Jeon Ui-san continues to the end. If one player comes in from the pitcher’s side, there is a possibility that one will go out from the field. With the exception of Kim Sung-hyun, none of the backup players are safe. Rookie Park Ji-hwan became the first high school rookie in franchise history to make the opening day roster in 20 years.

The outfield is as expected. Choo Shin-soo, Hanyeom, Choi Ji-hoon, Eredia, Ha Jae-hoon, and Oh Tae-gon are all familiar names. They will likely continue to play in the first team for the foreseeable future. The outfield plan that Lee envisioned before the season, including utilizing the designated hitter slot and giving them adequate rest, will continue to be implemented. SSG will open the season against Lotte at their home stadium, Incheon SSG Landers Field, on the 23rd. The starting lineup will feature familiar names from the opening game.

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