“Let’s look at Kangnam Yoo’s strengths first”… Stealing pitcher and co-responsibility, Sutton’s clear message

 “You have to look at Kang-Nam Yoo’s strengths first. The catcher alone cannot stop stealing bases.”

Expectations are contained in the amount of 8 billion won over four years. Lotte is expecting a clear power reinforcement effect by recruiting catcher Kang-Nam Yoo. It was expected that Kangnam Yoo’s strengths, such as framing, leadership, and affinity, would be a clear plus factor for the team. Considering that Lotte had been struggling with the catcher problem, the existence of a relatively young and strong catcher named Yoo Kang-nam was absolutely necessary.

However, it is not that there were no concerns when recruiting Yoo Kang-nam. It was a question about Yoo Gang-nam’s ability to stop stealing. Last year, Yoo Gang-nam’s stealing rate was only 17.3%. His steal-stopping ability was trending downward. If a ‘free pass’ is issued to runners on the ground, it will eventually be a burden for everyone, and Lotte may also have questions about the 8 billion won investment. 메이저사이트

Nevertheless, Lotte prioritizes Yoo Kang-nam’s strengths. In the course of the demonstration game, doubts are rising again about Yoo Kang-nam’s ability to stop stealing. Currently, Lotte has allowed 14 stolen bases in 8 demonstration games. That may not be too much, except for allowing 10 piles of stolen bases in two consecutive games against LG on the 18th and 19th. Nevertheless, it is difficult to completely silence the voices of concern. 

Still, manager Larry Sutton eased the burden on Yoo Kang-nam and at the same time made it clear that stealing bases is not just the catcher’s responsibility, but the pitcher’s responsibility as well.

Coach Sutton said, “We need to see Kangnam Yoo’s strengths first. He is a player who has very good ball distribution, framing, and then leadership on the ground. He joined our team because he has such strengths.” It is not possible to stop stealing. Pitchers must take various holding timings while holding the ball and check them at various timings to suppress the opponent’s running game. Not only Yoo Kang-nam, but also pitchers do it when other catchers are sitting. There is definitely a role to give,” he emphasized.

In fact, since last year’s finish camp, Lotte has been focusing on basic pitching training as well as training to keep runners in check, such as slide steps. Internally, it was concluded that the pitchers’ ability to check stolen bases also needed to be supplemented, and the spring camp continued. 

Manager Sutton said, “The positive thing is that he practiced this part a lot in the pitching part. So the pitchers’ slide steps became faster.”

He emphasized that, of course, the basic efforts of the catchers, including Yoo Kang-nam, are necessary. Coach Sutton said, “Coach Kyung-Cheol Choi joined, not only Yoo Kang-Nam, but also other catchers, and we are continuing to train how to make use of our strengths and make the catchers’ abilities more efficient, and it is noticeable that they are growing little by little.”

The effect of recruiting Yoo Kang-nam is expected to be revealed first in framing. From the time of the recruitment announcement, the pitching staff had high expectations and were very satisfied. However, he cannot completely overlook the stolen base problem. If the problem becomes a weakness, Lotte’s worries will inevitably multiply. 

Still, I quickly recognize the problem with the trauma of stealing and try to find improvements. It could be a message that eases the burden on Yoo Kang-nam. However, the command tower clearly threw a message to the pitching staff that ‘the joint responsibility of the pitcher and the catcher for stealing’.

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