‘Olympic strikeout king’ Lee Eui-ri, will he regain his changeup and take over the WBC?

2021 was the year that the three-letter name of ‘Lee Eui-ri’ was imprinted in the Korean baseball world. Eui-ri Lee appeared in 19 games in his debut season and won 4-5 in 19 games with an ERA of 3.61, giving the KIA Tigers the rookie title for the first time in 36 years. Lee Eui-ri, who participated in the Tokyo Olympics that summer, started as a starting pitcher against the United States and the Dominican Republic, striking out 9 in 5 innings each, and striking out 18 in 10 innings in 2 games, tied for first place in strikeouts in the tournament.

The secret to Lee Eui-ri’s winning the strikeout king at the Olympics is, of course, her changeup. Lee Eui-ri struck out all 18 strikeouts against right-handed hitters, and most of the decisive pitches were fastballs and changeups. In the KBO League, Lee Eui-ri, who had an overwhelming changeup (0.122 hit rate), showed a better performance against right-handed hitters (0.190) than left-handed hitters (0.255 hit rate).

Eui-ri Lee, who entered her second year in 2022, recorded her first 10 wins (10 losses and an average ERA of 3.86) in her debut, but there were also regrets. It was the disappearance of the main weapon changeup. The use rate in 2021 was 24.8%, and the use rate in 2022 of the changeup, which was the second pitch, was only 9.5%. Lee Eui-ri himself had difficulty balancing to the point of commenting, “I forgot how to throw a changeup.” 안전놀이터 When the changeup, which was the deciding ball, disappeared, the hit rate against right-handed hitters also increased slightly from 0.190 to 0.220.

Lee Eui-ri, who is preparing for the third season, revealed that she focused on the perfection of the pitch in this spring camp, and especially paid the most attention to the changeup. Lee Eui-ri, who joined the World Baseball Classic (WBC) national team, raised her senses by throwing changeups intermittently against right-handed hitters in a practice game with the NC Dinos. Attention is focusing on whether Lee Eui-ri, who left a strong impression at his first international competition, the Olympics, will be able to play an active role on the WBC stage with a changeup again.