Those of you who read this blog with any regularity know that I like to report on the goings-on in Asian baseball. Here are a few recent items of interest to me.
A 17 year old high school senior named Lee Su-min (family name first) struck out 26 batters on April 7th setting a new Korean high school record. He did it in 10 innings pitched and allowed a run on three hits and three walks allowed, but won the game when his team scored its second run in the 10th.
Lee threw 162 pitches to set his record. He’s 4-0 this season and threw 128 and 126 in two of this other starts this year. Last year, Lee went 8-2 and had two starts in which he made 154 and 130 pitches respectively. He struck out 17 in the 154 pitch effort and 13, 11, and 10 in the other three efforts in which he threw more than 125 pitches.
Needless to say, young Su-min looks very promising, at least until his arm gives out from the heavy workloads.
We are already about 16 to 18 games into the Nippon Professional Baseball (“NPB”) season. Dae-Ho “Big Boy” Lee, Tony Blanco and John Bowker are off to hot starts; Brooks Conrad, Nyjer Morgan and Kosuke Fukudome are struggling mightily.
Please note, however, that NPB’s English-language website is about eight or nine games behind on the stats for the players listed above. Come on, guys — give us those Japanese stats in a timely fashion!
As I’m sure you know, Hyun-Jin Ryu won his first game for the Dodgers yesterday. His only major mistake in 6.1 innings of work was giving up a two-run bomb to Andrew McCutchen. Well, that could happen to anyone.
I read an interesting article today about the fact the Ryu does not throw in the off-season or throw bullpen sessions between starts. This runs counter to what is the norm in MLB, where starters usually throw a bullpen session about half-way between each start in order to keep their pitching sharp and to work with the pitching coach.
Apparently, Ryu did not throw between starts in South Korea’s KBO because KBO starters generally throw more pitches per start than MLB starters.
The Dodgers position for the time being is to let Ryu do what he is comfortable with, at least until they perceive a need for him to throw between starts. In my mind, that means that Ryu will get to do it his way until he has three poor starts in a row.
As always, a shout-out to MyKBO.net where I get my Korean baseball news.