The Lotte Giants’ four-day rest rotation of two foreign pitchers, which has been a key to the team’s fifth-place finish, will remain unchanged despite the resignation of former manager Larry Sutton.
“The four-day rest rotation for Wilkerson and Barnes will be maintained,” acting Lotte manager Lee Jong-woon said shortly after the rainout of Game 11 of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League against the Hanwha Eagles at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon on March 30, “because if there are overlapping rest days in the middle, it will be a five-day rest rotation at least once.”
Lotte announced Sutton’s sudden voluntary resignation on the afternoon of the 28th. Sutton’s recent health deterioration made it difficult for him to manage the remaining games of the second half of the season, and the club accepted it after much deliberation.
The remaining 37 games of the regular season will be managed by acting head coach Lee Jong-woon. Lee is no stranger to first-team coaching, having led Lotte as the club’s 16th head coach in the 2015 season.
In terms of the outfield, Lee Jong-woon said on April 29 that he will not make any major changes to the batting order and will stick with a stable lineup. Lotte has used several different batting orders this season, depending on the type of pitcher they’re facing and the condition of their main hitters on the day.
Few of the main players, from the table setters to the center fielders, have played in a fixed batting order. In the case of captain Ahn Chi-hong, he batted second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth. Under Lee Jong-woon, it’s unlikely that we’ll see such a fluid starting lineup.
However, the starting rotation is more likely to stick with what Sutton has built and directed. After the team’s second-half collapse, Sutton announced on Aug. 8 that he would utilize the two foreign pitchers, Barnes and Wilkerson, in a four-day rest rotation instead of the usual five-day starters.
So far, Sutton’s plan has been successful. Barnes has been the ace, going 1-1 with a 1.46 ERA in four games. Wilkerson has also pitched exceptionally well, going 1-1 with a 1.45 ERA in three games. Without them, Lotte’s situation could have been much worse.
Acting manager Lee Jong-woon plans to keep Wilkerson and Barnes in the same routine for the rest of the season, as they have adjusted well to the four-day rest rotation and are pitching well. It’s also a positive that both pitchers have been well-rested with the frequent rainouts of late.
Wilkerson will start against the Hanwha on the 31st. He’ll be back on the mound on five days’ rest after allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits and eight strikeouts in seven innings against the KT Wiz on the 25th. 소닉카지노
Barnes had more time to recharge after his start against Hanwha was canceled due to rain on the 30th. He will start the first game of a three-game weekend series against the Doosan Bears on September 1. It will be his first start on one week’s rest since allowing three runs on five hits and four walks with five strikeouts in six innings against the LG Twins on Sept. 24.