NC Dinos has a hot momentum in the early stages. NC, which sent away a large number of key players last winter, was predicted by baseball experts to be in the bottom ranks this season. However, with a record of 9 wins and 5 losses, it is off to a good start with a tie for second place with championship candidate LG. 1st place SSG (8 wins, 4 losses) is second place, pushed by the win rate without a ride.
After the 2022 season, 안전놀이터Luchinski, who received a $2 million salary in NC, returned to the United States by signing with Major League Oakland. In the free agent market, Yang Eui-ji, the main catcher, left after signing a six-year contract with Doosan for up to 15.2 billion won. Shortstop Noh Jin-hyuk signed a 4-year, 5 billion won contract with Lotte, and veteran bullpen Won Jong-hyun signed a 4-year, 2.5 billion won contract with Kiwoom.
NC selected all three foreign players as new faces. They recruited Eric Peddy, Taylor Widener (above pitchers), and Jason Martin. Widener is out of the exhibition game due to a back injury, and Martin played four games and was excluded from the roster due to an internal oblique injury. Even though two foreign players are missing, they are doing well.
NC’s mound is solid with the league’s ERA (2.49). The starting ERA is 2.68 (1st place), and the bullpen ERA is 2.17 (2nd place).
Pedy, who was recruited as the first starter, is doing better than Luczynski. Peddy, who played as the 5th starter when Major League Baseball won the World Series in 2019, is recording an average ERA of 0.47 with 2 wins and 1 loss in 3 games. He pitched 19 innings, striking out 25. His fastball over 150km is powerful. His earned run average is tied for first in the league and second in strikeouts.
On the 7th, in the match against Kiwoom, he played against An Woo-jin as a starting pitcher and became the winning pitcher with 4 hits and 10 strikeouts in 8 innings. On the 13th, against KT, he lost 3 runs (1 earned) in 6 innings due to a defensive mistake.
Foreign pitcher Widener is missing, but Song Myeong-ki, a 4th and 5th starter, is supporting the rotation well with an average ERA of 0.52 and 1 win and 1 loss in 3 games, and Shin Min-hyeok, 2 wins and 4.20 ERA in 3 games. National team member Koo Chang-mo was sluggish in the first two games, but he survived with 8.2 innings, 3 hits, 9 strikeouts and no runs against SSG on the 15th.
Finisher Lee Yong-chan is locking the back door with an average ERA of ‘0’ with 6.1 scoreless innings in 6 games (1 win, 2 saves). For the bullpen, lefties Lim Jeong-ho (7-game ERA, 1.42), Kim Young-kyu (6-game ERA, 0), Ha Jun-yeong (6-game ERA, 3.86) and right-handers Ryu Jin-wook (5 game ERA, 0), Kim Si-hoon (4 game ERA, 3.38), Kim Jin-ho (8 game ERA) 4.05), etc. are playing an even role.
In the other lineup, Martin is missing, and Park Kun-woo (batting average 2.6, OPS .722) and Son A-seop (batting average, 2.8 league, OPS .586) are sluggish. He is leading the offense with a .401 and an OPS of 1.034.
NC recruited Park Se-hyuk as a free agent for 4 years and 4.6 billion won in the position of catcher Yang Eui-ji left. Park Se-hyeok struck a decisive blow several times. It’s to the point where I can’t feel the void of Yang Eui-ji.
Park Se-hyeok hit a final solo home run against An Woo-jin in the Kiwoom match on the 7th, and defeated An Woo-jin. In the match against Kiwoom on the 8th, he hit a 3-run home run in the 8th inning behind 5-6, becoming the main player in the victory. In the game against KT on the 11th, he hit a timely hit in the 6th inning with 2nd out and 3rd base, leading to a 1-0 victory.
Park Sae-hyeok was taken to the ambulance after being injured in the back of the head by Heredia’s bat during the SSG match on the 14th. It was an injury more bitter than defeat. Park Se-hyeok was excluded from the first team entry the next day.
NC went through the big bad news of the departure of the main catcher, but succeeded in winning by winning SSG two days in a row on the 15th and 16th. Now, from the 18th, NC will have a three-game series with LG, which is tied for second place, in Jamsil.