NC homegrown starters return to action…Lee Jae-hak to pitch against SSG on the 23rd

The NC Dinos’ homegrown starting pitchers are returning to the field one after another after being hit by a series of injuries.

NC Dinos manager Kang Myung-ho met with reporters at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on the 22nd and said, “Lee Jae-hak will start tomorrow (23rd). He went through the Futures (second team) league, so I think he’s recovered from his injuries.”

Lee Jae-hak started six games this season, going 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA, before suffering a metatarsal fracture on June 22 against the LG Twins when he was hit by a pitch from Moon Bo-kyung.

He recovered, rehabbed and got a taste of action in a second-team game on July 17. He pitched four innings with three hits, three walks, and two runs.

This is good news for NC, which lost Koo Chang-mo, Choi Sung-young, and Lee Jae-hak to string injuries in the month of June.

Left-hander Choi Sung-young was diagnosed with an orbital fracture after being hit in the face by Moon Bo-kyung’s bat on June 20 against LG, and returned to the first team on June 9.

Choi hasn’t picked up a win in his two games since returning, but he has pitched well with a 2.79 ERA in 9⅔ innings.

“If the domestic starters had shown stability (so far), we would have had a longer winning streak and fewer losses,” Kang said. “With Sung-young and Jae-hak coming in, I think we’ll be on the rise if the domestic starters stabilize.”

In the meantime, Song Myung-ki, who has been running the starting rotation, will go back to the bullpen.

“In terms of pitching, Song Myung-ki is better than Shin Min-hyuk, but Shin Min-hyuk doesn’t seem to be a bullpen guy, so we made the adjustment,” Kang explained.

Meanwhile, he gave a passing grade to new foreign pitcher Tanner Tully, who earned his KBO debut after two games on the 20th.

“He’s a pitcher who has stability in his game,” Kang said, “and if he can recover his top velocity, which is 1-2 kilometers per hour off, he’ll be more effective with his changeup.”

Tanner topped out at 145 kilometers per hour while pitching six innings against the Doosan Bears on Tuesday, allowing three runs (one earned) on seven hits with one walk and four strikeouts. 토토

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