The SSG Landers is one of the teams that had been agonizing over left-handed bullpen in recent years. Kim Tae-hoon, a former bullpen pitcher for the team, ended his career, and Kim Taek-hyung, who contributed to the team’s unified victory in 2022, joined the Sangmu (National Army Sports Unit) on Jan. 16 last year to resolve military issues.헤라카지노
Veteran Ko Hyo-joon of “Born in 1983” pitched in a whopping 73 games last season, while Lim Joon-seop (41), who reached his mid-30s, also played quite a few games. Except for the two players, there was only one left-handed bullpen pitcher Baek Seung-gun (25 games) who pitched in more than 20 games in the first division of the 2023 season.
SSG has repeatedly emphasized a natural generational shift and remodeling. The same goes for left-hander bullpen session. If only one of its existing players can come up fast, the team has nothing more to expect. Han Du-sol, who is dreaming of a better 2024 season, is one of them.
Born in January 1997, Handu-sol played at Gwangju Soochang Elementary School, Jinheung Middle School, and Gwangju Jeil High School and spent time at Oshai Liseisha College in Japan. Afterwards, he entered the professional league as a training player at the invitation of the KT Wiz in 2018, but was informed of his release at the end of 2018 as he failed to take the mound in a single game in the first division while wearing a KT uniform. His overall performance in the Futures League as a KT player was four wins and two losses with an ERA of 4.45 in 45 games.
Having decided to join the military since then, Han Du-sol never gave up hope and finally confirmed his joining the SSG after testing his joining in June 2021. “Hann Du-sol is competitive as a left-handed pitcher, so we decided to recruit him to strengthen the depth of his team’s pitching staff,” SSG said at the time. “He has excellent fastball speed in the mid-140km/h range and good speed and control of his slider. On top of that, he can count with breaking balls such as curves and changeups, which makes him highly versatile.”
Han Doo-sol, who had a long hiatus, focused on boosting his sense of play in the Futures League in the 2021 season, and was given a chance in the first division the following year. However, his performance in the first division in the 2022 season was rather sluggish with an ERA of 16.88 in five ⅓ innings in eight games. Last year’s first division performance was all about one hit, two walks, and one strikeout. As a result, Han remained in the second division without any significant performance in the last two seasons, leaving regret.
“I’m doing weight training, agility and mobility training, and I’m doing catch balls,” Han told reporters at SSG Landers Field in Incheon recently. “Every year was important, but I thought this year was more important, so I increased the amount of exercise. I’m trying to highlight what I need.”
Han Du-sol joined the top-tier Korean Professional Baseball League instead of a “veteran” who joined the second tier due to left shoulder inflammation on April 12 last year. However, after playing in one inning at a home game against the NC Dinos on April 16, he moved to the second tier team the next day, and he couldn’t get a chance anymore. “I regret that the game was canceled without taking that opportunity. As the stadiums in the second and first tier teams are different, I have not been able to adapt to the stadiums in the first tier teams. I think I have to constantly adjust to the new season.”
He displayed good performance in the Futures League. In 2022, he had one win, one loss, four holds and one save with an ERA of 1.74 in 31 innings in 28 games, and in last year’s 40 games, 46 ⅓ innings, he had three wins, four losses and eight saves with an ERA of 2.72 and the number of walks he walked was 10 in 2022 and 12, respectively in 2023. As a result, Han also received the SSG Futures League Player Award along with Ryu Ho-seung and Lee Jung-beom at the “2023 Maguma-gu Real Glove Awards” ceremony in December last year. However, the barriers to the top-tier Korean Professional Baseball League remained high.
More than anything else, he felt impatient and pressured. “What I liked about the second team was that I had good ball speed and good ball control, which led to good performance. I was satisfied because I had a better performance than last year,” Han said. “What was disappointing about the first team was that when I took the mound, I couldn’t show off my skills because I felt pressure by myself to take a chance unconditionally.” (I was also conscious of the team’s lack of left-handed bullpen). I just needed to show off my hard work as it was, but I think it could have helped me because I had a different idea,” Han said.
Han Doo-sol went through ups and downs, including his unknown name as a pro and his release after joining the club. His outstanding resume was when he graduated from a university in Japan. “After not being nominated (in the KBO League), I went to Japan because I thought it would be nice to go to a Korean university, but I still have no regrets,” Han said. “I learned a lot of Japanese, and that was my strength (laughs). I took classes in the morning and played baseball in the afternoon. I also learned technical lessons about baseball.”
Now, Han Du-sol is trying to calm down and start the season. “I can throw breaking balls with certainty. I am confident in sliders, and I am practicing changeups,” he said. “Whether the situation is important or not, I think I should be able to throw strikes at least seven out of 10 balls. I think I should throw while thinking about each ball. I always pay attention when I play catch.”
Han Doo-sol, who also asked for advice from his seniors, said, ” (Park) Jong-hoon was in Ganghwa (second-tier accommodation) after surgery, and he always visited the room and told me what he needed. Recently, while working out at SSG Landers Field in Incheon, (Moon) Seung-won says good things,” adding, “When I was worried about walking, Jong-hoon said, ‘I can’t play without a walk’. You might have said that as a joke, but it helped me that I told him not to care about walking, and after that, I think the walk has been reduced.”
Finally, Han Doo-sol said, “As much as I tried to change my mind, I think I have become confident that the result will be good. If I thought it was not enough before, now I exercise with confidence that I will be paid for my efforts, so there will be better results,” and vowed to play in the future, saying, “I think the part that I want to appeal to the team is that I want to continue playing in the first division.”