“I can play second base and shortstop, I want a chance next year” Should the Bears bring back their late-round outfielder?
Doosan Bears foreign hitter Jose Rojas overcame extreme sluggishness in the first half and succeeded in a great turnaround in the second half. Lohas, who showed a remarkable increase in batting pace in the second half, has already risen to the third 먹튀검증 batting order and is playing the role of the team’s center batting line. There is even talk of the possibility of renewing the contract with Lohas, which was unimaginable during the sluggish first half. Rojas also hopes to continue to accompany the team next year.
Rojas continued to struggle with a batting average of 0.222 / 45 hits / 10 homers / 33 RBIs in 65 games in the first half of this season. In early June, the problem was so serious that he even went to Future Steam to reorganize his batting feel. There was also public opinion about the replacement of Lojas ahead of the first half deadline.
However, LOHAS started to make a big turn in July. When hitting coach Lee Young-soo, who joined the first team during the season, took on the role of taking charge of LOHAS, LOHAS also drew an upward curve. LOHAS, whose hitting feeling began to revive gradually in July, is showing a decent hitting feeling with a batting average of 0.281 / 25 hits / 4 homers / 17 RBIs in 26 games in the second half.
Even Doosan coach Lee Seung-yeop, who suffered from LOHAS problems throughout the first half, gave a thumbs up. Manager Lee, whom I recently met, said, “In the second half, Lohas hits well and goes into the third batting order, even taking on the role of a solver. Watching the recent Kiwoom Heroes match against pitcher Yang Hyeon by not using the toe-tap action, I finally felt that I had fully adapted to the KBO League. We are showing the batting picture we want.”
Rojas, who met with MK Sports, said, “I am just one piece of the team hitting puzzle. I think I am leading the team’s batting line up by taking turns with all my colleagues, not because I did well alone. The change in at-bat that the coach said was an impromptu change after seeing the situation at the time and the characteristics of the opponent’s pitcher’s ball. I think that kind of situation will come out because I try to produce line drive batting balls rather than scooping batted balls.”
Rojas is also a utility player who can handle both infield and outfield defense. Currently, the Doosan team is focusing on outfield defense due to circumstances, but Rojas emphasized that it is possible to digest infield defense. Lojas’ confidence is that he can handle the most difficult shortstop defense among infield positions.
Rojas said, “I’m feeling more comfortable now as I’ve been outfield defense a lot this season. Nonetheless, he also occasionally digests infield fungo defense drills to maintain his infield defensive abilities. He thinks it is possible to play defense at all positions in the infield. Even shortstop defense is the same. He was selected as a shortstop at the time of the rookie draft, so he is confident,” he smiled.
If Lohas continues the upward trend in the second half of the season until the end of the season, the possibility of renewing the contract for next season is expected to arise. As in the case of KIA Tigers foreign hitter Socrates Brito, continuing to accompany a foreign hitter who has completed adaptation to the KBO league may be the direction to reduce the risk.
Rojas said, “No one knows the future, but if I have another chance with this team next year, I want to take that opportunity. Thanks to the team waiting for me with great patience despite the sluggish hitting in the first half, I think my original ability came out in the second half. I will finish this season well while maintaining a good flow recently.”
Doosan won 11 consecutive wins for the first time since the founding of the club, along with the rise of LOHAS in July. There was a slowdown in August, but Doosan is continuing a fierce fight in the top 5 last week with 4 wins and 2 losses. In order to advance to Doosan Fall Baseball, LOHAS’s strength is clearly needed.
Rojas said, “If you are a professional player, you naturally go into the game with aspirations for the postseason. Neither do I. If he makes it to the postseason, he’s confident that I’ll show my worth there as well. Personally, cold is better than hot, so I look forward to it more (laughs). I am always grateful for the support of Doosan fans, and I will do my best to help the team advance to the postseason.”