South Koreans abroad making new starts
Seo Jae-weong, righthanded starting pitcher of the Los Angeles Dodgers, gets his first start of the season tomorrow in Pittsburgh against the Pirates. Seo, who was traded in January from the New York Mets, posted an 8-2 record and a 2.59 ERA last season. San Diego Padres pitcher Park Chan-ho, the country’s first player to play in the major leagues, started the season in the bullpen but is due to make his first start on Saturday against the Atlanta Braves. Park had three saves for the South Korean team at the World Baseball Classic. The Padres have said Park will be used in the bullpen or as the team’s fifth starter, depending on what the team needs.
In the Japanese professional baseball league, Lee Seung-yeop is on a fast start with his new team the Yomiuri Giants, after playing for the Lotte Chiba Marines the last two years. His batting average jumped from .240 in 2004 to .260 last year, while his number of home runs doubled from 14 to 30 last season. For the Giants, playing as the first baseman and batting fourth, Lee already has three home runs through Monday. He is hitting .364, and leading the Japanese Central League in that category. Lee has made it no secret that after this season he will try again to play in the major leagues.
This week his team will play Hiroshima Carp and on the weekend will face off against the Yokohama BayStars.
by Brian Lee